Nearly every time we stop in at our Special Projects Division cabinet shop, the guys are working on a bunch of new innovations and figuring out better ways to build cabinets. It’s pretty darn exciting to see the sawdust flying and new modern design taking shape. It’s also fun to share what’s going on in the SPD shop, here’s the recent scoop:
The new mini “Wine Box” cabinet is a new prototype in the SPD furniture line that integrates counter top material (in this case ½” Meganite) with our signature kerf plate connection and a walnut face paneling. The cabinet sits on the ground or can be wall mounted. The door panel on the right conceals a moveable shelf for your wine decanter, glasses, cork screw, etc. It’s a modern way to display a handful of nice bottles for those of us that don’t have a wine cellar in the basement.
Often on jobs, we need to assemble things, take them apart, and reassemble them to get the right fit, or to allow for the proper construction sequencing. A good example of this is our cabinet end panels that extend fully to the floor. Ideally, the panels should be removed for the floor finishing, so that the hardwood sub-contractor doesn’t have to work around a bunch of cabinet panels to give the floor a nice, consistent finish. Taking the panels off and putting them back on a few times with conventional wood screws tends to loosen-up the connections over time. Subsequently, we’ve been using quick disconnect screws for some cabinet components (like end panels). The quick disconnect allows the panels to be easily popped off as many times as we like without jeopardizing the integrity of the connections.
The device below is so hot off the press, it doesn’t even have a name –so we’re calling it the “comb”. It’s installed on the bottom of a cabinet drawer and attaches to the face panel to give the assembly a little extra rigidity, but it still allows lateral movement of the cabinet face for fine-tuning. Thanks to Blum for this little gadget.
The SPD adjustable legs are in full production. We’ve combined them with our magnetic toe-kicks and the “smart-base” is our new standard.
We often run into situations where the square footage of a kitchen doesn’t allow a full walk-in pantry. Subsequently, we’ve been designing cabinets using the Blum Tandembox-Plus line of pantry pull-outs that fit into the composition of the cabinet package. The pantry below is concealed behind a 2/3rds height door, with a Blum HL (lift-up) door and a Blum HS (stay-lift) door at the bays above. The slide-out bins give full access to the pantry while keeping it compact.
Same goes for coat closets –some existing houses just don’t have the space for a fully framed closet. To tackle this issue, we’ve been building a larger series of cabinet boxes to store coats and blend into the entry area. In the example below, the coat closet sits adjacent to the front door and seamlessly wraps into the kitchen cabinets. The aesthetics are functional and deliberate. For a cost-effective assembly on the interior box, we’ve used laminated Europly which provides a clean, modern edge profile.
With modern design, intentional reveals are an important component because, among other things, they conceal material breaks within the shadow line. This is very applicable to cabinet design, where one material ends and another begins, all within plain view. Creating these reveals can be a time consuming process if it’s another part or layer to be added to the package. So lately, we’ve been exploring edge-banding that has a built-in reveal. It saves time in the shop and creates a clean reveal. The assembly below shows the top cap edge-banding with built-in reveal prior to the countertop being installed. This particular reveal hides the gap between the countertop and the end panel.
As much as we like the look of quarter-sawn, sequenced walnut, there are situations where it can be a bit too much. In the cabinet package below, we’ve used Euro-ply doors with gray laminate to match the tone of the refrigerator (to be installed later on site). This breaks the materials up into regions but still frames the refrigerator bay with walnut for a seamless integration with the overall package.
With our added shop space we now have the square footage for full 1:1 mock-ups of kitchen packages. This comes in handy for material selections. The setup below compares the cabinet package with a few different countertop types and colors. Nothing beats making decisions with the real variables in front of you.
Cheers from team SPD and team BUILD