Sawdust Ltd. is a Leader in Innovative Design and Fabrication.

Our approach ensures that your project vision becomes reality. Our goal is to meet your requirements and exceed your expectations. We strive for you to say "WOW!" years after the job is completed. Because of this, our clients become our friends.

When you are ready to begin, just contact us and set up a consultation. We know how busy life can get, so if that means coming to you in the evening or on a Saturday, that's fine by us. We are here for you.

During the initial meeting, we will spend time with you to fully understand your project. We will ask questions and offer input for your consideration. We will take pictures of the existing space and detailed measurements. Finally, we will answer any of your questions and let you know what decisions you will have to make along the way.

our approach 1

Following the initial meeting Sawdust Ltd. will prepare a proposal for your consideration. That proposal will include the following elements:

  1. Scope of work and included features.
  2. The price and payment schedule.
  3. Options, as requested.
  4. A preliminary schedule for planning purposes.
  5. Work to be performed by others, if required.
  6. Conceptual drawings as appropriate.

After we have prepared the proposal we will schedule a meeting with you to discuss the proposal and answer any questions that you may have or identify changes that we need to make. The proposal is good for 30 days. During this time we are available to answer your questions.

When you make the decision to use us, we begin the final design process. During design we will formalize the size and function of each cabinet in the project. This includes the size of drawers, the swing of the doors, number of shelves in each cabinet etc. Design is an iterative process and we don't miss a single detail.

our approach 2

Your approval of the design will start the fabrication process for your cabinets and/or architectural millwork. This work is performed at our shop.

Installation is when we install your cabinets and/or architectural millwork. Cabinets are leveled and aligned. We scribe our cabinets to the wall rather than covering up any gaps with moulding.

When we are finished we know that you will be pleased and glad that you chose Sawdust Ltd. for your project.


The kitchen has long been considered the heart of the home. Then appliances are the engine that drives what the kitchen does: cooking, cleaning and preserving. This section will provide you with some basic considerations to help choose the best appliances for your kitchen. I have included some reading references in the References and Links section to provide much more detail than is practical here. Questions: The first step in understanding what appliances you need is by understanding how you cook. Some questions to be answered are:

  1. How many people cook at the same time?
  2. How many people eat at home on a daily basis?
  3. How often and for how many people do you entertain?
  4. What is your favorite menu for entertaining at dinner?
  5. How often do you grocery shop?
  6. What appliances do you like to use the most, and the least?
  7. What appliance that you do not have would you really like to have? Answers to these questions will allow you to prioritize your appliance selection and budget. Put your money on your priorities. If you love steamed vegetables you may want to invest in a steam oven. If you shop for groceries every day or so you probably do not need a lot of freezer space in your refrigerator. I think you get the point that investment in appliances should be in line with how they are used.


There is no substitute for heat capacity when it comes to stove tops, cook tops or range tops. The higher the available heat the better cook you will become because your food will have less grease, be juicier and more flavorful.

Ovens come in a variety of sizes and configurations. There are five main types of ovens: the standard radiant oven, convection oven, microwave oven, convection/microwave oven and steam oven. There are also some combinations of these.

A ventilation system is a must, as houses have become more energy efficient, to protect the occupants from cooking order and pollutants. The market place for ventilation systems offers a wide variety of options. Ceiling and wall fans are basically useless. Re-circulating units do not work at all. Downdraft units, that try and pull naturally rising air down, are only marginally effective. Updraft units, your typical vent-hood above the cooking surface, are the only ones that really work.

Most people tend to undersize their vent hood. Typically, if they have a 30 inch cook top they get a 30 inch vent hood when they really need a 36 inch vent hood. This is because as gas rises from the cook top it spreads out.

Dishwashers today are more energy and water efficient than washing dishes by hand. They also clean better and can be used to sanitize dishes when family members are sick. Some of the higher end dishwashers can even sense how dirty the dishes are and adjust their cycles to ensure they get them clean.

The role of the sink relative to clean up has changed with the modern dishwasher. As a result the need for a two-bowl sink has diminished and is being replaced by a single bowl deep sink which that offers more functionality like being able to fill a large pot with water.

