Three of us started business as Draftmasters Detailing and Design on April 21st 1995 in an old
house in Shiloh Georgia. It was a Monday! The dilapidated house was split into two small apartments. The original office
was set up in the front room of the one I rented. Neenah Yarbrough handled accounting and helped me out with sales. Lee
Shonfelt was our senior drafter and AutoCAD expert. When not working sales, Lee got me started learning AutoCAD and producing
The meager first attempt at sales was mailing a few hundred flyers. Contact names and information came
from the Blue Book, north Georgia “Atlanta” region. As with all up starts, the first year was slow and poor.
A little over $10,000 closed out the first year. Over the next year, business remained slow. Neenah dropped off first
going to work with a customer, then Lee left and went to work with an architect. I had invested too much and was in no
position to just walk away. The early days saw more than a few all nighters to finish and deliver jobs on time. Luckily
during our second year, 1996 we picked up two customers that are still with us today. ABR Millwork & Lumber, Smyrna,
GA. and Colonial Wood Products, West Haven, CT.
By year three my drafting skills and knowledge of AutoCAD were both developing rapidly. Customers were
pleased with the drawing quality, turn times and cost. The company name was changed to Quick Draw Drafting and advertising
began in trade magazines. In these early days Quick Draw ads were classified in the machinery section of directories.
"Professional Services" category did not exist but was soon added to accomodate our classified advertising. Prior
all advertising was labeled machinery or supplier.
Over time our customer base grew with jobs in major markets scattered
around the U.S. Thankfully the two shops mentioned above have continued to use us plus eight others for five years or
more . Our goal is building long term relationships with friendly knowledgeable service and quality drawings.
Quick Draw Drafting
In the middle nineties, customers were using Pattern
Systems for cutlisting. The late nineties Cabinetware and Cabinet Vision started taking hold. Our market began to shift
from cabinets to architectural millwork. Cabinet manufacturers were using their cutlisting software for shop drawings and
did not need our service anymore or so they thought. The shop drawings produced were poor quality and all to often rejected
by the architects. By two thousand the trend reversed back and we started to pick up more cabinet shops again. Soon a
new software program began its ascent, Microvellum.
Two thousand five, the office was moved to Greenville GA with Kevin Phillips and Casework Drafting. Time
to start advertising again, we needed to pick up the pace a little. While talking to people around the country, Microvellum
got mentioned regularly. All the Microvellum users I spoke with had a common problem, a bottleneck with shop drawings.
Many sales were lost because Microvellum users demanded Microvellum drawings, thinking submittals and engineering could be
a one step process. Fortunately for us several non Microvellum users came on board.
of years later three of our clients purchased Microvellum, so we decided to take the leap too. Our nieve hope was create
turn key jobs for our customers using Microvellum. Myself and another went with an engineer of one of our clients to Kansas
City for a week long training class. An eye opening experience and we all learned plenty. Emphasis was totally on engineering
with less than half a day spent drawing with the software. The first week back we each tried a job using Microvellum and
major flaws were discovered. Microvellum completing takes over AutoCAD and cripples all programming capability. LISP
is toast! Libraries are lacking many common items and the software is unstable and crashes multiple times daily.
Totally frustrating and slowed us down to a crawl. LISP is AutoCAD's built in programming language. This was like
putting us back in the stone age and doing quick turn jobs went out the window. Another limitation is
machining custom parts, if it is in the library great, if not, good luck.
The trend seems to be shifting once again. Customers realize
submittals and engineering is not a one step process. Drawings created with cut listing software are too time consuming
and lack the profession presentation needed for quick approvals. Just maybe using drafting software for drafting really is
the way to go.
In high school, my focus was more on shop classes than academics. Taking metals one and two, manufacturing
and welding one and two. At the end of my Junior year, one course requirement remained, US government, plus three electives
for graduation. Not wanting to waste my senior year with only four classes, the school counselor offered a possible option.
Attend summer school for the government class, then start trade school in the fall to satisfy the requirements for the
three elective classes. This was my ticket.
Fall quarter my senior year, I began a one year welding program.
For some reason the welding came easy. While most of the others were still in “the booth” practicing the basic
welding joints and positions, myself and another student were working with the instructors building projects. The metal
fabrication was diverse, stainless steel bread racks to building trailers and everything in between. By the time high school
graduation came around in early June and still only seventeen, my schedule was down to half days at trade school and working
full time on the second shift as a production welder at Pascoe Building Systems. Pascoe fabricated and shipped large metal
buildings, warehouses, airplane hangers, etc. Sometime during that summer quarter I certified on heavy plate in the vertical
up and overhead positions.
Turning eighteen the last day of August and still working the 4:00 to 12:00 shift welding. Tech School
graduation was over and mornings were now free. Working full time as a production welder did not satisfy the need of a
challenge. Next came flying. Before work the Columbus Airport filled my time and I started working towards my private
pilots liscense. Along the way my career path made a shift. January 1986 started my college and ROTC career. June 1989
marked college graduation with a BS in biology and an Air Force commision.
May of 1990 I reported to flight school at Williams
Air Force Base, Chandler, Arizona. A valuable lesson learned "SPEED IS LIFE", which I apply today with my
Returning home after the military, I taught high school two years before going to work for my Dad as
general manager. He and his partners company had the TMI casework distributorship for the state of Georgia. After being
in the cabinet business for only eighteen months and still very wet behind the ears about the cabinet business, Draftmasters
Detailing and Design began.