Today's blog is all about my first solo venture into our workshop. Joinery and crafting kitchens are a whole new kettle of fish for me. So I've had a lot to learn to understand precisely what goes into making your dream kitchen. To help understand Minerva, I was tasked with finding out how our cabinetry is made. Thankfully, everything we craft is on-site in our Herefordshire workshops, meaning I can simply walk out of the office and into our workshops to see, understand and learn how our cabinetry is made first-hand.
Upon stepping into one of our workshops, I was greeted by a stacked selection of woods and materials. Seeing the raw material waiting to be crafted into one of our kitchens was fascinating. What I found really nice is that all of our materials are sourced from our local timber merchant, Pontrilas (www.pontrilasmerchants.co.uk)
My first burning question was, how does the workshop know what to craft? So, my first stop was actually to the place where all the decisions happen, design.
Most of our initial conversations start in our showroom, a space where you can explore, touch and see our cabinetry. It allows you to have a deeper understanding of the quality we craft, compared to an off-the-shelf kitchen, because seeing our kitchens in person is second to none compared to photographs. After your first consultation, our designers work closely with you to design your ideal kitchen. We're handmade, which means each kitchen design is entirely individual for you and crafted to the exact measurements of your home. Once you are happy with your design and we have produced CAD, elevations, estimates, 3Ds, as well as a final specification, your custom design is handed over to our CAD technician. A survey is conducted from which exact measurements are taken, and production drawings for your project are created.
Now we've covered a rapid overview of how we get to the production drawings; it's time to understand how the magic happens!
What's important to understand is that our kitchens are comprised of cabinets. Each cabinet has four key elements; carcass, frameworks, drawers and doors. Our craftsmen build cabinetry to last, which is why we use several materials to create a sturdy cabinet from traditional joinery techniques. Each of our three workshops has a vital role, so here's what I learned about them.
Our first workshop is where a CNC machine cuts specific pieces to size. A job that allows our craftsmen time to focus on the other elements that require it to be crafted by hand. Our second workshop is where all key elements are prepared for the third workshop.
Here's a snippet of what takes place in our second workshop...
Any piece that was not cut to size by the CNC is cut, sanded and prepped, ready for the third workshop. All drawer boxes are pieced together with dovetail joints, a traditional technique ensuring longevity and strength in our drawers. Depending on your production drawings, we may use a spindle moulder on the frames of your design to create the added detail of the pencil beading. And that really is just a little sneak peek at what goes on in our second workshop!
Once everything is prepped, it's transferred across the yard to our third workshop, where you really see your Minerva kitchen being pieced together (this is so exciting!).
In our third workshop, the carcass has its final dose of sanding, the cornice is made, and the doors are trimmed and hinged, ready for painting. Time is then taken to carefully paint your cabinetry, and each cabinet is assembled for our quality control check. Once passed, we prepare your cabinetry, ready to go to its new owners!
So that's my whistle-stop tour of our cabinetry! It's so fascinating to see our Minerva kitchens coming together quite literally in front of us. I hope you've enjoyed exploring what makes a Minerva kitchen as much as I did, and I look forward to being able to share more Minerva details with you soon.
Thanks for reading,
(P.S if you're now intrigued and want to book to visit our showroom and have a sneak peek of our workshop, click here!)