Walk-in wardrobe

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Mjward

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At the beginning of this renovation we knocked through a box room that adjoined the master bedroom with a plan to eventually turn it into a walk-in wardrobe. Now that time has come and it's been a fairly major research project for something I initially perceived to be quite simple.

Anyway, the plan is for the deepest side to house wardrobes and the other sides of the room will have a built in dressing table and shallow drawers/shelves etc. I am going to start with the wardrobe carcasses as think given the pokey room size it will be best to get those manoeuvred into position whilst the room is empty. The design is fairly simple, its a 1.9m room width so I'm going for 1000mm & 500mm carcasses (for ease of finding hanging rails/potentially adding after market bits too). For the leftover space will use as basic shelf space. Will add top boxes to the whole thing. Not shown in this diagram is that the far left main carcass (400mm shelf carcass) will actually be split into 2 as one of the shelves between the two will be formed by an extension of the dressing table (which in turn acts as the support on one side of said table).

Questions:

1) gap will be left on both sides in order to scribe panel to the wall: I've seen a mixture of people using an 18mm piece accurately scribed to the gap and that alone knocked into place and screwed from within the carcass vs forming an L shape with 18mm & 6mm front, again scribed and affixed. Any reason to choose one method over the other?
2) I know MDF is not recommended for shelves, but from my research I should be ok with the 400m width (c600m depth) and light load of clothing or even then should I be making the shelves out of 18mm plywood?
3) On related note, given the larger carcass will have a 1000mm span, is the top panel ok to be made out of MR MDF? I figure that once the top box is in place, it's effectively 36mm of MDF that's taking a load most likely to be pair of jeans and the odd handbag but if its going to bow over time I can easily replace this top panel with 18m hardwood plywood but will avoid if not needed
4) What is the preference for assembly these days? I know a countersunk pilot-hole is the bare minimum and biscuits will help with alignment, but are carcass screws or confirmat screws the better method for MDF?

Dressing room wardrobe 1 MR MDF.jpg
 
Gone back to the drawing board on a few bits but now have better idea of what I want. My only struggle at this stage is sourcing birch ply, tried the 4 local timber yards and best I can get is hardwood plywood. That's potentially ok for the carcass which will be painted but I'd like drawers/shelves to be unpainted birch ply. Worst case scenario will go down (a lot of) prep route for hardwood plywood for shelves/drawers and will paint them, just can't get comfortable with using MDF in this scenario for those.

Have decided to make the wardrobe carcasses out of mixed materials, 18mm MR MDF for the sides and 18mm hardwood plywood for the tops and bottoms to reduce sag given they will have a hanging rail with a centre mount hanging off.

Latest design below, best I could do with MS paint I'm afraid

Dressing room wardrobe 2.jpg
 
Thank you! My first attempt at anything like this and definitely learnt a lot and made a few mistakes but a lot less than if I hadn't had this forum to browse that's for sure.

I've not cut either skirting or cornice before so that will be fun but I've got the right tools and know to mitre external/scribe internal. Only thing that might prove challenging is that there is a very minor slope to the floor. Currently undecided between going pro route and scribing to floor but introducing potential for multiple errors Vs accepting there may be minor gaps in places.
 
Last unknown is what to "do" to the faceframe?

Want to take some of the sharpness of the edges and undecided between a simple sand down, chamfer, round over or even Roman ogee etc?

Most of it is accessible to a palm router bar the right hand side of the desk
 
Looking great 👍

I think a small cock bead always looks classy, you could pin one on, although if it hasn't been designed with one in mind it might not work in places.

If I was taking the router to it I would probably just go with a small roundover/arris bit. I would hate for you to have made such a nice job then mess it up by slipping and taking a chunk out with a moulding bit when you are this close to the finish line.
 
Looking great 👍

I think a small cock bead always looks classy, you could pin one on, although if it hasn't been designed with one in mind it might not work in places.

If I was taking the router to it I would probably just go with a small roundover/arris bit. I would hate for you to have made such a nice job then mess it up by slipping and taking a chunk out with a moulding bit when you are this close to the finish line.
I must confess I did need to Google a cock bead and now must hide my search history from the wife!

On a serious note they do look smart, I wonder to do as you suggest, small round over bit for the fixed frame and then maybe cock bead for the drawer fronts (will fit once carcass sprayed)
 
Great Job! and a whole lot of work, especially from your description of yourself as new to this. The purpose of a cockbead was always to protect vulnerable veneered edges, particularly drawer/door fronts. Interesting that you have used face frames lipping onto solid mdf(?). These mdf panels could have been moulded before fitting. I would use a small round-over the same radius as the face frame thickness.
 
Great Job! and a whole lot of work, especially from your description of yourself as new to this. The purpose of a cockbead was always to protect vulnerable veneered edges, particularly drawer/door fronts. Interesting that you have used face frames lipping onto solid mdf(?). These mdf panels could have been moulded before fitting. I would use a small round-over the same radius as the face frame thickness.
Thank you, first time doing anything like this so a steep learning curve but a lot easier in the modern era with some much research available a few clicks away. I wanted hardwood face frames for a few reasons, predominantly because it negated the need for treating MDF/ply edges when it came to decorating but mostly because I have this rule with renovation to always spend a bit more on things you will touch, light switches, door handles, worktops...face frames etc and save money on things you don't.
 
