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I would say we probably do about one or two a year, which compared to counters isn’t very many but we are still pretty damn good at them!  As the title gives away, I’m talking about display cabinets.  The types we design and produce can be from trophy cabinet types for sports clubs to full on museum showcases.  So over the years we have developed the skills and know how of what makes a great display cabinet.

I received an email mid November from a guy who used our services 10 years ago to manufacture a display in his study.  He is a collector of  very valuable military models, some he builds and paints himself.  They range from model airplanes to tiny soldiers, the detail in these things is incredible.  Tiny little soldiers sculpted expertly and finished with every little bit of detail you could imagine, details you need a magnifying glass to see.  Anyway, his collection had grown in the last 10 years, he had also undergone major renovations on his house and his study had moved to the other side of his house.

I made a site visit to take some measurements and discuss his requirements.  A corner unit was required with 5 separate displays with glass shelves, mirrored backs LED lighting and cupboards for storage below.  It was hoped that we could re use the old cabinets but the cost to collect and adapt was not much less than building new.  With all the info required I returned to base to price and produce some layouts, The client had a budget in mind and was happy to be advised on the best way to keep within it.  I sent off my proposal and was slightly over the clients budget but as he had worked with us before he knew that he was in capable hands and placed the order, on the condition that we deliver before Christmas, 5 weeks away!


Using the isometric image of the cabinet I was able to develop working drawings for the lads in the workshop, Dexter and Josh were to make the top section and Owen to make the bottom section.  The time we had to manufacture the unit wasn’t really a problem, the only worry was being able to get the glass and mirrors in time!  Danny ordered the LED lights and organised them in such a way that they can be operated as desired while Josh cut the internal quadrant baffles.  Once the units were together I was able to order the glass and mirrors, quite a big order with 5 large mirrors, 10 glass doors and 25 glass shelves!  Fingers crossed they would arrive in time.

When all was built and working as it should Josh donned his mask and started to undercoat the units.  The client wanted to finish the units himself, but I had quoted to spray an undercoat to all exposed items.  We find this is the best way to go when supplying furniture that is going to be finished by the customer, it not only provides a consistent base for them to work from but it also subconsciously makes us aware that we are dealing with a finished item and ensures we take the care we normally would do when the cabinet is lacquered.


Heading off from Nuneaton on a very cold December morning Dexter Owen and I had a van packed to the rafters.  Arriving on site we laid down our dust sheets and got cracking!  Plinth and base units first which fit perfectly, next part was the tops which we brought in and scribed into place.  Bringing in the top sections we started to realise that something wasn’t quite right, the overhang was wrong which meant that the top section was too big for the room……  Something had gone wrong somewhere and we had to figure out where so we could come up with a solution.  It transpired that during manufacture the wrong section through on the drawing was used on the long straight run, so the only way to get it sorted was to adjust the top and corner section, which meant we had to take it back to the workshop.  I explained this to the client who was a little disappointed but happy that we were going to fix it and be back with a couple of days.

The next day Dexter set about rectifying the issue by cutting down the top and adjusting the corner pillar, not a massive job but one we couldn’t do on site in somebodies home, maybe on a building site we could, but it wouldn’t be fair on the customer to fill their house or garden with dust from saws and sanders.  Dexter and I left Owen in the workshop to carry on with another job and took Josh with us.  Repeating our process from the previous day we  didn’t hang around getting the top section in.  Once in we fitted mirrors, glass shelves and doors, Josh assisted me in fitting the LED’s, his 8 and a half foot reach was very helpful when tracing cables across the top of the units.  Quite possibly the longest job of the day was cleaning all the glass and mirrors, it was never ending but we got there.

With the LED’s tested, doors level and set, shelves in and glass doors sliding I went over it with the client who was happy and after showing us some of his models we hit the road!


This week I received an email that simply said:

As promised
Painted and repopulated
Very happy

With these photos attached:

A great success, we had a slight hiccup during fiting but these things happen and we are willing to do what it takes to make things right and deliver a top quality job.  The client is very happy and has scope for more models in the future.

Have a great weekend!

Tags: Displays, Domestic Furniture, JFW Process, Living Furniture, Study & Home Office Furniture