Probox – Timber Focus

Probox supply high quality kitchen and furniture manufacturers with dovetail drawers made from high grade solid timber with a wide selection of options, including walnut, beech, maple, oak and birch ply.

oak standard notched bespoke dovetail drawers

All timber focus is sourced responsibly and FSC certified solid wood drawers and accessories are available.

For all bespoke dovetail drawers each side has 150mm single stave across any timber. In other words all drawer sides up to a height of 150mm are made from a piece of solid timber. Any drawers made larger than this will have carefully selected joints to reach the required height. Staves are not jointed in their length.

At the beginning of the manufacturing process the Probox manufacturing team carefully select only A grade timber to make our dovetail drawers.  The high grade timber we use is designed to match the specification standard of high quality kitchen and furniture manufacturers. We believe that timber selection is crucial for making premium dovetail drawers.

One way to see the quality of the timber we select and the craftsmanship of our manufacturing is to order a sample dovetail drawer box. Please call 01280 825776 to order a sample.


Bespoke Spice Racks and Cutlery Trays

Buy Bespoke Oak Spice Rack Online

Probox is a trusted partner to kitchen manufactures for dovetail drawer boxes, saving customers time and money and delivering quality drawer boxes in immaculate condition. Probox also offers bespoke handmade spice racks, cutlery trays and other accessories.

Bespoke spice racks are made to fit on the back of kitchen cupboard doors. Regular heights are 600mm with 3 shelves, 900mm with 4 shelves and 1200mm with 5 shelves, but in reality Probox often make the spice racks to a bespoke height each time to match the kitchen spice racks requirements. The width of the spice rack is made to suit the width of the door where it’s being fitted.

The spice racks are available in a range of quality timbers including oak, walnut, maple, beech and birch ply. The spice racks are made with a Hoffman key joint and have a set of easy to use metal keyhole plates on the reverse, for simple fixing onto the cupboard door.

Kitchen manufacturers order bespoke spice racks from Probox as they can be extremely time consuming to make as a one off, but the manufacturing team at Probox save time as they have all the specialist equipment needed and regularly make spice racks based on a set design.

Cutlery inserts and trays plus utensil inserts and traysCutlery inserts and trays plus utensil inserts and trays are very popular. These are made in all Probox standard timbers. The trays are made with dovetail joints on the edges and the inserts come without a timber edge and use the sides of the drawer that it is placed in.

The inserts and trays can be made to a set template or made to a bespoke layout. Cutlery trays and inserts have a front horizontal compartment and multiple vertical compartments, whereas the utensil inserts and trays just have vertical (front-to-back) compartments. Utensil inserts and trays tend to have bigger compartments if possible.

Up to 450mm = 3 compartments
450mm to 550 = 4 compartments
550mm to 650mm = 5 compartments
650mm to 750mm = 6 compartments

The inserts and trays have a 6mm thick base screwed on with countersunk screws. They can also be made without bases if required, or with the base lined with synthetic baize (velour).
Other kitchen accessories are also available, including serving trays with 2 or 4 handle cut-outs made to bespoke sizes in Probox standard range of timbers. Custom made extras like knife-blocks and spice racks for kitchen can be included.

All accessories are handmade, sanded and lacquered with a 10% semi-matt sheen.

Order online or call T: 01280 825776


Classic Swift off the shelf solid timber dovetail drawers

Classic Swift off the shelf solid timber dovetail drawers

Probox are known for the quality of their bespoke solid timber dovetail drawers in a range of timbers, but Probox also offer a convenient off the shelf service.

These solid timber dovetail drawers are available in oak and are made to the same high standard as our bespoke range.  They are made in batches, in a range of sizes to suit standard carcase sizes and are ready to use (see sizes on the Classic Swift page).

The classic swift range are made from selected solid oak, the dovetails are precision cut and the drawers are finished with a high quality clear lacquer. Classic Swift drawers have stepped tops and are notched for preparation for use with most under-mount runners.

The Classic Swift range is used by professional joiners and cabinet makers, saving them time and cost, and allowing them to focus on other areas of their project.

As they are available in any quantity you can order as little as one drawer or a large batch from our stocks.

Benefits of Classic swift

  • Fast delivery, sent out from stock
  • Quality manufacture
  • Made from selected solid oak timber
  • A cost saving on bespoke dovetail drawers
  • Online ordering available
  • Full technical support available

Classic Swift drawers are sized to suit the under-mount runners from Blum and Grass (not for Hettich Quadro 4D V6)

Click here to order online.


