by Peter J. Marcucci

Located in Effingham, Illinois, the family-owned Mette’s Cabinet Corner has been producing quality cabinets for over 3 decades. According to shop foreman B.J. McDaniel, the company expanded their line to natural stone in 2007. 

Now, they primarily fabricate 3cm granite and engineered stone, with a smaller mix of custom marble tops. Most of their customer base is in the residential kitchen and bath market. The company also does commercial jobs including hospitals and banks.

This company stayed successful by adapting to changing customer demand. They offered granite when it became more common in upscale homes. They added quartz products when they were on the upswing in popularity. They listened to their customers and stayed in tune with in-demand product trends when marble began reappearing in kitchens and baths.

So how does Mette’s Cabinet Corner keep up their present level of success? According to McDaniel, they established a good production system and simplified it over the years. They use Viper Elite pads to finish all their tops, to get dependable results and save time. 

Their shop equipment includes several Park machines: a Yukon bridge saw, Titan CNC and Pro-edge 4. The company also uses a Flow International Corporation waterjet, and hand tools for finishing. That’s where their use of Viper Elite Pads come into play: it’s a tool that works equally well for finishing the Big Three materials: granite, engineered stone, and marble. Over years of use, McDaniel has come to trust the consistent performance and quality of Viper Elite pads.

SRG: We’ve heard that you really like Viper Elite Polishing pads. When are you using them?

“We use them once the machined pieces come off the CNC,” he replied. “We run a hand-polish cycle to take most of the lines out (from the) machining, but we’ve got a higher level of expectation than many shops. Our customers pay good money and we want their countertops to look good, so we make sure to take out every line. Some jobs may not need touch-up and it may mean just hitting the bottom for a finished touch. However, on some jobs such as an Ogee edge, we’ll typically take the edge back down and start over beginning with the Viper Elite step 3 pad. It eats a little bit of the stone, but not enough to reshape it. We also have a few profiles that we typically don’t polish at all on the CNC and so we’ll start with the Step 2 Viper Elite pad. 

SRG: How do the Viper ELITE pads fit into your production flow?

“The Viper Elite Pads give us a streamlined, 6 step process, so when beginning a new hand polished edge, such as a polished edge that’s not being done on our Pro-Edge 4, we’ll start with the step 1 pad and work our way up to the 6, be it granite, quartz or engineered stone. Right now we are about 50/50 on granite and engineered stone with the occasional marble or quartzite job. The Viper Elite pads work equally as good on all of those. We don’t have to switch pads to keep up standards. 

SRG: Is there anything you can think of that could make Viper Elite pads even better? 

“No—nothing that I can think of, at the moment. But I’ll let Braxton-Bragg know if I think of something! What I have noticed is they are long lasting and work on any type of stone. Even the hook and loop material on the back has never given us a problem. So no, I can’t think of anything they could do to make them better.” 

McDaniel added that although he sometimes does use other vendors, Braxton-Bragg is at the top of their speed dial. They also go to Braxton-Bragg for consumable supplies like glues, razor blades, polishing compounds, dishwasher brackets, sink fasteners and countertop supports (the I-Brace). 

Commenting on Braxton-Bragg’s customer service, McDaniel stated that all he has to do is write a purchase order and hand it to the purchasing guy. “Supplies ordered from Braxton-Bragg are just a 2-day ship, he said. “We can call in the order at 10am or 2:30 pm, and I’ll still have it in 2 days!”

So when’s the last time YOUR shop evaluated the way you hand polish? 

To find out how Viper Elite Polishing Pads can help you, contact Braxton-Bragg at 800-575-4401. To start with, you’ll see immediate savings and a superior finished product, and end with happier clients.