Materials and Methods

Why Ply?

Plywood is frequently associated with chipboard as a low-cost, rough and imperfect substitute for chunky, solid timber. However plywood is in fact a genuine wood product, made by layering together thin sheets of birch veneer.

As each sheet is compressed, the grain is laid in the opposite direction in every new layer, giving plywood its distinctive stacked appearance. This results in uniform strength in each direction, much stronger than alternative sheet goods commonly found in cabinet construction (MDF, fibreboard etc). Our birch plywood is lacquered with varnish on both sides for a flawless, smooth and durable finish.

Along with its inherent strength, birch plywood is also free of voids throughout the sheet. So for us cabinet makers we find that screws will bite and hold with 100% of their threads, joints get 100% glue coverage and from an aesthetic perspective, the exposed edges of the plywood have a fantastic appearance.

We source all our plywood from northern Europe, mainly in Latvia. The plywood manufacturing process is kept as environmentally friendly as possible with all wood by-products being used in the processing plant, and sustainable re-planting of saplings being carried out as each tree is felled. Here’s a great video showing our plywood from harvesting to shipping:

Our birch plywood cabinets, in all their naked glory, makes a feature out of a material instead of hiding the way it has been processed under the pretence of an item of solid wood. Birch plywood is a durable, attractive and environmentally sound building material; something which will weather the years and is certain to be a talking point.

Birkwood cabinetry:

Our approach to cabinet making has been borne not only through many years of learning and experience but from the aim of creating the strongest furniture to endure several generations’ worth of wear and tear. We use advanced CNC machinery coupled with traditional hand finishing techniques to bring out the best in our materials and designs.

Each part of the cabinet is precision cut by CNC machine which leaves no room for error. The cabinet is then assembled by hand using mortise and tenon joints, which have been used by woodworkers for thousands of years, primarily for their strength. This joint is then glued and screwed for maximum robustness and longevity. We like to expose our tenons, which is what you can see at the sides of our cabinets, we think they add to the character of our furniture. However if you would prefer them to be unseen this can be easily done. Every exposed plywood edge is sanded to a smooth finish and then polished with carnauba and beeswax which beautifully brings out the dimensions of the stacked plywood layers.

Adding colour and character:

We love colour. Both muted and bright tones will add spirit, vibrancy, warmth and personality to your cabinets and to your room. Adding colour to your Birkwood kitchen is executed in one of two very different ways:


When brought together, solid birch plywood and laminate brings a combination of a striking yet simple aesthetic, delivering a tough, practical and durable product with a unique and fully customisable colour scheme. The use of unadorned birch plywood forces the smallest detail to the forefront. Each joint becomes a decorative element in its own right and the choice of placement of a hand notch can contribute significantly to the character of the cabinet. We use the best laminate from Abet Laminati, and Formica available in many hundreds of colours and styles to enhance, stand out in or blend into your room. By using several colours in a run of cabinets you need not commit an entire room to a single colour or pattern. One thing is guaranteed – no-one will have a kitchen quite like yours.


“Painted by a person rather than a machine”, this dictionary definition sums this process up. Our in-frame doors drawer fronts are crafted using a five-piece shaker-style construction. The centre panel is birch plywood and the stiles and rails are solid tulip-wood (poplar); tulip wood is a beautiful, stable wood and offers a perfect surface for hand-painting. Visible brush strokes carry with them the resonance of tradition and craftsmanship; a hand-painted cabinet will have enduring appeal and stand the test of time. Our time-served master painter from Bannerman Decorators in Perth applies 4 coats of Farrow and Ball’s pigment-rich paint in your colour of choosing. Farrow and Ball’s paints are renowned for their eco-credentials and low odour, making them ideal for the home environment and family lifestyle.

Get in touch

Phone:01796 482506

Units 1 & 2 Ballinluig, Pitlochry, Perthshire PH9 0LG

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Our regular hours are Monday - Friday between 9am and 5pm but we can often be found in the workshop outwith these times and days. We have a small showroom and welcome visitors by appointment.

  • Workshop
    Birkwood Cabinet Makers
    Units 1 & 2 Ballinluig, Pitlochry, Perthshire PH9 0LG
    Call: 01796 482506