The concept of trash compactors came about with good intention. However, they are more trouble than they are worth with leaks, odor and animal attraction. Consider also the fact that compacted trash weighs about four times more that the same volume of un-compacted trash. A recycling center is a much better and less expensive option

Refrigeration preserves food. They are measured in terms of cubic feet of space. This measurement is really meaningless. What really is important is shelf space. Consider the fact that most people enter the refrigerator portion somewhere between 17 and 21 times more than the freezer portion. Based on this, top freezer models are not ergonomically friendly. Also be careful of 36 inch side by side models since you get way more freezer space than you need and useless refrigerator space that can’t hold large platters of food.

Cabinet construction is a critical component to the longevity and functionality of the cabinet. This section deals with cabinet terminology and how Sawdust Ltd. builds your cabinets.

Cabinet Types:

Face Frame - These are traditional cabinets that have a wooden frame attached to the face of the cabinet box. The paint grade cabinets shown in the kitchen section of our gallery are face frame cabinets.

Frameless - These cabinets do not cover the face of the cabinet with a separate frame. Frameless cabinets have the best space utilization. They are also known as Euro or 32mm. The stain grade cabinets shown in the kitchen section of our gallery are frameless cabinets.

Cabinet Categories:

Sawdust Ltd. defines three main categories of cabinets within the two types of cabinets.
They are:

Base - These cabinets sit on the floor and support a separate work surface top, such as a kitchen counter or desktop.

Tall - These cabinets also sit on the floor and do not have a separate work surface top, such as a pantry cabinet.

Wall - These cabinets are attached to a wall and are usually above a base cabinet. They can also be referred to as upper cabinets.

Cabinet Construction Standards: Sawdust Ltd. uses American made sheet stock that conforms to formaldehyde content requirements for our cabinets. We also offer "Green" and formaldehyde free materials.

All of our cabinets are constructed the same way. Cabinet boxes use ¾ inch material and are glued and dowelled together. They are assembled in a cabinet press to ensure that they are square. Backs are either ¼ inch thick set in a dado with ¾ inch nailer behind the back or one-half inch thick set in a rabbet joint then glued and stapled.

All exposed faces are edge banded with the appropriate banding material to match the finished box. Adjustable shelves are edge banded both front and back.

Face frames are made of the appropriate hard wood for the cabinet box. In the case of paint grade the face frame is glued and nailed to the face of the cabinet box. In the case of finish grade the face frame is glued and pocket screwed from the cabinet side or tendons when the cabinet side is exposed.

Separate toe kicks support cabinets when starting from the sub-floor or adjustable legs when starting from a finished floor. Toe kicks are made from exterior grade plywood, to handle water, and exposed surfaces are laminated with shop maple veneer for paint grade or cabinet matching veneer for stain grade. When legs are used the exposed faces are the same as toe kicks.

Drawer boxes are made from 5/8 inch Hard Maple that is dovetailed with a 3/8 inch plywood bottom. Drawers 30 inch and wider have ½ inch bottoms. Drawer boxes are pre-finished. Concealed hinges and drawer slides are by Blum.

The choices, for countertops today is extensive and requires thought to make appropriate selection(s). It is not uncommon to have several different types of countertops in a single kitchen. For example, one may have marble in a baking area, engineered stone on the other counters and butcher-block on an island. Each type of material has its pros and cons.

In order to help one make an informed choice we have provided some basic information about each type. They are listed in alphabetical order. The cost index for type runs from 1 to 4 with one being relatively the least expensive and 4 the most.

Butcher Block - made from rock maple for its tight grain, as well as oak, mahogany, and cherry, butcher block can also be made in mixed and exotic species.

  • Butcher block countertops are wonderful for cutting and chopping. Butcher block must be oiled regularly. Mineral oil is used because it is non-toxic.
  • Clean easily; bacteria can be removed by rubbing a slice of lemon over the surface.
  • Butcher block is fairly durable and may develop scratches that can be repaired by sanding.
  • Thickness runs from .75 to 3.5 inches
  • Cost index - 2

Concrete - contains natural materials: stone, silica-based cement, water, and pigment. Cast in molds and structurally reinforced, it is either pre-cast in a shop or done on-site.

