Author Topic: Recommendations for self-standing cupboard materials?  (Read 6586 times)

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Offline Reiska

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  • Hackers build things, Crackers break them.
Recommendations for self-standing cupboard materials?
« on: July 14, 2014, 05:29 AM »
I'm planning on building self-standing wardrobes (2000 x 2300mm x 600mm) in our bedroom and I'm wondering what material thicknesses one should use for it?

My default material would be birch plywood but should the carcass be built of 12mm, 15mm, 18mm or 21mm ply and what would you use for drawers?

What would you suggest for slider hardware for 1000mm wide and 600mm deep drawers? Weight load might not be too much since they will be filled with Tees, socks and underwear, but a smooth sliding mechanism with that wide drawers doesn't seem easy to achieve.

I have the LR32 system so if some hardware happens to use the system holes I can make them easily enough if planned for from the start. I also have a domino so that would be my tool of choice for joinery supported with pocket hole screws for added strength.
The sky's the limit in my workshop, literally. [big grin]

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Offline Sparktrician

  • Posts: 3630
Re: Recommendations for self-standing cupboard materials?
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2014, 06:40 AM »
I'd go with 18mm for the carcass and shelves and use 12mm for the drawer boxes (12mm for the drawer bottoms and 18mm for the drawer fronts).  I use Accuride glides, but suspect that Blum would be more available in Finland.  I'd be reluctant to make drawers 1m wide. 

- Willy -

 "Remember, a chip on the shoulder is a sure sign of wood higher up." - Brigham Young

Offline bryan1982

  • Posts: 128
Re: Recommendations for self-standing cupboard materials?
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2014, 06:47 AM »
 Hi there

You cant go wrong with blum hardware.
For a wardrobe I would be using tendom for wood drawers making your own different heights to suit your needs.

As for construction methods im alway intrigued at the way people from all parts of the globe make things.

Here in aus we make a box eg 600mm wide by 720 heigh 560deep using 16mm board.

The sides would be 720x544
Bottom 568x544
Rail 568x 100 one front one back at the top
Back 720x 599

Screw the boxes together from the out side I sometimes use 30mm brads 18g to tac the side on then say 4x 45mm screws on each side at tge bottom to assemble it together
Screw cabinets together if you have a seen end then attactch a panel ( screw from the inside eg  16mm board I would use 28mm pozi screws )

If you are making a piece of furniture domino it up but for making cabinets kitchen wardrobe office use this method.

I hope this helps

Cheers

Bryan

Offline jonny round boy

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Re: Recommendations for self-standing cupboard materials?
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2014, 01:08 PM »
I'd be reluctant to make drawers 1m wide. 

1m wide shouldn't be any problem. I use blum's 566H runners for these (50kg, soft close, full extension).
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Offline grbmds

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Re: Recommendations for self-standing cupboard materials?
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2014, 01:27 PM »
Substitutes may not be available in Finland for Blum or Accuride slides. However, I have used Centerline (may be a Rockler specific brand though) - full extension 100 lb slides - much less expensive than Blum and also less expensive than Accuride. All I'm saying is that you should do some research to determine if there are other brands of full extension slides in your country that would be comparable to Blum and/or Accurde but less expensive. I'm sure others would say you should go for less expensive hardware but, as I said, I found these Centerline slides to be great quality-just like the others and I was using them in too very heavy duty situations-workshop drawers and a large kitchen drawer which hold pots and pans (also a lot of weight). If no good alternatives are available there, then, of course, use a name brand.
Randy

Offline Reiska

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Re: Recommendations for self-standing cupboard materials?
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2014, 05:12 AM »
I can readily source Blum Movento and Tandembox underslides and Grass Dynapro underslides. Of Accurides I can only get 3832 series side mounting slides.
The sky's the limit in my workshop, literally. [big grin]

Offline Oldwood

  • Posts: 334
  • Alberta, Canada
Re: Recommendations for self-standing cupboard materials?
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2014, 09:26 AM »
Hi,
I would use 18mm for cabinets 15mm for drawer front back and sides & 12 for drawer bottoms. I would use Blum movento guides.

Gerry
Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance.
Confucius

Offline Reiska

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  • Hackers build things, Crackers break them.
Re: Recommendations for self-standing cupboard materials?
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2014, 08:57 AM »
This may be a silly question, but if you pro's would be building a pair of custom wardrobes like this with five drawers each (Blum Tip-On's), and a single hanger pipe/rack in the top with walnut stain & spray lacquer on the carcass, wood edge banding on visible edges and glossy white paint on the drawer fronts.

How much would you put as a price tag for this? Or maybe how long would you estimate a project like this would take to build?

