Useful information | Trim cuts, finishing & optimisation

Useful Information on our services

We offer a range of services, each with its own perimeters. Here we highlight some of the standard practices in place to get the best from your order. 

Pre-lacquered Poplar Ply Veneer

Optimisation //

Every order goes through our board optimisation software. This software allows us to get the most efficient layout pattern for your panels to reduce waste and minimise the number of boards required for your project. Here are a few standard rules for board optimisation:
  • Every board has a trim cut of up to 15mm around the perimeter to clean the edges, square the board and cut away the portion of the board which may have swollen / damaged during storage.
  • The saw blade kerf (width of the blade) is calculated at 4mm per cut.
  • We will cut your board without the trim cuts in some instances (can depend on cutting pattern), please ask if this is the case, we may do this at your request. 

Tension //

We all know solid wood timbers swell, move and twist, most of us have had that door that swells and sticks at some point in our lives. Contrary to popular belief, chipboard and MDF boards are not exempt from movement. When the boards are manufactured, especially MFC, tension is trapped in the board. Both faces of melamine keep this tension in check but when the board is cut the tension is released and in some cases, the panel can move a fraction. Most of the time our machinist will work around this movement, sometimes with an additional cut before the final cut etc. When your order leaves our workshop every panel is square and true within our standard tolerances but it’s important to remember the movement can still happen when stored onsite on in your workshop. Ways to minimise movement include:
  • Long, narrow panels are most at risk of movement so it is recommended where possible to edge either both long edges, or omit edging all together. 
  • Let us optimise your project to avoid tension issues. If you ask us to cut your project without trim cuts then we are less able to ensure clean lines and square cuts. 
  • Store panels flat and in a temperature controlled environment. Moisture is your enemy. 

Board Sizes & Thicknesses //

Much of the building industry uses nominal sizes and the sheet material sector is no different. It’s important to remember during your design stage, that the sizes noted by manufacturers (and in-turn by us) are only nominal, this means 18mm thick may not be 18mm thick! It’s common to see an 18mm board actually measure up as 18.4mm or even 18.7mm, this depends on the manufacturer, how long it has been stored and even the time of year. During winter months panels absorb more moisture in storage so the dimensions can change a fraction. We always try to list the correct size for all of our panels but please remember the following:
  • Thickness of panels can often be out by 0.5mm – 0.7mm! Make sure your designs allow for this tolerance. 
  • Board sizes (e.g 2800 x 2070) are a rough size and not truly square. Sometimes boards arrive here a few mm off this dimension. This is only usually an issue if you are trying to squeeze every last mm from your board. 
  • Store your cut panels flat in a dry, warm environment whenever possible. 

MDF & Veneer finish //

We do not offer a sanding or finishing service with our panels. Both MDF and Veneer panels are processed from the storage depot so the faces may require a little sanding before paint or lacquer for best results. For many people, our panels leave our workshop to a high enough standard for their project but for those who wish to get the very best results, an extra sand before finish will be required.  Our veneer and MDF tape edgings are designed to save you time and give you a superior finish but this does not mean they are ready for paint right off the machine. Veneer panels can feel rough to the touch from the board store so it is recommended that they are finish sanded before lacquer or paint. The same can be said for MDF boards both taped and raw. A few notes to follow:
  • Our panels are not sanded in any way before they leave us. Edges, arises and edge banding lines require finish sanding on panels which require paint or lacquer.
  • For best results always final sand Veneer and MDF boards all round before the finish is applied.
  • Our veneer tape on pre-lacquered boards comes unfinished/unlacquered. We recommend to apply a few coats of oil to bring the colour inline with the board lacquer. 

Offcuts //

If you would like your off-cuts please ask. We are more than happy to deliver your off-cuts with your order should you wish. 
  • We are un-able to keep off cuts for you for any length of time. Once your order leaves for delivery your off-cuts may be disposed of. 
  • We consider an off cut to be over 400mm square unless you ask us for something smaller. 
  • Some cut patterns do not leave any off cuts. Please ask if your pattern has an extra.
  • When a delivery exceeds the weight limit of our vehicle, we may leave off cuts behind if it means we fall within our weight limit. If you still require this off cut a second delivery can be arranged at cost. 
  • We may re-optimise your order before production without notice, changing the size and quantity of your off cuts. This may be done for a number of reasons, ie. the stock board has a mark that we have to cut around. 

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