  • Concrete is a handmade, custom-crafted material that works well with other natural elements such as slate and wood.
  • Concrete is extremely porous and must be properly resealed periodically to resist stains.
  • Cutting directly on the surface will compromise the sealant and dull knives quickly.
  • Concrete is rather unpredictable in nature and may crack and will change color, developing a warm patina over time.
  • Hairline cracks may develop from the natural shrinkage of the concrete. These cracks tend to be nonstructural and simply add interest to the inherent beauty of the material.
  • Concrete seams can become part of the design element.
  • Standard thickness is 1.5 inches.
  • Cost index - 4

Copper and Zink - nonporous metal places over a hard substrate such Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF)

  • Copper and zinc may be polished regularly to retain their new, bright finish or left to age naturally and oxidize, developing a rich patina.
  • To prevent heat damage and scratching, trivets and cutting boards are recommended.
  • Soft, but due to their substrate construction, dent-resistant.
  • Copper and Zink are available in seamless lengths up to 118".
  • Thickness with substrate is typically 1.5 inches.
  • Cost index - 4

Engineered Stone (Quartz) - combines natural quartz and silica sands under extreme pressure at very high temperatures to create an agglomerate product that looks like granite, marble, or travertine but is more durable and flexible.

  • Nonporous, engineered stone is stain-, acid-, mold- and mildew-resistant and hard enough to resist chips and scratches.
  • Available in a variety of colors, patterns, and finishes, it is produced in ½", ¾" and ¼" thick slabs.
  • Cost index - 3

Glass - one of the newer types of countertops available today.

  • Heat and stain proof.
  • Limitless colors, textures and edge details available.
  • Will scratch. Will show watermarks if not towel dried after use.
  • Fabricated to order. Typically, glass is ¾" thick.
  • Cost index - 4

Granite - one of the hardest natural materials is primarily made up of quartz and feldspar.

  • Extremely heat- and scratch-resistant, granite allows hot pans to be placed directly on the surface.
  • Stains can be removed by a variety of methods depending on the type of stain. Scratches need to be repaired by a professional.
  • A porous material, granite requires proper periodic resealing with a penetrating sealer at least once every couple of years to prevent staining.
  • Cutting on the surface is not recommended.
  • Sizes are limited, and slabs must be pieced together for larger areas.
  • Available in many varieties, in various edge treatments, and in polished, honed, and matte finishes.
  • Cost index - 3 to 4

Lava Stone - is quarried in France and enameled and fired to present a brilliant crackle finish.

  • Completely fabricated before shipping, it can be made into any shape through laser cutting technology, in seamless slabs up to 48" x 96".
  • Impervious to stains and heat, lava stone has a high-gloss finish that can scratch if mistreated.
  • Available in many colors as well as in custom colors.
  • Cost index - 4

Limestone - consists mainly of calcite, a neutral-toned mineral.

  • Varies in hardness: some varieties are softer like marble and some are harder and more scratch-resistant like granite.
  • A porous material, limestone requires proper periodic resealing with a penetrating sealer to help prevent staining.
  • Available in black, gray, brown, white, and yellow, limestone has a smooth, muted complexion.
  • Cost index - 3

Marble - naturally occurring stone that is mined from various parts of the world.

  • Stains and scratches easily.
  • A porous material, marble requires proper periodic resealing with a penetrating sealer to prevent staining.
  • Heat and water-resistant.
  • Works well in very small areas for specific tasks, such as rolling out pastry dough.
  • Available in honed, matte, and polished finishes.
  • Cost index - 3

Plastic Laminates - are made of melamine-impregnated decorative surface papers combined with phenolic-treated kraft paper (saturated with resin).

