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Woodworking with Diego de Assis


 
  Making Honeycomb Panels 1 of 9  

Also known in Brazil as Tamburato (a brand name of Eucatex), Honeycomb panel or HC panel is a product intended for modern furniture, with strong straight lines.

It is basically built with external veneers connected to a core of Kraft paper honeycomb, resulting in a thick, rigid and light panel. It is very simple and economical to make.

According to the Industrial Director of Colméia do Brasil, Ranúlio Francisco Zampieri, “We understand that this product originated in China, but it has been widely used in Italy. In Brazil, it has been used for 26 years. We estimate that 10% to 20% of the furniture factories in Brazil use the HC panel as a raw material”.

On a visit to the LACCA furniture factory in Rio de Janeiro, which is well known for making furniture with HC panels, I was able to verify the qualities of HC and some of its uses. This was used as a basis for the experiment reported in this article.

In this article I provide an overview of the secrets of making an HC panel, and how to use it in building a piece of furniture. In the preparation of this piece I received orientation from Colméia do Brasil, the makers of the paper honeycombs, and Häfele do Brasil, supplier of the hardware.

 

I recently built a commissioned piece, a 250 x 55 x 42 cm open cabinet, with the following characteristics:

  • interchangeable modular pieces;
  • MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) panels, OSB (Oriented Strand Board) and mahogany veneered plywood;
  • Shop-made HC panels;
  • Minifix and TAB20 hardware;
  • a nitrocellulose lacquer finish (cabinet).

One condition was to not use the bottom of the furniture, which is only supported by the hardware.

Making the Honeycomb Panel

The assembly for the HC panel may be placed in presses, pressure belts or clamps. To glue up the panel, I chose to build wooden clamps, with 3/8” bolts and cutoffs from good quality plywood.


 
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