Common dovetail drawer Q&A

What is a dovetail in a drawer?

A dovetail is a very strong joint used on the edge of each side of a drawer. Dovetail joints are noted for their tensile strength (resistance to being pulled apart) and their attractive appearance.  Dovetails can be cut to a number of different styles, but the most popular is the half blind traditional.

Quality dovetails are a key feature of Probox making plywood drawer boxes in UK.

 Shop dovetail drawers Online in UK

How to make dovetail drawers?

A wide variety of methods can be used to make dovetail plywood drawers. They are generally considered by the woodworking industry as time consuming and difficult to make. The dovetails can be cut by hand with dovetailing saw and chisel or you can use a dovetail jig and router.

Probox are known for the quality of their dovetail plywood joints and one of the best dovetail drawer box manufacturer, you can buy dovetail drawer boxes online. They are created by combining industrial fully computerised precision dovetail  machines and a hand gluing and finishing process.

By outsourcing dovetail drawers, kitchen and furniture manufacturers can focus on producing the other aspects of the bespoke kitchen or furniture, saving  the company time and enabling them to deliver their jobs more quickly.

Most dovetail machines produce dovetails of a standard pitch – most frequently 25mm. There is no problem with this at all, but the state-of-the-art dovetail machines that Probox use are CNC controlled providing variable common dovetail pitch that allows total freedom for the drawer heights.

Another advantage of the machinery at Probox is the ability to produce “traditional” dovetails with pins wider than the sockets. This makes the dovetail joints more hand crafted in appearance, and is favoured by cabinet makers trying to get away from a “mass-produced” image.

Solid Timber Drawer Boxes OnlineWhat is the best wood for making drawer boxes?

Solid timber is the best wood for the sides of making drawer boxes. At Probox we start with solid timber and remove the bark from the sides using special equipment before sanding the wood, dovetailing it and making it into a box.  Probox offer a range of solid wood types including oak, beech, maple or walnut. Another cheaper alternative is birch ply, this isn’t a solid wood, but it provides a nice finish and is popular mainly for drawers used for bedroom furniture.

birch ply drawer boxes UkIs plywood a solid wood?

Birch Ply is constructed using solid birch veneers and then overlaid with a quality birch face veneer on either side and offers a high quality face finish and a high structural stability. Birch Ply is not a solid wood, but it is a cheaper alternative, running at 25% cheaper than solid oak. The nature of the layers in the timber construction mean that dovetail joints reveal an aesthetically pleasing pattern from the end grain.

Ready made drawer boxes VS bespoke

Often, due to the bespoke nature of a kitchen or furniture project each set of drawer boxes is made bespoke to match that particular project. Selecting the matching timber type and the size of the drawer. Probox offer a range of off the shelf drawers called Classic Swift, these drawers are readymade and on the shelf, waiting for a quick dispatch. Probox also offer Eko, a drawer box kit with dowel joints in oak wood. Share your requirements with us!


Not all drawer runners are made equal

An important part of a new kitchen installation is the use of quality drawer runners. Basic or poor quality runners can have a significant impact on the “feel” of a kitchen.

Probox supply a range of quality kitchen drawer runners, all chosen to enhance the experience of a premium bespoke kitchen installation, with a smooth action and almost silent operation.

bespoke kitchen drawers installation UK

The most popular runners for wooden drawers are the under-mount soft-close runners from Blum, Grass and Hettich which are available on the Probox website, in a range of lengths and weight capacities. Some are available with push-to-open actions, usually without soft-close.

It is worth noting that when push-to-open runners are used on drawers 600mm and wider the runners on either side of the drawer need to be connected for synchronised operation.

Blum Tandem 

Blum Tandem offers concealed full extension with integrated Blumotion for silent and effortless closing action. Tool free height and integrated front tilt adjustment. This runner includes a Blumatic self-closing feature, which means the runner softly completes the close after a small push.

Standard capacity of 30kg per pair, also available in a heavy duty range of 50kg

Blum Movento Drawer Runners

This concealed runner system offers synchronised feather-light action, 4 dimensional front adjustment, weight capacities of 40 and 60 kg.

Blum Tip-On drawer runner

This offers a touch to open action. No handle is required on the drawer front, making this solution popular for modern kitchen designs. Available in a range of lengths and a weight capacity of 30kg or 50kg.

Grass Dynapro Drawer runners

Grass Dynapro has a mechanically-synchronised movement for each runner, ensuring a smooth action which guarantees the high end result that customers require. This runner offers soft close with two weight capacity options 40kg or 60kg.