  • Typically, just the top surface of the laminate has the coloring. However, you can buy laminate that has coloring that goes all the way through and these are less likely to show scratches, and they eliminate the brown line often associated with laminate edgings.
  • Shiny laminates or solid colors are more likely to show damage than matte or pattern surfaces.
  • Plastic laminates are durable but not indestructible.
  • They are impact resistant, fairly easy to maintain, and with proper care they will keep their good looks for many, many years. However, since the material is softer than solid surface, engineered or natural stone some precautions are necessary.
  • Because the typical structure is made up of layers, it is impossible to repair surface chips, scratches and cuts.
  • Do not use the surface as a cutting board. Ceramic or abrasive objects can also damage the surface if dragged across the countertop. Abrasive cleaners can scratch and dull the surface.
  • Damage caused by abrasion or scratching is irreversible but can sometimes be masked by applying lemon oil or self-stripping waxes, such as Pledge® or PLexus™ Plastic Cleaner.
  • Seams are the most vulnerable area of plastic laminate countertops.
  • If the seam is not properly matched or sealed, water may penetrate the substrate, causing the substrate to swell or crumble and the laminate layers to peel or break apart. This situation cannot be repaired, and the countertop must be replaced.
  • Do not use the countertop for a "hot pad". Prolonged exposure to temperatures of 140ºF (60ºC) or higher may cause the laminate to separate from it’s core material, or cause it to melt.
  • Never use cleaners containing acid, alkali, or sodium hypochlorite. These cleaners will mar, etch, corrode, and permanently discolor the laminate surface. Also, make sure that bottles, rags, and other materials contaminated with these cleaners never contact the laminate surface.
  • Cost index - 1


  • Extremely heat- and scratch-resistant, and UV resistant.
  • Porcelain is nonporous, so very difficult to stain. Clean up with soap and water.
  • Sizes are limited, and slabs must be pieced together for larger areas.
  • You can choose a glossy, polished finish, or for a smooth matte, or honed finish. Although there are fewer to choose from compared to other countertop materials, the most popular choices are available.
  • Available in many varieties, in limited edge treatments.
  • Easy to damage during installation. Once in place they are solid.
  • Avoid dropping heavy tools on the surface as it may crack.
  • Cost index - 3

Recycled Glass - Made with 85% recycled glass makes this product green.

  • Recycled glass bound in Portland cement and other non-VOC ingredients.
  • Resistant to staining but requires sealing.
  • Waterproof
  • Extensive color choices based on the type(s) of glass used.
  • Slabs are available in 1¼" thickness. Slabs are 60" x 108".
  • Cost index - 4

Recycled Paper - Yes countertops can be made from recycled paper making it a green product.

  • Machines like wood.
  • Resistant to staining
  • Waterproof
  • Limited color choices available in tones of blue, green, red, black, and brown
  • Designed to be consumer-friendly, scratches and stains can be easily sanded away.
  • Slabs are available in ¾, 1 and 1½" thickness. Slabs are 60" x 144".
  • Cost index - 4

Slate - a natural stone that features nonporous, heat-resistant qualities.

  • Any scratches can usually be removed easily with a damp sponge. Deeper scratches may be buffed out with a steel wool pad.
  • Slates mined in Vermont require no sealing.
  • Softer than granite, slate has edges that should be rounded to discourage chipping.
  • Limited color choices available in tones of green, gray, purple, and black.
  • Cost index - 3

Soapstone - (Steatite), a material that has been used in kitchens for centuries, achieves a traditional, rustic look.

  • Soapstone is primary composed of talc, making it soft and smooth to the touch.
  • Chemically and thermally resistant to stains and burning.
  • Reapplying a coat of mineral oil periodically will enhance its luster and act as a sealer.
  • Originally mined in Vermont, most soapstone is imported from Brazil in a range of blue/gray tones.
  • Cost index - 3

Solid Surface - manufactured from acrylic resins and/or polyester plastics.

  • Offering seamless construction, solid surface materials can easily accommodate large areas or a built-in sink.
  • Nonporous, solid surface resists most liquid and food stains.
  • Trivets are recommended, as hot pots will melt the finish.
  • Designed to be consumer-friendly, scratches and stains can be easily sanded away.
  • Available in numerous solid colors and evenly distributed patterns, they can be found with matte and polished finishes, and with a wide selection of edging details.
  • Cost index - 3

Stainless Steel - combination of steel and nickel

  • Nonporous and heat-resistant, stainless steel holds up extremely well in wet areas.
  • 16-gauge is recommended for strong wear.
  • Scratches will fade over time into a fine patina.
  • Available in seamless lengths up to 114".
  • Cost index - 4

Tile - Made from clay and then fired at high temperature.

