Pippy Oak Dressing Room.
European Pippy oak is a particularly aesthetically pleasing species of timber when finished, and the end result can often be unique and rewarding to take in. However, working with this particular species of timber requires knowledge, and it can be very challenging to achieve the end result desired. Short grain, shakes and weak spots in timber, colour and grain inconsitency, a varying moisture content, the timbers natural acidity are all factors that need to be considered and worked around when working with such an unpredictable species of timber. This particular project, a dressing room, was manufactured from European Pippy Oak, French in Origin, and was sourced directly from our highly reputable timber supplier. The first thing to think about before the oak even arrives to be machined to section is the moisture content. The correct required moisture content is crucial to the stability and longjevity of any project, and can vary massively depending on which application it is required for. This particular dressing room sits on a parquet tiled floor featuring under floor heating. Interior applications require timber to kiln dried to a moisture content of between eight and eleven percent. For this project, we had a batch of ex 52mm and 28mm kiln dried to a moisture content level of 10%. The Pippy Oak was then delivered to the works, where it was stacked and left for four weeks to climatise in our centrally heated workshop. Once the moisture level was consistent throughout the batch, it was then time to manufacture. The framework for the dressing room is manufactured from ex 28mm Pippy Oak. The framework was first cut, then planed side and edge, before being double gauged to final section size required. The design required was square in section, and features no mould, this being the clients preferred choice. Once we had the framework sections machined and jointed together, we could begin to work on the corner posts. The curved corner posts are manufactured from ex 52mm square oak, and feature a 3mm x3mm rebate in either side to break the joint line, something we incorporate into many of our designs. This detail allows a margin, should movement occur, and creates neat lines throughout the room. The curved skirting components was next to be manufactured, all machined from ex 68mm Pippy Oak. The skirting boards, corner post bases incorporate a small chamfer detail to the top edge, which, when fitted in situe create a flowing, seamless line across each run of units.
The top of the units was manufactured from ex 52mm Pippy Oak, each board carefully selected, first to eliminate any defects that could hinder the jointing process, and to identify boards with defect free edges to be used on the outside edge of each top. The boards are also grain matched where possible, and situated with alternating growth rings, to alleviate movement in each final piece, once glued and polished. Whilst Pippy Oak features an array of differing sizes of knots and cats paws, these knots have to be double filled with colour match filler, sanded with ascending grits, and then blended in with felt dye graining pens, a laborious, but vital element of the project, resulting in a flawless flat edge once spray finished. This is a prime example of what a bespoke, handmade project offers, showing such attention to detail, something we incorporate into all our projects.
Next to be manufactured was the carcassing for all the units, all machined from 18mm European Oak Veneered M.D.F. This selection was carefully thought out, as we experimented with different species of veneered products to compliment the framework and tops. This, we felt kept the carcassing classy, but simple, as we didn’t want to detract any attention from the wide array of colours, and grain variations the front frames and worksurfaces boasted.
The veneered oak M.D.F was specific to one batch, maning the grain matched throughout, ensuring consistency throughout the project. All of the components are then stabilised with a spirit based oil. This does a few things once applied; It enhances the natural appearance of the timber, reduces both disclouration over time, and grain raise throughout the spray finishing process.
Next, all components are sprayed with three coats of furniture grade water borne lacquer, sanded between each coat, thus providing a flawless final finish.
The final piece of the project was the portable island unit. A functional item featuring tipmatic, touch operated drawer, back to back hanging space, and adjustable shelving. This unit, we felt needed to incorporate the oak used throughout the rest of the project, whilst also offering a subtle contrast. The framework for the island unit was manufactured from Poplar/ tulipwood, this species of timber features very few knots, is very stable, and once sanded, provides an opportunity for a flawless paint finish.
All Carcassing, where painted,was manufactured from 18mm moisture resistant M.D.F. Carcassing, where polished was again manufactured from 18mm oak veneered boards, to compliment the rest of the dressing room.
The drawer, we felt provided the opportunity to bring something unique, yet authentic to the project. We decided to again use pippy oak for the drawer front, however the surface was initially sprayed with an opaque lacquer to match the framework of the island unit, and was later engraved to reveal the oak grain within the lettering detail itself.
The drawer box was manufactured from Pippy Oak, featuring dovetail detail, complete with leather backed drawer bottom, each laser etched with the Hutchinson’s logo, and logo of the leather worker leather worker we commissioned to manufacture the removable drawer inserts, Matt Riley of Artisan Worked Leather Co. Each insert was carefully manufactured from 12mm M.D.F before it was expertly hand wrapped in leather. The jewellery inserts also included handmade watch rolls, and ring holders.
Do you have a project that requires the same attention to detail, or want a company to fully understand your brief, and bring your ideas from concept to completion.
Then please do not hesitate to contact one of our team, for a free quote or gain more information of the services that we can offer.
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The Hutchinson’s Team.