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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-03-2017, 09:02 PM Thread Starter
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Default knock down project

I'm thinking about designing a new product (like a cabinet) that can be shipped and assembled by the consumer. Anyone have experience designing/building knockdown furniture?

I've assembled enough IKEA products (hundreds) that I understand the basics. I'm thinking about building the prototype using biscuits then the production using Festool domino (I don't have one). I believe it's perfectly acceptable to require these customers to glue the pieces together, but it would be better if I could design it without.

The design needs to be such that we can build the parts with standard cabinet shop equipment (router/jigs, drill press, table saw - no CNC) Since for the first 50-100 units I expect to build them myself or sub out to local cabinet shop.

So any thoughts?

Sorry, I'm not comfortable disclosing the product to such a learned bunch as reads this forum since so many of you could easily copy my idea. I know that will happen eventually but I'd like to get a little head start on my competition

thanks
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PS. If you really need to know and I recognize you as having conversed with me before privately and in other threads, I may tell you what it is if that will really help you provide better advice. At this point I'm more looking for anyone who's learned some things first hand about designing and building knockdown cabinetry.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-03-2017, 09:12 PM
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i haven't done what you are trying to do per say but I can tell you to take a zillion pictures of your idea, (prototype) write down exactly what it is what it does blah blah blah as much detail as you can date it all put it in an envelope and mail it to yourself but make sure you send it so you have to sign for it, but when you get it leave it sealed .......you may need to prove you came up with the idea someday.....and what better evidence you would have is a registered letter.....
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-03-2017, 09:32 PM Thread Starter
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Yea, I've been thinking about the patent angle. I don't think I'll be doing anything really that's patentable. I'll be using traditional joinery and common knockdown techniques. I would be shocked if I could patent 'using knockdown techniques to produce a shippable xxxx'
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-03-2017, 09:39 PM
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You'll need a bunch of well made, durable jigs because the fastest and most efficient way is to make large batches and if they are going to fit together properly then you'll need to jig them so that all of them are identical. I worked for a short while in a cabinet shop and a lot of that type work was done by a CNC router and I ran a CNC beam saw (worth over 100 grand) that cut all the panels. Even with the CNC router we had some issues at times with dowel holes matching up and it was mostly, I think, issues with vacuum hold downs and getting the pieces registered to zero accurately. Even with handheld jigs you'll have to be careful about the same issues. Dowels are one of the most common line up methods and you can make some pretty good jigs with these: Bushings and Inserts - Lee Valley Tools One of the best parts about these is if you think the bushing is starting to wear you just unscrew it and screw in a new one so the jig never changes. They can also be used to drill the pilots for screw holes. That would be one of the best tips I have for you.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-04-2017, 05:38 AM
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The issue with getting the customer to glue stuff up is going to be clamping. I guess you'd need to incorporate screws to provide clamping of the glue joints, assuming the customer won't have clamps. It's going to take some smart design to guarantee that everything will be held square as the glue dries.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-04-2017, 07:44 AM
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You mentioned using Festool Dominos. They just came out with a knock down system for the larger Domino machine. I saw a demo recently and it really holds. If I recall correctly, the wood needs to be at least 1.5 inches thick. For thinner panels, a company named Dominofix has come out with knock down fasteners for the smaller domino machine.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-04-2017, 09:02 AM
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I built this wall unit for my son when he was in med school in Maryland and we were in Colorado. The unit is made of oak veneer plywood and the face frames front and back are solid oak. I used dowels to attach the vertical boards to the horizontal shelves and biscuits align the face frames to the shelves. Steel brackets hold the face frame to the shelves in the corners where that can't be seen. You assemble it laying on the floor to get everything aligned and then lift it up with help as it weighs around 200 pounds. My son is in the Air Force and has moved this 3 times so far.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-04-2017, 12:16 PM
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Everend, As one who holds numerous patents - I agree there's quite likely nothing patentable about KD (knock-down) furniture. Beside IKEA, there's another BIG MANUFACTURER of KD furniture, SAUTER. Sauter isn't really a household world, but they do make some good quality for the money KD items.
What I am impressed with is the wide variety of special purpose fasteners and connections that are offered in some of the specialty outlets and online.

Otis Guillebeau from Auburn, Georgia
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-04-2017, 12:58 PM
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Everand,

I just purchased a KD sewing cabinet for my wife for her birthday. I was going to try to build one, but the cost of a quality lift for a 40 LB sewing machine was a little over $ 400.00, and I didn't even have plans for a cabinet yet or the hardware for the swinging doors and support structure sooooo. I paid just under $ 1000.00 for the cabinet that she picked out from pictures only, since we visisted many sewing centers within 50 miles and every store had heard of these products, but not one had any on display, that should have been my warning. Anyway, it is a piece of junk that I don't think will last very long. As I expected, it was not made in the US, what I didn't expect, for the amount of money I spent, was low grade it was. The laminate, if that is what they used, was paper thin and will easliy chip the first time something hits one of the corners, the KD hardware was metal screws into plastic locks and most of the holes, which I assumed were drilled on a CNC, were very poorly matched. I won't name the company because I am now trying to get a complete refund through my credit card company, so for now I will keep this low key. If I do get the full refund, I will try to find a local cabinet shop to have one built. Please don't take this as an insult to you, but I will not purchase KD furniture again. Sorry for the long rant.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-04-2017, 02:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olliecooper View Post
You mentioned using Festool Dominos. They just came out with a knock down system for the larger Domino machine. I saw a demo recently and it really holds. If I recall correctly, the wood needs to be at least 1.5 inches thick. For thinner panels, a company named Dominofix has come out with knock down fasteners for the smaller domino machine.
You can get the Festool hardware in the USA but it looks like there are no distributors for the Dominofix hardware in the USA.

I don't think glue up is an option unless you make sure that the buyer knows that they need clamps and squares for assembly or you open yourself up to very bad reviews of your product. Put notice on the package and any written description of the product. Then you will still get bad reviews from people that have no idea what they are doing when trying to assemble you product.
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