  • Tile is heat and stain-resistant.
  • Available in ceramic or porcelain and every color imaginable.
  • Epoxy grout is highly recommended for easier cleaning.
  • Glazed tiles may scratch and chip, so extra tiles should be purchased and stored.
  • Optional corners and liners are available from many manufacturers to finish the edges beautifully.
  • Size - from mosaics to 6" x 6" and larger
  • Cost index - 1 to 2

Hardware is divided into three categories, functional, convenience and decorative.

Functional: Functional hardware includes the drawer slides and door hinges that allow their drawer boxes and doors to operate. Door hinges are functional but can also be decorative when they are exposed.

Drawer Slides: Drawer slides come in two basic configurations, concealed and exposed. The configuration refers to what you see on the drawer box side when the drawer is opened. Drawer slides are classified by their dynamic carrying capacity, measured in pounds which ranges from 75 - 500 lbs., and extension which determines how far forward the back of the drawer comes out when opened, ¾ or full extension.


  • Concealed or undermount slides are not visible when the drawer is open.
  • Capacity is either 75 or 110 lbs.
  • Slide mechanism is protected from spills.
  • Available with soft close feature.
  • Available in ¾, full extension.


  • Exposed drawer slides are visible when the drawer is open.
  • Capacity runs from 75 pounds to 500 lbs.
  • Special versions are available for file drawers with lateral drawer stability.
  • Limited models available with soft close feature.
  • Available in ¾, full extension.

Hinges: Hinges come in two basic configurations, concealed and exposed. The configuration refers to what you see when the door is closed.


  • Concealed hinges are not visible when the door is closed.
  • Available with soft close feature.
  • Allows for easy adjustment of doors in three directions.


  • Exposed hinges are visible when the door is closed.
  • Numerous styles and finishes are available.
  • Can also be considered decorative.

Convenience: Convenience hardware is all the things that go inside cabinets and drawers to add ease of use. Types of convenience hardware include:

  • Lazy Susan - available in round, kidney, and half-moon shapes.
  • Trash and recycle systems.
  • Pantry systems - available in both revolving and roll-out versions.
  • Pull down shelves - allow you to bring upper shelves down to a reachable level.
  • Pull out cabinet storage.
  • Door storage systems.
  • Pull out hampers and baskets.
  • Wine storage.
  • Drawer inserts - plates, cutlery, spice, bread, knives, cosmetics, jewelry, and pencils.
  • Cutting boards.
  • Mixer lifts.

Decorative: Decorative hardware is the door and drawer knobs and pulls used on cabinets. There are countless styles, finishes and quality of door and drawer knobs and pulls. Typically, the choice of style and finish is a personal choice. If exposed hinges are to be used, they are available in the same style and finishes as the knob or pull. Some practical factors to consider in selecting knobs and pulls are:

  • How well do your hands fit in the pulls? 
  • How comfortable do your fingers fit behind a knob?
  • How easy is it to grab a knob when your fingers are wet?

NKBA Workbook available for free at NKBA
Kitchen Appliances 101, Kitchen Design with Cooking in Mind.
Both by Donald Silvers available at Amazon.Com





CV Tile & Stone

1435 S Shamrock Avenue
Monrovia CA 91016

(626) 303-0336

Decore-Ative Specialties

2772 South Peck Road
Monrovia CA 91016

(800) 729-7277

George's Pipe & Plumbing Supply Company

99 Palmento Drive
Pasadena CA 91105

(626) 792-5547

MD Appliances

1428 Foothill Blvd.
La Canada CA 91011

(818) 790-2727

Pacific Sales

440 South Lake Avenue
Pasadena CA 91101

(626) 356-3359

Snyder Diamond

432 South Arroyo Pkwy
Pasadena CA 91105-2531

(626) 795-8080