Our construction methods
Lessons in wood
All wood is hydroscopic. I know that sounds dull and boring, however, what it means is it has a moisture content which is permanently affected by changes in relative humidity. This results in seasonal changes in the dimension of the timber which continue throughout the life of the wood. The amount of movement varies considerably between different species of wood.
Because most of expansion and contraction is in its width and thickness, not in its length, frame and panel construction works best with solid timber. Therefore, doors are traditionally made with a frame and a panel. It also follows that the panel in the door should be fully polished or painted before it is placed in the frame so that it never shows any signs of movement.
We use many methods when working with solid timber to dramatically reduce the effects of movement. However, it is impossible for anybody to guarantee against seasonal changes.
There are several methods of constructing wooden furniture, none are superior to the methods we use which are found in antiques which have lasted hundreds of years.
Here we show the most common method used by our competitors which is a scribe joint. This is used purely for speed of manufacture only.
Broken scribe joint:
This scribe joint can be taken apart simply tapping it diagonally, showing the fragility of the joint.
Mortice and tenon joint:
We use full depth motice and tenon construction which takes longer but provides a large bonded surface area and is close to indestructible.
Because our doors are substantial, we only supply them with traditional butt hinges which are recessed into both the framework and door. This is the method used on most quality front doors as it has always been the strongest possible method.
On our carcass furniture, including kitchens and cabinets, we use a properly jointed, full face frame construction 30mm in thickness.
Many of our competitors offer what looks like a face frame construction but the frames aren’t jointed, they are simply planted onto the carcass. This does not make their carcass rigid or strong.
Our drawers are constructed using proper dovetails at the front and the back. This has been shown, throughout hundreds of years, to be superior to any other method that anybody offers.
Our preferred method of construction is solid wood throughout. However, to reduce cost, particularly on fitted furniture and kitchens, we build carcasses with a moisture resistant plywood.
We have never used chipboard for the construction of furniture. We prefer not to use MDF, however, if people wish to reduce costs on polished wood furniture, we can use veneered MDF for parts of the carcass construction. Sometimes, it is better to use a high-grade MDF for painted finishes.
However, when we do this, we only ever use the top-grade moisture resistant MDF.