ANATOMY OF A CARCASE

W

hether it is a box that will house a couple of drawers and a shelf or a china cabinet destined to grace your dining room, the carcase you build will feature many of the basic elements illus­trated below. First, it will have four sides, or panels, which are usually the same width and thickness. Another require­
ment is that parallel panels must have the same dimensions.

Although a panel can be made from a single piece of lumber, it is generally less expensive to glue narrower boards edge-to-edge to form the wide surface (page 20). Once glued up, the panels are planed, jointed on one edge, cut to size,
and then their surfaces are sanded. A third option—one which combines the economy of glued-up panels and the ease of solid lumber—is to use hard­wood plywood, which can be made to look like solid wood, by the addition of a banding along exposed edges (page 39). Constructing carcases from plywood

ANATOMY OF A CARCASEANATOMY OF A CARCASE
Подпись:ANATOMY OF A CARCASE

Corner joint

Secures the ends of the panels together; rabbet joint is shown, but dovetail and plate joints are also popular choices.

Shelving

May be plywood or single piece of wood, but often made from edge-glued boards. Fixed shelves are glued in dadoes routed on the inside surfaces of side panels; adjustable shelves rest on supports.

Подпись: Edge banding Decorative veneer commercially available but can be made in the shop; glued to exposed edges of plywood panels and shelves. ANATOMY OF A CARCASE

Подпись: CORNER JOINTS Through dovetail joint Tapered pins on one panel interlock witI angled tails of the other; offers large gluing surface. For best appearance, pins are usually cut at the ends of the top and bottom panels; tails are sawn at ends of the side panels. Strong, decorative joint for solid lumber; not recommended for plywood. Good choice when featuring joinery as an element of design.
ANATOMY OF A CARCASE
Подпись: Plate or biscuit joint Biscuits of compressed wood fit into slots in the mating boards; glue swells the biscuits, strengthening the joint. To conceal end grain when viewed from the side of carcase, slots are usually cut into end grain of top and bottom panels and into mating faces of side panels. Strong joint for solid lumber or plywood. Not decorative but quick and easy to make. Подпись: Rabbet joint Edge of one board fits into rabbet cut in the mating board; offers large gluing surface. To conceal end grain of top and bottom panels, the rabbets are normally cut into the side panels. Strong joint for solid lumber or plywood. Also used to join carcase back to panels. Not as decorative as a through dovetail, but much simpler to make.

does have its disadvantages, however. It reduces your flexibility when it comes to the joinery; dovetails, for example, simply will not work. It also rules out such esthetic possibilities as creating attractive grain patterns on the panels by edge gluing carefully matched boards.

If you plan to add edge banding or install shelves (page 41), you must antic­ipate those steps before gluing the panels together. For shelves, you will need to rout dadoes or bore dowel holes on the inside surfaces of the side panels.

For more detail on the cutting, joint­ing, sanding and other procedures

necesssary to prepare boards and panels, refer to the Cabinetmaking Techniques section on page 12. Of the many joinery methods that can be used to connect the panels of a carcase, this chapter focuses on three of the most common: the hand-cut through dovetail joint, the plate joint and the rabbet joint.