IT’S ALL IN THE PLANNING
Some projects are all about the planning, especially this one. We were asked to manufacture panels for a feature wall which would be going into the dinning room of a retirement home in Chipping Norton. The enquiry came with an elevation drawing and a small screenshot of the proposed finish, enough for me to base a price on but we would need more info should the order come through.
THANK GOODNESS FOR CAD
Once the order came in I was fortunate enough to get the CAD file for the layout. I was able to convert it into a workable file and explode it enough to set out the panels. The plan was to use an MDF back board which we would fix to the wall, the back board would take one half of a connector that would locate a facing panel and secure it without the need for any visible fixings. Because of the obscure layout we would need some form of guide for fixing, so by having the CAD file I could draw a jig to locate the back panels.
The bottom right part of the drawing shows 5 portrait rectangles with red shapes inside. These were the set out for 6 mm MDF panels, the plan was to have these shapes cut out so we could temporary fix these jigs to the wall and use the cut outs to locate each back panel, once all had been fixed the jigs would be removed and all the back panels would be fixed in the correct position.
The middle right part of the drawing in red is the layout and cut sizes of the MDF back panels and the top right part in green shows the facing panels on top of the red back panels which shows the margin and the position for fixing the hidden fixings.
The left part in black is the orientation and layout for cutting the facing panels out of laminated MDF. These drawings were all sent to the CNC company who we work very closely with, using these drawings he could plot everything on the CNC and produce the jigs for wall fixing, the MDF back panels and the facing panels. Once we received these we could edge the facing panels and paint the edges of the MDF back panels to match the wall colour.
It’s always nice visiting the Cotswolds, a lovely part of the country. I couldn’t make this one but Danny, Owen and Lee ventured down to tackle it. The first job was setting up the wall jigs, having this jig was great for positioning and leveling of the feature, once in the correct position some retaining battens were used to hold in place and the MDF backing panels were fixed into place.
While the MDF backing panels were being fixed the hidden fittings were screwed to the facing panels. The fittings were a two part fitting which comprised of a male and female part which push clicked together, we managed to source these from America after a morning of Danny and I scouring the internet for something suitable that didn’t take up too much room, thankfully we found these, well worth the 2 and a half week wait.
Once all the backing panels were on the guys carefully removed the template jig and began to click each facing panel on in the correct positions.
The planning of this took time and quite a few hours in front of a computer screen with lots of conversation to get it right, but it was well worth it for everything to go smoothly on site. (Apart from a grumpy decorator, but that’s another story.)
This feature wall really sets off the room and will be the perfect back lot to many nice meals.
Have a great weekend!!