High-density chipboard: for secure fixtures and fittings

Question from Nick: Can you tell me what your carcass material and thickness is? Also, please can you tell me what edge protection (especially the bottoms) is used, and the method of joining in the factory (e.g. glue, screw, dowel etc). Thank you.

I’m delighted to see you’re investigating so closely such important details.

Our carcasses, although I prefer to call them cabinets, are made from HDC (high-density chipboard) – not to be confused with medium or even low-density alternatives. The advantage of using HDC is that it is better able to hold a screw and is therefore the perfect material for holding that screw securely. When you stop to consider how many items end up being screwed to a cabinet – for example, hinges, drawer runners, handles and a myriad of internal accessories – you appreciate how important this particular quality is.

Difficult to do in the real world, but you can tell HDC from MDC or LDC by simply weighing the materials. HDC will be significantly heavier. In fact, a piece of 16mm-thick HDC will be heavier than a piece of 19mm-thick MDC of the same size.

Our cabinets are 16mm thick on the vertical elements and 19mm thick on the horizontal. The unit bottoms are therefore 19mm thick.

The cabinets and even the interior adjustable shelves have all of their leading edges finished with a 1.5mm-thick polymer trim. This is rebated into the cabinet edge and bonded into place. I have yet to see this edge fail under any circumstances. It is definitely not to be confused with the standard melamine edging tape used on most kitchens. This material is often simply heat-glued into place, and is most likely to fail with those wall units fitted adjacent to a kettle or toaster.

All of our cabinets are glued and dowelled, with the exception of a couple of the 90 x 90cm or larger revolving carousel units, which are screwed together just in case they need to be disassembled to allow them to be delivered into homes with restricted access.

All the best,

The Kitchen Guru