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mailee

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I have had an enquiry about an entertainment unit like this:

It is to be made in painted MDF and around 3M long X 450mm D X 400mm high. The customer would like it 'floating' if possible although has suggested he could have some stainless or ally legs made for it. It will be a heavy unit as he wants it 50mm thick and also wants a marble or granite plate in the centre section for an amplifier/sub woofer. Has anyone any suggestions on how to build this and if I could make it dismantle for transportation as it will weigh a ton. Access isn't a problem but it will fill one side of a room.
 

MickCheese

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How about 6mm MDF with a honeycombe middle to reduce the weight.

To make it transportable, make it in sections then use a face frame to hide the joins.

It will still be heavy and keeping this attached to a wall will take some serious anchors and epoxy.

Mick
 

mailee

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I do like the idea of using a face frame and separate units but the customer has insisted it must have a full top with no joins. i suppose i could accomplish this by having the top with a slight overhang. As for the floating idea I was wondering if I could build a recessed plinth and then face it with skirting to match the existing (as the hight off the floor will be skirting level) then that may give the impression of a floating unit? I did also think about making the panels as a hollow box section with reinforcing for the high stress areas.
 

tomatwark

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Alan

At one of the firms I used to work for we used to make a few of these sort of units, we used 2 sheets of mdf made an inner carcase with one and then glued the other around it mitring the corners.

But as you said one that size is going to be heavy made this way.

We did try the hollow box method but we found on long tops if the internal frame moved at all it would show through the top giving a rippled effect.

There are various Light weight MDfs on the market as well as honeycomb board manufacturers, I have never used it myself so can't suggest where to look but a google should start you off.

The only way I can see you hanging this on the wall is by gluing steel rods into the wall with resin and then gluing the shelves onto the other end, that is providing of course the the wall is a good sound one.

Tom
 

DeanN

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Alan,

If the unit is free-floating, how are the required cables etc. going to be hidden. If there is a possibility to develop a false wall behind the unit to hide a supporting structure and cable management, then it may be worth considering.
 

lincs1963

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as the customer has requested a solid section for a subwoofer or amp, do you not think that making parts of the unit hollow could mess with the acoustic properties? Just a thought!
cheers, Neil.
 

mailee

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My customer is going to set all of the cables into the wall and have outlet plates behind each item. Well Neil this is where I am not sure as this is not my field. I am trying to keep the weight down due to transporting the unit. If indeed it must be solid then it must disassemble for transporting really. I am still thinking of setting the unit on a plinth to match the skirting which would then support the weight of such a large unit.
 

Mike.S

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Coincidentally, I happen to be building some cupboards/shelving units using honeycomb core (see my previous post).

I've only finished the sides (2.6m high x 400mm deep) and top/bottom (1.3m wide). Here's a pic of one of the sides:
Honeycomb_core.jpg


Like your possible project the panels are 50mm wide. I'm using 38mm MDF as the framework which, with 6mm MDF skins gives 50mm. The Honeycomb core is also 38mm. The extra framework in the picture is to provide support for concealed hinges and joints (probably splines) for shelves. So far I've found the honeycomb core to be very straightforward to use. My biggest challenges have been clamping (no panel or vacuum press :( ) and the absence of a table saw to cut the sheets (I'm using a track saw) - neither of which may apply to you?

The weight reduction (versus solid) is considerable and the panels are straight and strong; I'd think strong enough for the planned loads your client intends.

To make the unit 'float' I wonder if 2 x 3m long angle iron/brackets could be used e.g. hack the top 5-10mm of plaster of the wall above and below where the top and bottom of the unit will be fixed and screw the bracket tot he brickwork. The horizontal parts of the bracket then act as tenons/splines. These can slide into pre-cut mortices/rebates in the edges of the unit. Epoxy alone may fix them but I think I'd try to find a way to insert some screws from below i.e. drill upwards through the bottom (just to hide the fixings) of the unit top through the frame and bracket. Ditto with the unit's base. This would give vertical support and resist the unit being pulled away from the wall. Thinking about it, if the walls are not flat then the plaster removal may save you having to scribe the units' edges and can easily be made good with plaster type fillers. Hope that description is clear enough but holler if not!

By the way I probably have some spare honeycomb core (I have 32mm and 38mm thick) so PM me if you'd like some to experiment with (at cost plus P&P).
 

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No skills

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Some 'floating' kitchen units I've seen in magazines used steel brackets fixed to the wall to take the weight and achieve no ground contact, cleaning under them must be a right pain.
 

mailee

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Could I ask how much you paid for the honey comb material Mike and was it from the company you posted the link to?
 

Mike.S

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I paid £202 (IIRC) for 9 x 38mm and 4 x 32mm core panels. Each 38mm panel was priced at £12.01 +VAT + P&P (£25 for the lot). More than I needed but min order was £150 excluding VAT and P&P. I found about 6 different suppliers, called a couple but they were only interested in large commercial orders whereas the supplier I linked to were happy to deal at the size stated.

If it helps, each panel is around 1m x 75mm x 38mm when compressed (so storage easier than e.g. the Egger boards) but the supplier told me it expands to around 3.3m long and 800mm wide - the panel shrinks around 20-25% in width as you stretch it out. In my experience that's accurate - I cut one panel in two (using a chop saw) and stretched each piece to 3.2m x 400mm wide.
 

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jasonB

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If the client is hacking the wall about to fit his sockets get some steel in there before it is decorated, whats the wall made of by the way?

I've hung some big units off the wall for bathrooms, a bit of unistrut and some hefty rawl bolt expanding anchors work well, this unit is 500 wide, each sink 43kg plus tiling and all the draw boxes which extend 1000mm off the wall when open, its not moved even when I have stood on it.





Similar method with this corian top



I think hollow will give sound issues, use a core of ultralight if you can get it if not Medite Premiere is not much heavier and skin it with 6mm MR. The two "H" parts that form the dividers/shelves could be slid in separately if you set the core back to form a groove in teh edges and have a matching batten fixed top & bottom this would cut teh weight down a bit for transport

If you go down the plinth route then I would set that back and in from the ends say 300mm and just have it plain not matching teh skirting, that way it won't show when you are standing so it would appear the unit is floating, a bit like this but further back.

J
 
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