Dynapro Tipmatic Drawer runners

This is the push-to-open version of the Dynapro runner, with the same smooth running action, and has a 40kg weight capacity.

Grass Dynamoov Drawer runners

Grass Dynamoov is an economical alternative for those who do not want to compromise on running performance. This soft close runner is popular for lighter capacity requirement s and allows for integrated height adjustment without tools. This has a 30kg weight capacity.

Hettich Quadro 4D V6 runners

Quadro 4D V6 high performance full extension runner with integrated Silent System soft close. This has a load capacity of up to 30kg with lengths up to 600mm drawer runners. Integrated 4-dimensional height, side, tilt and depth adjustment up to +/- 2 mm without the need for tools.

All of these runners are available for purchase on our website.

Q & A

What are drawer runners?

In older furniture, drawers were running on wooden bearers. The inevitable wear of both drawer and bearer soon made the drawer action difficult and problematic. The introduction of metal roller runners was a great improvement, and then the further development resulting in the modern soft-close under-mount runners offered by Probox significantly improves drawer action ensuring the smooth quality feel required in all modern fitted furniture.

What are soft close kitchen drawer runners?

Without a soft-close action the drawer close will be abrupt and harsh, usually with an unpleasant bang! The soft-close doesn’t affect the smoothness of the runner itself, but ensures that the final movement is slow and progressive. This is achieved by a gas-filled or oil-filled piston which slows the last part of the runner travel, bringing the drawer to a gentle stop.

What size drawer runner do I need?

This is dictated by the actual depth of the carcase, and the availability of the runners themselves.

How to measure to get the correct drawer runners?

Generally runner lengths are in 50mm increments (although some intermediate sizes are also available), and it is wise to have a gap of at least 10mm from the end of the runner to the back of the carcase.

How to fit drawer runners?

The drawer runner is screwed to the carcase. An adjuster clip is screwed to the underside of the drawer, either in a notch flush with the front of the drawer or into the back of the drawer front. The rear of the drawer is notched to allow the runner to fit flush with the underside of the base. Blum runners have a lug (or spigot) at the back which locates into a pre-drilled hole in the rear of the drawer. Grass Dynapro and Hettich runners have an adjuster fitting which screws to the rear of the drawer into which the lug on the runner is fitted.

Which runner do Probox recommend?

This is often personal choice. Blum, Grass and Hettich runners are all excellent quality. Blum has the name, which is well-earned, and they are used by many big manufacturers of quality furniture. Grass runners are also very well respected and used extensively in quality furniture. Hettich manufacture a vast range of furniture fittings, and the Quadro 4D V6 runners have a very nice smooth action and range of adjustment in no way inferior to the others.


New engraving service available at Probox Drawers

Probox, based near Buckingham is the UK’s leading supplier of solid timber drawer boxes. Probox have installed a CNC engraving machinemachine which allows clients to have engraved artwork drawers on their drawer boxes. This service can be used to enhance the boxes with a kitchen or furniture makers  branding or logo.

Other creative options for engraving could be labelling drawer fronts or box lids with words such as bread, cutlery engraving in kitchens or socks etc for bedroom furniture.

Daniel Wells, Director at Probox drawers commented “Engraving is a sort after service with our clients, allowing them to apply branding to drawers and add a point of difference”.
CNC engraving machine available in Probox UK
Probox installed the CNC engraving machine in UK is a new warehouse built for extra storage and to allow for this extra process.

Daniel added “End customers like to have the kitchen suppliers name on the side of their drawer boxes. It can be seen as mark of quality, showing  that the kitchen was hand crafted. It is also great advertising for the kitchen company, promoting more word of mouth leads as friends and family see the name”

Probox can engrave a variety of artworks from solid logos to intricate patterns. The artwork should be supplied as a solid black vector file.

The computerised CNC engraving machine offers precision positioning of engraved artwork, allowing large batches of drawer boxes to be produced with complete uniformity.

 Probox Drawers Ltd

The depth of the engraving can be varied within a design as desired. A popular finish is the main logo with a deeper engrave and smaller additional text with a finer effect.


David Hollis Bespoke Joinery and Cabinet Makers Saves Valuable Time With Probox Drawers

David Hollis Bespoke Joinery and Cabinet Makers based near Milton Keynes, have over 20 years’ experience building and installing bespoke crafted kitchens and furniture.
David Hollis has mainly grown his business through word of mouth from customers that are happy with his high quality kitchen installations and other projects, using only the finest materials. He also receives lots of enquires in response to the photo posts on Facebook showing completed work.

