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Product Focus: Bespoke Walnut Dovetail Drawers

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Walnut is an increasingly popular, luxurious timber choice for kitchen designers. This deep and dark wood species has been traditionally associated with chateaus libraries or high end wine cellars. By choosing walnut customers can incorporate this sophistication into the centre of their home.

Walnut is very long-standing and this hardwood species is a great choice for surviving the everyday life of a kitchen. Probox use A grade solid timber to make walnut dovetail drawers.

Walnut is sometimes used throughout a kitchen design or coupled with fresh white cabinets, bringing a craft, traditional element to an otherwise minimal kitchen. Walnut also twins with silver, bronze or painted designs, as well as many other options.

Walnut dovetail drawers are made bespoke, with options such as notched to accept runners, shaped sides, stepped into edges, handle cut out front.  These options also apply to oak, beech, maple and birch ply bespoke dovetail drawers.

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Probox also offer runners, with a wide selection to choose from including brands such as Grass and Blum.

Some kitchen designers specify FSC walnut dovetail drawers and we can provide this, as Probox is FSC certified.

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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 drawer boxes.

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How to make dovetail drawers?

A wide variety of methods can be used to make dovetail 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 joints. 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 pitch dovetails 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.

walnutWhat is the best wood for drawer boxes?

Solid timber is the best wood for the sides of 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 plyIs 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.

 

 

 

 

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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.

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David Hollis uses Quest Hardware for his woodworking consumables, ironmongery and tools when making kitchens, wardrobes, bespoke cabinets, 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 equipment and highly trained craftsmen creating dovetail drawer boxes in bespoke sizes.

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David 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 ”.

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What makes a high quality drawer box

Manufacturing a Quality Dovetailed Drawer Box

Probox selects the best quality timber 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 timber 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 wood 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, 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.

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, 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

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