For local material pricing comparison: furniture grade 18mm birch plywood costs ~70€/2440x1220 sheet and 15/12mm slightly less, I can mail order the Blum Movento Tip-On slides from Germany for 700€ for the lot and the paint, stain & lacquer probably costs max. 300€ from the hardware store. Add to that an extra 500€ for odds and ends like pulls, door hinges, edge banding and two panes of frosted glass for the doors and I still can't get much over 2000€ in materials and that is rounding heftily up... And the prices above are normal box store prices for the hardware and materials so a company would get the materials with a discount between 10-30% from the wholesalers which I cannot access.

I asked for a quote from a local carpentry shop just to do a reality check if they can build one for a reasonable enough price that it's not worth my time to build these myself and now I'm floored with their quote of 6900€ for the project.
The sky's the limit in my workshop, literally. [big grin]

Offline Sparktrician

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Re: Recommendations for self-standing cupboard materials?
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2014, 09:34 AM »
You know what materials you'd use, so price them, add appropriate taxes and add 40%.  Then estimate the number of hours to build it and assign a reasonable labor rate.  Add the two and double the result and see if you come close. 

- Willy -

 "Remember, a chip on the shoulder is a sure sign of wood higher up." - Brigham Young

Offline Reiska

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Re: Recommendations for self-standing cupboard materials?
« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2014, 02:35 PM »
Yikes, your formula for profit definitely sounds like you have a jolly good margin on your projects or you are super pessimistic about your estimates Spacktrian!

If I tally the numbers correctly that would be a 80% markup on materials and a 100% markup on labor. Even taking into account of employment overhead costs for labor (1.5x salary) that's still an unheard of profit margin in any business area outside of consulting and making mega-hit games for cell phones.

So going by your formula
- a rough estimate for material would be ~2100€ -> 2950€ with 40% margin (wholesale would probably be closer to 1500€)
- Would 40 hours be enough to cut, paint and build such a cupboard? @ 150€/day (a good 3000€/month used as a reasonable paycheck) that would add up to 750€ for labor
-> That would end up being 7500€ @ ((3000€ + 750€) *2) if I understood your formula correctly.

So I guess the quoted 6900€ is actually a bargain! xD

Seriously speaking that still doesn't sound anywhere near reasonable - heck I could just about take an unpaid month off work, pay retail for the materials and still be left with change compared to the quote I got.

No wonder carpenters/furniture makers don't have work in Finland and we are stuck with Ikea stuff... (I calculated the Ikea price for this cupboard with the difference of having internal drawers, sliding glass doors and material being melamine particle board ended up with a total price of 970€ incl. taxes)
The sky's the limit in my workshop, literally. [big grin]

Offline grbmds

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Re: Recommendations for self-standing cupboard materials?
« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2014, 04:16 PM »
Yeah but you could make it yourself, right? I thought that's why you were asking about materials to begin with. I realize, of course, that, with a regular job, that is a long-term project. I' ve been there myself and it sometimes takes too long for that to be an option, but it would certainly save money. It wouldn't be chrap here in the US if you went for a known quality company.
Randy

Offline Reiska

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Re: Recommendations for self-standing cupboard materials?
« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2014, 01:42 AM »
Yes, I can make this myself and why I asked around for a quote was because the missus would rather have my company during summer vacation than have me spend those three weeks in the shop building this. With the crazy quotes I've gotten it does look like its cheaper for me to take unpaid time off work to build this than have it custom built.
The sky's the limit in my workshop, literally. [big grin]

Offline BMH

  • Posts: 365
Re: Recommendations for self-standing cupboard materials?
« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2014, 04:23 AM »
I have gone to high density particle board with melanine finish and then clad it with plywood with the correct veneer. Decreases the amount of finishing you need to do. I suspect a large part of the price is staining and coating the end project.

Offline grbmds

  • Posts: 1798
Re: Recommendations for self-standing cupboard materials?
« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2014, 08:13 AM »
Yes, I can make this myself and why I asked around for a quote was because the missus would rather have my company during summer vacation than have me spend those three weeks in the shop building this. With the crazy quotes I've gotten it does look like its cheaper for me to take unpaid time off work to build this than have it custom built.

Always good to check. For some things, being with the family is a better choice even  though you'd get satisfaction from making it. It is always a tough choice. While I've made the choice to do remodel work on my house or make something during my vacation years ago, there are some projects that would have been better left to a professional and my time better spent with the family. Good luck!
Randy

Offline Tim Raleigh

  • Posts: 3522
    • Oakville Cabinetry
Re: Recommendations for self-standing cupboard materials?
« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2014, 04:26 PM »
Yes, I can make this myself and why I asked around for a quote was because the missus would rather have my company during summer vacation than have me spend those three weeks in the shop building this. With the crazy quotes I've gotten it does look like its cheaper for me to take unpaid time off work to build this than have it custom built.