Right...now onto the next project... building the wardrobe in the master bedroom that will house the doorway to the "hidden" dressing room. Essentially it will look like two wardrobes (4 doors) next to each other with the right hand "wardrobe" just being a shell with the wardrobe towards opening inwards and leading to the dressing room.

Most of it is fairly simply, simple carcass on the left for a double hanging rail, and upside down U shape frame for the fake wardrobe. Won't go for top boxes this time as don't want the units too big/overbearing in the bedroom but also lines up better given where I've run sockets for the wardrobe LED lighting.

Where I'd appreciate some guidance is as follows:

1) For the fake wardrobe carcass, it obviously won't have a back so will lose rigidty there, but also it will only be affixed to the left hand carcass and to the wall at the top. For the right hand "leg" I will need to affix this to the floor or wall. I was thinking to use L brackets to screw to the floor and then attach another 18mm piece on top (scribed to the wall) that hides these brackets but also serves to make it a 36mm panel which I hope should provide another strength to stop warping down the line. Does that make sense or is there a more logical solution?

2) I got away with avoiding my first foray into door making with the walk in wardrobe but will now need do it. My search on this forum suggest a popular method would be using 22mm and 9mm MR MDF with a groove on three sides of the 22mm stiles to accept the 9mm panel. If I was solely making a door I certainly think this is the route I would go down ...BUT... my doors (well at least the fake wardrobe ones) need to house the skirting too, so would I be better using 18mm MDF, glueing/pinning 6mm strips for a fake shaker effect and also glueing/pinning the skirting onto the bottom of the 18mm MDF panel i.e. all as one unit/door?

wardrobe with door to dressing room.jpg
 
Are the units upto the ceiling? I would build the left side unit and fix a 3" or 4" strip on the outer face of the right side panel at the front, for hinging the other door, and a similar option for the right side door (sort of a door lining in principal) but in a way that it can be plumbed up, perhaps with spacers/packers and a scribable finish face (if that is a word). I don't see the need to make a complete carcass, bit of a waste of stock.
 
Are the units upto the ceiling? I would build the left side unit and fix a 3" or 4" strip on the outer face of the right side panel at the front, for hinging the other door, and a similar option for the right side door (sort of a door lining in principal) but in a way that it can be plumbed up, perhaps with spacers/packers and a scribable finish face (if that is a word). I don't see the need to make a complete carcass, bit of a waste of stock.
Not to the ceiling, ceilings are 3m and I've got a tray ceiling with downlights in so want a decent distance between the two basically.
I see your point re a strip negating the need for full carcass, I could actually probably get away with not using the left hand vertical of the right hand "wardrobe" but think I'd still want 2x18mm for the right hand side (given its next the main door as you walk in so likely to get the most contact but also to hide floor fixings) if that makes sense.
 
As you want the false skirting effect the frame/ loose panel could still be used but the right hand pair could have the skirting board biscuit jointed/dowelled/ loose tennoned, to the bottom rail of the doors. The right hand fixed panel can be scribed and biscuit jointed to the floor. The devil will be in the detail particularly the choice of hinges. If that right hand fixed panel will also have a skirting board the sections of skirting should be mitred, the doors would need stops to prevent damage if the doors opened outwards (accidentally). As your overall width is only 1800mm Iwould make the whole top a single piece and fix from the top (screw or whatever fixing). I don't see the benefit of doubling up(over engineering). where the two join or for the end panel. interesting to see what you come up with. I agree that the gap to the left should have a scribed infill (depth of the skirting), fixed to the L/H/S of carcase. I have similar built in wardrobes with an 18mm mdf carcase, alongside an en-suite doorway, which still looks good some years later.
 
With regards to adding the skirting to the false door, I was wondering if I could just make the bottom rail to full floor depth and add the skirting to that or would a decent glue up and biscuits be as effective? Excuse my drawing skills but hopefully this clears it up...

one piece vs two.jpg
real vs fake door.jpg

The problem I will encounter fixing the far right hand panel to floor is that I don't have a biscuit jointer only a palm router and biscuit bit i.e. I don't have the ability to have the bit be sent into the floor. Would dowels be just as good? Not tried them either but thinking I can at least make cylindrical holes in both the floor and the panel.

Re skirting, yes far right panel will have it and that leads me to other questions (1) is it better to have the corner mitre static i.e. even if it's just an inch of skirting on the face frame glued up to the skirting on the right hand panel, get that done so at least at all times the corner joint looks good and proper vs unlikely to ever look flush with one piece on a moving door (2) if I go for the mitered joint vs straight where the door skirting connects, is 22.5 or 45 better?

door skirting.jpg


Will go with your suggestion and make the top piece all as one, makes sense thank you!
 
As you have a palm router, you could groove the floor and bottom of the panel and use a loose tenon. Agree with your left hand drawing as safest construction. Again you would need some kind of a stop if the hinges are inside, to prevent damage, ie trying to open doors the "wrong way".
It is always these sort of details that need thinking through before construction!
 
I am potentially being a bit daft but how would I get the palm router to groove the floor given router bits don't extend beyond the width of the unit itself i.e. no matter which way I held it, it wouldn't be possible to make a cut in that direction?

1674570636134.png


I am going to use euro soft close hinges for all the "real" wardrobe doors but would sort of hinge would be best for an inward opening hidden door i.e. for the right hand side doors?
 

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