True Position Tools
During this edition of CareyBrosPros, you’ll find out:
- How to avoid Oh No moments when installing cabinets
- What led to the creation of True Position Tools
- How to adopt “active prevention.”
Guest: James Lostlen, director of True Position Tools
3 Points for Success – James Lostlen
- Purchase the right tool for the job
- Purchase higher quality tools
- Evaluate the value of your tools
True Positions Tools Transcript
Carol [00:00:00] Hi, I’m Carol, standing in for James, and it’s great to have you with us on another edition of CareyBrosPros.
Morris [00:00:06] And I’m Morris. Yes, we are professional contractors and James and I are brothers and Carol is my wife. Are you installing new cabinets for a customer? A need to drill all the doors and drawers without making a costly mistake, not to mention making an unhappy customer? Well, good news today. We’re talking about a tool company that has just what you need to avoid those oh, no moments when you’re installing cabinets, hardware.
Carol [00:00:39] And that’s why we’ve invited our new friend, James Lostlen, director of True Position Tools, to join us. Welcome to CareyBrosPros, James.
James [00:00:48] Thank you.
Carol [00:00:49] You’re welcome. There’s nothing worse than an unhappy customers who cabin door hardware is crooked or off center. And I speak from experience because we do this all the time. We have really good guys, but there is that occasional oh no moment. So please tell us what true position tools is all about and how it got started.
James [00:01:11] Yeah, I’d be happy to. Thanks for having me on the show, guys. Pleasure to be here. Two Position Tools was founded in nineteen ninety six. We are a family business. This was founded actually by my father Ted, and he was a cabinetmaker and out of frustration he developed what has become the true position cabinet hardware jig. And this is a tool that has kind of evolved over time into what it is now. But it’s been our flagship product for twenty five years now and we’re still proudly making it in the US. Just a little quick back story on how it came about was he was my father, Ted, the installer for many years and along with doing custom cabinet work, but quickly realized the biggest pain point on the job site was when it came to mounting the cabinet hardware. So for anyone who’s done it before, I understand it’s a very stressful task and it’s very time consuming to get it right. And it’s very easy to make a mistake. And the cost is very high because that’s your finished product. It’s the last thing. It’s kind of the cherry on top. And they kind of couldn’t get past this when they were doing a lot of installs and just was just such a bottleneck that you really thought out to create a solution for it.
Morris [00:02:24] So I just want you to know something, James, and I don’t mean to interrupt you. Please continue. But I want to tell you that I am guilty. So please proceed. Please proceed.
Carol [00:02:37] And it’s not an oh no moment. It’s an old blank moment. Yes.
James [00:02:42] Yes, it is. It is. And rest assured, it’s something that everyone struggles with, professional enthusiast. You know, it’s a common pain point. So, you know, it was a very clear need. And what we did was addressed it many years back. And I think over time it’s become an actually increased need just because things have kind of shifted a little in the industry. And less and less cabinet makers are putting the cabinet handles on tools like this have enabled some homeowners to take this task on themselves. We’ve definitely played a big role in that. And, you know, it’s kind of been that facilitator for someone who’s maybe not real familiar with carpentry, understands the task at hand and wants to save some money. And I’ll tackle this with our product and get it done with great results. So that’s kind of like the history of how it started. It really was a professional’s tool and professionals purchased it. But over that time, I guess over the course of the last twenty five years, things have changed quite a bit in the industry. A lot more builders are doing what a cabinetmaker used to do, but that’s certainly been a big change in the market. And like I mentioned, the homeowners are saying, well, you know, do I really need to spend fifteen hundred dollars to have a professional install my cabinet post and so take this upon themselves and purchase our product, get it done. Right. So that’s kind of where we where we started. And we continue in that direction to address core pain points for the professional, which also lend themselves to the DIY. And so it allows them to take these tests on where they can handle themselves.
Morris [00:04:23] Actually, we learned a lesson. Our company does not drill holes in doors and drawers anymore.
Carol [00:04:30] That’s right.
Morris [00:04:31] You know why?
James [00:04:32] Because of the reliability.
Morris [00:04:34] So, yeah, as a result, we insist that the cabinet maker who installs the cabinets also installs the hardware. But you can’t get the cabinet maker to install every set that we buy. Right. So they are left upon occasion to be burdened with that. With that responsibility, and I got to tell you, it always scares me because if you damage a door door, for example, Custom Made Modular, whatever, matching that finish to the cabinets that have already been finished, is 95 percent going to be a new product, a new door draw that won’t exactly match, and I got to tell you, there is nothing that makes my stomach turn more than that responsibility. And I guess people will laugh and say it’s only drilling holes, but it’s not. It’s not only drilling holes, it’s drilling holes in a finished item. And when you make a mistake, there’s a very great chance that you won’t be able to match the damaged product. And that’s yeah, that’s unbelievably scary.
