This section features two time-tested methods for permanently joining legs to the rails of a piece of furniture: the mortise-and-tenon joint and the dowel joint. Two more contemporary ways are also featured; both involve using knock-down leg hardware—suitable for furniture that must be taken apart and reassembled periodically.
To some extent, the type of leg will dictate the way you join it to the rails. You would be unlikely, for example, to use a hanger bolt to fix a cabriole leg to a fine ffame-and-panel cabinet. A mor – tise-and-tenon joint would be a more appropriate choice.
There are several techniques for making the mortise-and-tenon. You can use a table saw to cut the tenons (page 104);
the mortises can be bored with a router (page 50) or a drill press (page 106)... >
straight. The most common element of cabriole legs is the S-shaped curve, which is meant to suggest the grace and elegance of a horse’s leg.
The design shown below will yield an attractive, well-proportioned leg strong and stable enough to support a piece of furniture. You can alter the pattern to suit your own project or copy the design of an existing leg that appeals to you. However, do not exaggerate the curves too much or you risk making the leg unstable. Before cutting into the block of wood, perform this simple test on your design: Draw a straight line from the top of the leg to
MAKING A CABRIOLE LEG
Designing a cabriole leg
For a template, cut a piece of stiff cardboard or hardboard to the same length and width as your leg blanks... >
Like their counterparts in human anatomy, legs in cabinetmaking serve mainly as supports. But furniture legs play an equally important esthetic role, complementing and setting off for display anything from a carcase to a chair.
Whatever the style of legs, the challenges of making them are several: shape and proportion must be perfectly in balance with the rest of the piece of furniture, and the leg must also provide adequate support. The goal is to achieve a balance between strength and beauty.
This chapter will show you how to make four popular leg types: cabriole, tapered, octagonal and square legs. Several methods of attaching legs are also presented. Taken together, these leg types and joinery techniques offer attractive alternatives for a wide range of furniture styles.
As ornamental as the frame-and – panel door, the veneered-panel door is much simpler to make. First of all, it does not require mortise-and-tenon joints. In fact, the frame adds no strength to the door at all; the four sides are simply mitered at each end. The assembly is held together by biscuit joints that affix it to a plywood panel, which serves as the structural backbone of the door.
The veneered plywood is formed by up to nine plies of thin veneer glued together. The outer skin is typically У28 inch thick for hardwoods and Mo inch thick for softwoods.
Since plywood is not affected by humidity, no allowance has to be made for changes in the size of the panel. Therefore, it does not need to have a bevel cut along its edge to fit into a groove on the frame... >
panels, each holding its own pane. In addition to its aesthetic appeal, this design makes the glass less prone to breaking and also cheaper to replace.
Glass is available in various thicknesses and types. For door-making purposes, the most commonly used variety is sheet or window glass, available in thicknesses up to lA inch.
CONSTRUCTING A GLASS DOOR
Cutting a rabbet to hold the pane of glass
Clamp the frame to a work surface, using a wood pad for protection. Then install a /s-inch rabbeting bit on a router and set the depth of cut to the combined thickness of the glass and the molding. Hold the tool firmly with both hands while resting the baseplate on the frame near one corner, then turn on the >
router and guide the bit into the inside edge of the door...
Solid-panel doors offer the same combination of strength and charm as their frame-and-panel counterparts. This section features two styles: tongue-and – groove and board-and-batten doors.
Sizing stock for a board-and-batten door is a matter of making the length of the boards equal to the door height; their combined width should equal the door width. Dimensioning stock for a tongue – and-groove door requires making the length of the stiles the same height as the door. The width of the door will be
the length of the rails—without the tenons—added to the width of the stiles.
In building a board-and-batten door, some woodworkers use two horizontal battens instead of the standard Z-shaped pattern; for added strength, the two pieces are recessed in dadoes cut into the back of the door... >
frame-and-panel door may be built the same way as one side of a ffame – and-panel cabinet (page 48). Although the door illustrated below features standard mortise-and-tenons, you can also use haunched mortise-and-tenons or cope-and-stick joints. The floating panel in the center of the door can be raised, as shown, divided into a pattern of smaller panels or inlaid. The rails and stiles
have an integrated molding cut into them; for added embellishment, you may choose to cut an arch or curve into the upper rail.
The tongue-and-groove door is a popular choice for modern, European – style furniture. It has stiles with grooved edges that accept tenons at the ends of the rails. The rails have grooves on their bottom edges and tongues on their tops, >
allowing them to interlock...
As a fine piece of furniture nears completion, the last major task before finishing the wood is often constructing and mounting the doors. A project within a project, assembling a door demands the same care as building the piece it accompanies. Nothing is more frustrating than seeing a carefully crafted cabinet offset by a door that is warped or ill-fitting.
In addition to providing a visual focus, doors serve the simple function of protecting the contents stored inside a piece of furniture.
One of the first recorded uses in cabinetmaking of a door as a physical barrier was the medieval aumbrey, a large cabinet used to protect food from vermin. The design of the door was primitive: a single piece of wood held in place with simple forged strap hinges.
Today’s woodworkers have far m... >