Assembling a rigid small cabinet using dowels and glue

The recommended method for assembling our cabinetry is dowels and screws. We pre-drill the dowel holes in the factory so the cabinetry can be put together fast and cleanly.

Sometimes when the application requires invisible fixings and the outsides of the cabinets will be show faces then using glue is an option.

This works well for small cabinets as whenever you work with glue you need to be fast and be able to work cleanly.

Free standing Birch Ply wardrobes

With this wardrobe project the customer wanted to use their own choice of feet. This essentially creates a free standing set of wardrobes but dimensioned to fit exactly in the alcove space. When undertaking something like this, ensure you leave enough space either side.

For handles we have drilled 35mm diameter holes to create finger pulls. The doors and drawer faces are inset in the carcass to highlight the laminations of the Birch Ply edges.

Our cabinetry used in industry

We have a wide range of customers – whoever needs bespoke cabinetry. And this is a real example of a bespoke cabinet.

Bespoke cabinet containing AIS equipment
Bespoke cabinet containing AIS equipment

The customer makes AIS (automatic identification system) equipment for maritime use and they needed to make a test rig. AIS reports a ship’s name, position and course.

We supplied the cabinetry with a number of features:

  • cutouts in the doors to hold the AIS units
  • heavy duty hinges to support the additional door weight
  • cutouts to house ventilation fans
  • machining for electronic door locks – it’s so annoying when someone messes with your AIS settings isn’t it?
Cutouts in cabinet door and top panel
Cutouts in cabinet door and top panel
The CNC machining process produces crisp cutouts
The CNC machining process produces crisp cutouts

The material chosen is Egger U999 ST9 Black. Quite a dramatic material which we use in special applications like this or home cinema cabinetry.

Mirrored bathroom cupboard in white MFC

Mirrored bathroom unit

The mirror is bonded to the door with mirror adhesive.

mirrored cabinet

You notice that the mirror is a tick smaller than the door so there are no sharp edges to catch.

If you are within the M25, we can arrange sourcing of the mirror as well as the bonding to the door.

If you’re further afield or you’d like to do the job yourself, bring your door into a local glazier for them to cut mirror glass to size. Either ask them to bond the mirror or acquire some mirror adhesive:

https://www.orbitalfasteners.co.uk/products/everbuild-mirror-mate-sealant-and-adhesive-white-310ml

Tall sloping ceiling cupboard

Tall sloping ceiling cupboard

Here the client chose Cordoba Olive for the tall and deep floor to (sloping) ceiling cupboard. Tip-on modules on drawer units and doors create a clean look. The cupboard comprises of several large units.

The bottom part of the cupboard is divided between a large cupboard area with shelves behind 2 doors to the left. And 4 large tip-on drawers, with varying depth, getting bigger from top to bottom, large enough to hold big toys.

The upper part of the cupboard comprises of several shelving units behind tip-on doors, as well as a large cubby hole type space, large enough to hold a good sized TV screen.

The doors of the top cabinets are all hinged on the right. Hinging on the left would mean that the doors would hit the ceiling on being opened.

The top door near the wall features 155degree hinges, so to allow the doors to open wide, for easy access.

Birch Ply Wardrobe

The Birch Ply aesthetic with visible laminations on the edge is popular and this project highlights the aesthetic to the full.

The installation comprises five separate units bolted together and where they join we get a double thickness that conveys of a re-assuring sense of solidity.

Each cabinet has ‘inset’ frontages so rather than the door or drawer faces covering the cabinet sides/top/bottom edges it is situated within the cabinet edges.

For handles we routed rectangular cutouts which is a process we can do with Birch Ply or MDF.

What is bespoke fitted furniture?

Bespoke fitted furniture is furniture made exactly for the space in which it is installed.

Made to fit a space means:

  • for floor to ceiling units the height is the exact floor to ceiling height (minus a space to make the fitting easier but then you will get an exact size filler piece for the gap)
  • for units under a sloping ceiling the angle is chosen to exactly match the sloping ceiling
  • the units have cutouts for the socket/pipes etc that may be in the room
  • choose any material you like
  • mix the materials as you please (different materials for doors, cabinets, drawers etc)
  • integrate the features that you want e.g shoe racks, TVs, ironing boards etc
  • all the material preparation is done in the factory not on site so the finishing quality is high

There are two types of furniture that sometimes get confused with the term ‘bespoke’:

  • off the shelf furniture (e.g Ikea) that has been modified by a carpenter. Typically off the shelf furniture has been designed for mass production and ease of transport so it lacks the structural integrity to tolerate substantial modification.
  • custom size furniture. Large parts of the furniture supply chain don’t want to hold stock so the furniture only gets made when there is a customer order. Within this system is the opportunity to customise the height, width and depth dimensions so it starts to offer some of the sizing benefits of bespoke.

Which material is good for wardrobes?

Often people will ask us which is the best material for making wardrobes.

The short answer is:

“The best material to use for fitted wardrobes is 18mm thick Melamine Faced Chipboard (MFC)”

0Wardrobe in white MFC comprising two sets of hanging space and a central cabinet with shelves

We can make your wardrobes in a wide range of materials ranging from MDF to real wood veneers to high gloss acrylic. What makes MFC ‘best’?

Short answer again:

  • appearance
  • quality
  • cost

But I want my wardrobes in real wood!

Real wood is used to a much lesser extent in fitted furniture. This is because

  • real wood is expensive
  • it needs finishing (varnish etc)
  • it can move/bend if used in solid pieces.

Wood movement can be mitigated by using real wood veneers with an MDF core. But even then the relative increased cost and the need for finish means MFC is preferred.

Tambour kitchen cupboard door

A tambour door is one that rolls up. This is an ideal solution for a cupboard with items which are frequently used during cooking or baking as content is accessible whilst the door is up – without a door being in the way. Once the tambour door is down, all is hidden and out of sight.



A tambour door works well as well as a door for a wall-hung unit that comes right down on  to the worktop – i.e. toaster or kettle on the worktop are quickly hidden behind the roll-up door for a clean-look kitchen counter.