Carol [00:06:00] And at the cost of cabinets these days and the wait time to get a replacement, this is a piece of magic for sure.
James [00:06:08] There’s no question in my mind why contractors should use the tools for their cabinet jobs. But what are the plans that you have for True Position Tools in the future?
James [00:06:22] I think there’s plenty more tools like this that are somewhat specific to cabinetry, but in addressing them in a way that I mentioned kind of solves big pain points for the professionals, but really enables a DIY. And what you brought up was a great point in that you said there’s somewhat of a liability concern. And I actually know cabinet companies that are from start to finish the design, the cabinets to build them custom finished is all that, that they stop at the hardware. And one reason is because the liability, like you mentioned, the other is a lot of times the customer’s sitting there, can’t figure it out. They want to see the finished cabinets installed up against the paint in the backsplash, in their granite, in their kitchen. And they need to take that time to process and make the decision. And now the cabinet maker has to come back out on site and do that portion. So there’s a few factors at play there where there’s some opportunity that either it’s helping to be more efficient and get their job done without these pain points or enabling the homeowner. And that’s kind of where we see the future, especially with the way things have trended with cabinetry, where there’s just less and less kind of finished carpenters compared to, say, like 2005 or so. There’s just seems like everyone was putting in cabinets there. They were a cabinet maker. But that’s certainly a shift that we’ve paid attention to. And I think our biggest direction and focus is just to continue making tools that we really stand behind. And I think that’s what’s made us standout. We’ve become with the cabinet hardware jig the clear in a way, leader in that in terms of sales and product reviews. You know, just being the trusted brand, the premier brand, we’ve really grown that category. When we started, there was really not much on the market and now there’s probably 20 different offerings. But even with that from some large competitors or I guess industry peers, I there that are in Home Depot and Lowe’s at lower price points and we still outsell them, which is pretty incredible.
Morris [00:08:22] I think people in the business who do quality work know that you get what you pay for. Right?
Carol [00:08:28] Right.
James [00:08:30] That’s one thing that we’ve really stood our ground on over the years. And we were at the behest of many of our dealers and potential retailers who said, look, we’re never going to sell a tool at this price, you know, because our our hardware, Jiegu is nearly two hundred dollars.
Carol [00:08:47] Well, you know what? First class is always full. And if you look at it that way, you know, you want something good and you want something that’s going to last, you’re going to buy the best. Right.
Morris [00:08:58] James, as you know, we ask all of our CareyBrosPros guests for three points for success. What would you like our fellow pros to take away from your visit with us?
James [00:09:11] That’s a good question.
Morris [00:09:12] Measure twice and cut once.
James [00:09:14] [laughs] Measure twice and drill once you get it.
James [00:09:19] Like you said, I think that we’re big believers in purchasing the right tool for the job. And in this instance, obviously we’re biased. But I really, truly believe this is the best, most accurate way to install cabinet hardware. So I would just recommend in general, purchasing higher quality tools and consider more the value over the cost. That’s one thing I’ve learned from you know, we have this product in 13 different countries. Now, one thing I’ve learned from travels is there are many other viewpoints when evaluating a product across the world. And the one that I think that we resonate the most with and I think just makes the most sense when you really boil it down is is evaluating the value, not so much the cost, because sometimes people can see something like, oh my God, two hundred dollars for a tool for putting on cabinetry. That’s crazy.
Morris [00:10:08] I just want you to know that it’s coming to Christmas. And my email address is morris at on the house dot com.
James [00:10:18] You got it right around the corner. Don’t worry, I love it.
Morris [00:10:24] I’ve been I started as a contractor 43 years ago, and I’m rarely, rarely impressed with new offerings in the market, and I’ve spied your tool and I have to tell you that I’m terribly impressed and wish I had one. It really is nice.
James [00:10:44] I appreciate that.
Carol [00:10:45] Thank you for being here. We really appreciate it. Our thanks to you, James Laughlin, director of True Position Tools, for spending some time with us on this episode of CareyBrosPros. You can learn more about their organization and services at their website www.truepositiontools.com.
Morris [00:11:05] But remember, if you’re looking for information about any of our guests, as well as other products, videos and articles, just check out our website at CareyBrosPros dot com.