David Hollis Bespoke Joinery and Cabinet Makers

David Hollis uses Quest Hardware for his woodworking consumables, ironmongery and tools when making kitchens, wardrobes, bespoke cabinets joinery, timber windows and doors, book cases and stairs. All of which are shown in the vast gallery of project photos on Facebook.  David Hollis, commented “Facebook is a great way for us to show the quality of real projects we have worked on in the past. Each job we complete is bespoke to that customers requirements and we are always proud of the level of craftsmanship shown in each completed assignment.”

David Hollis often uses Probox for dovetail drawers on kitchen and furniture projects. Probox is a trusted partner of the kitchen and furniture industry and have dedicated, leading edge kitchens equipment and highly trained craftsmen creating dovetail drawer boxes in bespoke sizes.

 dovetail drawers on kitchen and furniture projectsDavid Hollis commented “Probox is one of our trusted suppliers because they make high end solid timber dovetail drawers that always arrive in perfect condition. When we make our drawers with Probox it allows us to deliver projects quickly and focus on making the kitchen or furniture and installing it”

Probox start the manufacturing process with a stringent timber selection process, using only quality solid timber that’s sourced responsibly, this continues throughout the manufacture of the drawer boxes, with quality checks after every process and final checks before dispatch.

Probox also offer FSC certified timber on request. Probox offer a range of material options including beech, oak, walnut, maple, birch plywood and many more. David Hollis, added “ I’m always impressed with the quality of the drawers and the prompt deliveries from Probox”.

Daniel Wells, Director at Probox commented “ Probox save our customers time and money on projects that require drawer boxes. We have earned our position as a trusted partner to the industry through delivering immaculate dovetail drawer boxes consistently on time and on budget ”. Request for a Quote now!FacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedintumblrFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedintumblr

5 Points About Dovetail Joints

1. What is a dovetail joint?

A dovetail joint is a joinery technique used in woodworking, traditionally used to joint wooden furniture.
Dovetail joints are known for their inherent strength and resistance to being pulled apart (tensile strength). A dovetail joint has a series of pins and tails in a trapezoidal shape and once glued a dovetail joint has no need for mechanical fasteners.
Dovetail joints as a technique predate written history and have been found inside the tombs of ancient Egyptian mummies.
All Probox Classic Bespoke and Classic Swift drawer boxes have use of dovetail joints. Dovetails are considered a signature of craftsmanship and are an attractive feature of all Probox Bespoke and Classic range drawers.

2. Why use of dovetail joint on a drawer box?

Dovetail joints are very strong by design and they also offer an attractive finish that is a true sign of craftsmanship. Professionally cut and glued dovetail joints are virtually impossible to separate.

3. How do you make a dovetail joint?

Dovetail joints are traditionally cut by hand with a saw and chisel. Probox achieve precision cut dovetails on leading edge machines. As part of the set up the dovetailing machine is programmed with the exact drawer box height and style of dovetail required, then it quickly and efficiently cuts dovetails before the craftsman hand glues and finishes the drawer.

4. What types of dovetail joints are there?

There are lots of types of dovetail joints, but the most popular at Probox are;

Standard or Traditional pins and tails

Standard dovetail joints have evenly spaced cut pins and tails, traditional dovetails have wide cut pins and smaller tails.
Standard cut pins and tails offer more strength in the drawer, traditional are not quite so strong but are often specified because of their traditional finish.

Half- blind dovetail joint

Probox drawers are most commonly made with half-blind dovetail joints, as these dovetail joint uses are inherently strong, economical and very attractive. With a half-blind joint the end grain is not visible from the front end, the tails are housed in sockets in the ends of the board forming the front of the drawer. These dovetail joints are only seen at the side of the drawer.

throughThrough dovetail joint

A through dovetail joint uses is where the end grain of both boards is visible where the joint is assembled, creating a stunning dovetail effect from all sides of the box. This very strong joint is also sometimes known as a lapped, English, or plain dovetail.

5. What size will my dovetails be?

Some dovetailing machines out there will only produce 25mm dovetails, but the precision dovetail machines at Probox vary the size of the dovetail to suit the size of the drawer box.
The size of the dovetail itself is worked out by our precision cutting machine and this would be dependent on the height of the box. Half blind dovetail joints are by far the most popular as they are more cost effective to make than through dovetail joints.FacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedintumblrFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedintumblr

What makes a high quality drawer box

Manufacturing a Quality Dovetailed Drawer Box

Probox selects the best quality wood timber for drawers to help our craftsmen create quality dovetailed drawer boxes with a superior finish. We know exactly what makes a top drawer, and that’s why our customers choose our products. Our drawers are made using state-of-the-art machinery and go through strict quality control procedures. This means our customers get the best wood for kitchen drawers selection, flawless lacquering, and a stunning finish.

