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.
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
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