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Shelving and Cabinets

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The most common and basic of built-in furniture is shelving and cabinets and this is something T-slot framing is well suited to.

The simplest of basic built-in shelving is supported by simple cantilevered planks that surface-mount to the wall profiles using T-nuts and profile angle consoles. Their minimum width is 1100mm and, depending on the type of wall system, openings may be needed in wall trim or in fitted wall panels to accommodate their mounting points. This is usually used with flush panels where the Secondary framing is covered by snap-in trim strips that can be easily cut in length to allow these mounting points. (the pre-cut trim possibly included as part of a shelf kit)

Surface-mount cabinets mount in the same way as this simple shelving. These cabinets consists of self-contained boxes that can be made of most any material and mount directly to the front of Secondary framing joists by T-nut and bolts concealed inside them. Their minimum width is 1100mm, except where additional Secondary frame joists and custom wall panels are added to accommodate more narrow units. These can be mounted freely at any height, but have the limitation of protruding over the room space and so, except where used over a counter as with work spaces and kitchens, they will tend to be relatively shallow.

A more enclosed form of shelving set within the wall volume uses 1m long shelf planks of alloy, finished wood, polywood, or other materials mounted on the T-slots between two 50mm Secondary frame joists to whatever depth is allowed by the Primary framing. (100, 150, 200mm) Depending on the choice of shelf plank material, these may be self-supporting using their own T-nut screws or be supported by profiles under or fitted into them. The same specialized aluminum profile planks used for steps in stairs and ladders and for decking in mezzanines may also be usable as more utilitarian shelving. Such shelving can be made open -used like a partition wall- or can be enclosed by a thin back panel attached to or popping into the rear-most slot or bolted to the slots on the back of the profiles. (for wall systems that feature an open gap between inner and outer wall joists) Exposed front profiles will usually be covered by some kind of pre-finished snap-in trim.

To make this into a cabinet one simply replaces perimeter trim normally used to cover the exposed profiles with a pre-finished door surface-mounting on concealed hinges attached to the inside leading edge profile slots. This will support a large single door or a series of horizontally divided doors.

Using a deeper space based on the standard floor grid, it becomes possible to make larger closets using and use them in combination with shelving and smaller cabinets as well as open alcoves and countertops. These can employ hinged doors, sliding panel fusuma, or tracked sliding doors following the previously described systems for sliding panel walls and pocket doors. (usually running in parallel to the Primary floor joists so they can be used as runners/slides for the panels) Whole-wall storage systems can thus be built in this way and integrate lighting fixtures and other appliances as well as key furniture elements. They can even be used as surrounds for small rooms, like bathrooms, utility system closets, trophy rooms, collector’s displays, computer server housing, or specialized workspaces. (gardening workstation, sewing workstation, small hidden workshops, home fabber, etc.) The Utilihab platform refers to these larger multi-purpose storage complexes as ‘supercabinets’ and they can be used as key partition structures in the interior design of a home. Many of our other examples of built-in furnishings are based on the potential use with/in a supercabinet.

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