Despite their differences, the frame – and-panel assemblies that make up a typical cabinet have elements in common: Namely, frames made from rails and stiles, and panels that fit into grooves in the frame. Bottoms and tops are usually added, along with shelving in many cases. These components are typically made of edge-glued boards of the same stock used for the frame.
Individual cabinets will feature variations. In some instances, the sides will share stiles with the front and back assemblies with rails fitting into both the edges and the faces of the stiles. To provide access to the inside of the cabinet, the front frequently has a frame but no panel. Sometimes, a median rail is used to divide the opening into two discrete sections.
The two most common joints in ffarne – and-panel cabinets are the haunched mortise-and-tenon and the cope-and- stick. The haunched mortise-and-tenon offers greater gluing surface than the standard mortise-and – tenon, making it a very strong joint. The haunch also fills in the end of the groove cut into the stiles, eliminating the need for stopped grooves. The cope-and-stick joint provides comparable strength and adds its own decorative touch. The router bit that cuts the grooves for the panel also carves a decorative molding in the inside edges of the frame. Whatever the joint, cabinetmakers usually build frames from 14-inch stock that is at least 2 inches wide; larger stock may also be used to suit the dimensions of a particular project.
Usually overhangs outside edges of frame; attached with wood buttons, as shown, or with metal fasteners, ledger strips or pocket holes. Edge commonly has routed decoration
Conceals joint between top and frame; can be purchased or made in the shop
Used to fasten top to frame. One end fits into groove cut into frame, permitting slight movement; other end screwed to top
Can be positioned in dadoes at any height inside cabinet to provide adjustable shelving
May have decorative detail routed along front edge
Attached to frame by ledger strips or glued into groove cut in inside edges of frame
stiles, but no panel. Instead, a median rail serves as a dividing line between the openings for a door and a drawer.