When you go on a fishing (for prices) trip, you get always get a whale of a price.

Offline Tim Raleigh

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    • Oakville Cabinetry
Re: Recommendations for self-standing cupboard materials?
« Reply #15 on: July 23, 2014, 05:10 PM »
If I tally the numbers correctly that would be a 80% markup on materials and a 100% markup on labor. Even taking into account of employment overhead costs for labor (1.5x salary) that's still an unheard of profit margin in any business area outside of consulting and making mega-hit games for cell phones.

Based on your overhead costs for labor estimate, he should be charging 150% markup on labor instead of 100%.

No wonder carpenters/furniture makers don't have work in Finland and we are stuck with Ikea stuff...

With the rate of unemployment (9.2%) and huge amount of paperwork and government hoops to start a business in Finland, the probability that carpenters and furniture makers are out of work is not surprising. The Finnish economy is not in good shape and it's a macroeconomic issue not a microeconomic issue. In other words, in weak economy the purchase of durable goods are often delayed or substituted.

(I calculated the Ikea price for this cupboard with the difference of having internal drawers, sliding glass doors and material being melamine particle board ended up with a total price of 970€ incl. taxes)

Comparing Ikea to a custom made piece of furniture is completely incorrect and unfair to your local cabinet maker and to Spartican's response.

Offline Reiska

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Re: Recommendations for self-standing cupboard materials?
« Reply #16 on: July 24, 2014, 08:54 AM »
Sorry for the punch under the belt (Ikea comparison).

I didn't intend to compare a custom build to Ikea and did try to document how much worse materials and design was available through them to make it clear that I wasn't comparing apples to apples.

Why I brought it up was that there isn't any realistic middle price offerings on the market between the 1k€ Ikea offering and the 4.5k€ offerings from kitchen shops (still made out of melamine particle board for that price but in our design) and custom carpenters 7k€ (carcas made of 18mm ply and MDF for fronts and doors).

Based on my material cost estimation of abt. 2k€ with all possible trimmings included I was expecting the work to add maybe another 1500-2000€ to the price custom made - not 5000€!

That sort of money for labour means that I'd be paying a full months worth of full time work for the carpenter including all related employer fees and I just can't believe that building something this simple can take a month to build in a professional shop.
The sky's the limit in my workshop, literally. [big grin]

Offline Tim Raleigh

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    • Oakville Cabinetry
Re: Recommendations for self-standing cupboard materials?
« Reply #17 on: July 24, 2014, 11:54 AM »
Sorry for the punch under the belt (Ikea comparison).

It is often made. Comparing the price of similar products is good practice. If you are serious about hiring a cabinet maker, I would recommend calling some others and getting a quote.

I didn't intend to compare a custom build to Ikea and did try to document how much worse materials and design was available through them to make it clear that I wasn't comparing apples to apples.
I admire Ikea and think they are doing a good job at what they do. In many cases the materials they use are not poor quality. There is inconsistency in their material and connector selections. The biggest problem with Ikea is their success. Many people who cannot or should not be assembling furniture do it incorrectly and this leads to many of the problems and complaints against Ikea.

Why I brought it up was that there isn't any realistic middle price offerings on the market between the 1k€ Ikea offering and the 4.5k€ offerings from kitchen shops (still made out of melamine particle board for that price but in our design) and custom carpenters 7k€ (carcas made of 18mm ply and MDF for fronts and doors).

Particle board has gotten a bad rap because of Ikea and cheap Chinese knock off's. Poorly designed, constructed and assembled plywood and MDF is just as bad as particle board.

Based on my material cost estimation of abt. 2k€ with all possible trimmings included I was expecting the work to add maybe another 1500-2000€ to the price custom made - not 5000€!

That sort of money for labour means that I'd be paying a full months worth of full time work for the carpenter including all related employer fees and I just can't believe that building something this simple can take a month to build in a professional shop.

You may be confusing or misusing the term "labour" when you mean overhead. Like I mentioned in my last post the cost of doing business in Finland make domestic products and services expensive.

It's a wonder anyone can afford anything based on the taxes you have to pay. In Finland after tax dollars are ever more precious.

On the other hand the notion that furniture should be "inexpensive" or "affordable" and is disposable is a relatively modern concept. In the past, paying the  equivalent of a months salary for a new piece of furniture may have been a bargain.

Tim