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The Making Of: Bespoke Plan Drawers

Mortice & Tenon custom designed this pair of plan drawers for a passionate collector of art. The brief outlined the need for a pair of feature cabinets to store, protect and present the client’s collection of fine prints.

Every surface and edge of this beautiful yet unusual design is curved, making the production of this pair of plan drawers a challenge and labour of love for the craftsmen in the Mortice & Tenon factory.

The 5-axis CNC machine was an essential tool in the production of these cabinets facilitating the accurate carving of the curved surfaces.

After modelling the plan drawers on the computer and presenting the drawings to the client for approval, our draftsman sent the CAD files to our CNC machine operator where the digital information is used to carve all six panels accurately and consistently.

All the curved edges of the panels must fit and each panel must be carved with absolute precision. The carcass is assembled to check that the curved edges fit perfectly together.

The task of laminating this brittle veneer onto the curved panels is both daunting and pain-staking. The craftsmen must create precise moulds, gigs and patterns to press the smooth, laminated surface.

Once the surfaces are laminated the drawer fronts are taken back to the CNC bed to be carved and separated.

All the surfaces are sanded the carcass and drawers are assembled. The plan drawer is now ready for polishing.

The finish of the surface is flawless and the precise book matching of the veneer on the drawer fronts creates a beautiful mirrored pattern that leads the eye along the stunning natural figure in the timber grain.

Mortice & Tenon