When thinking about the specification of your drawer box, make sure you keep these things in mind:

· Timber selection
· Accuracy of machining and assembly
· Quality of the cut
· Superior finish

If you work with Probox, these are all things we will manage on your behalf.

Choosing a Timber

The type of best wood for drawers specified is primarily down to personal choice and style. However different woods have a range of characteristics which should be considered to ensure you receive what you’re expecting. For instance, Walnut has a high percentage of sap in the wood which is light and can give a streaky appearance.  The reason why walnut is more expensive than oak is due to the high percentage of waste to ensure the even colour that most customers expect. A cheaper walnut drawer may often have irregular stripes and colours, so it’s always a good idea to invest in high quality walnut.

Given the popularity of oak, we use both American White Oak and European Oak as standard, and supplied either lacquered or unfinished. American oak can be more consistent in colour grain pattern, whilst its European cousin is marginally darker with a more-pronounced grain. We use mostly crown-cut oak; quarter-sawn oak can also be used but it is a more expensive option.
It’s important to recognise that wood is a natural material so the natural properties, such as grain and tone, may vary greatly per piece. We try to select timber with fewer knots unless this is a desired characteristic of your selected timber.

Hardwoods are the best choice of wood for drawers boxes, with oak being a popular choice at present but Walnut, Maple, Ash, Birch, Beech, Cherry, Tulipwood (Poplar) and Cedar are all great choices.  If you need to trim the budget ask Probox about the smart new Birch Ply drawers or specify a softwood such as Pine drawer boxes.

A Duty to Detail

The sides of a drawer are typically 13 or 15mm thick and made from single panel of wood (a stave). If the drawer is over a certain height the wood panel is made from a few staves that have been joined securely together. The higher the quality of the wood panel, the larger the stave and better colour/grain matching – this means less visible joins.

When constructing your drawer box we ensure a tight accurate joint, firmly glued together so there are no unsightly gaps or glue residue. We use a base of 9mm – 10mm and cut grooves into all four sides to ensure a tight, strong supportive base.

A Quality Finish

There should never be any drips or lines on a lacquered box – it should always be a smooth finish. We use two coats of child-safe lacquer to protect the wood for drawer boxes, de-nibbing between each coat, giving an even sheen to the overall finish of your drawer box.

‘The details are not the details. They make the design.’ Charles Eames

Machine cutting ensures high quality dovetails

Machine cutting ensures high quality dovetails

Assembly of dovetail drawer box

Assembly of dovetail drawer box

Hand lacquered and finished drawers

Hand lacquered and finished drawers


What’s NEW from Probox – KBB 2016

Probox demonstrated its breadth of technical expertise and new manufacturing capability at this year’s KBB alternative show with a display of curved fronts, shapes, glass fronted panels and beautiful dovetailed drawers in a choice of high quality timbers.  They also launched a timber alternative to metal kitchen drawer boxes which showcases the beauty of dovetails.

Dovetail drawer boxes signify quality in furniture and take time and expertise to create, so it can save money to outsource the manufacture to Probox.  As the leading supplier they produce bespoke boxes quickly and to a very high standard.   As specialists, they produce solid wood drawers and accessories in any timber, size and specification, with precision cut dovetails smoothly finished, lacquered and ready for installation.

In 2016, Probox added a Birch ply to their standard portfolio which enables designers to offer a dovetail drawer box as a competitive alternative to metal.  This ensures that the furniture or kitchen retains its bespoke feel yet is differentiated against other mainstream retailers that may use metal boxes as standard. Birch is made even stronger by a ply composition, and when cut and used as a dovetail, perfectly highlights the precision and quality of this joint. It looks particularly attractive when used with contemporary finishes.

‘Just as kitchen designers are always looking for new ways to offer something unique and special to their clients, Probox has innovation and quality at its heart,’ says Probox Director Mark Wells.  ‘Bespoke dovetail drawers are a beautiful addition to any kitchen, and Probox birch ply drawers give designers an opportunity to remain competitive yet still ensuring a high quality stylish product.’

dovetailed drawers online ukProbox Bespoke Birch Ply Online UKBespoke dovetail drawers Online from ProboxBuy Online Bespoke Dovetail Drawers

Please contact Probox to discuss your project in person and request a quotation for bespoke products and accessories.


01280 825776

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