ASSEMBLING A FRAME-AND-PANEL CASE

W

ith a few variations, you can repeat the procedures shown on pages 57 and 58 to join individual frame-and – panel assemblies into a piece of furniture. A single frame and panel make up the back of a small cabinet. The front is put together in roughly the same way using mortise-and-tenon joints. On this side, however, there is no panel in the frame, but a median rail running between the
stiles. In this situation, the rads and stiles can be joined with standard mortise – and-tenons (page 104), rather than the haunched variety used for the other three sides.

The side assemblies are identical to the back, except for one feature: Instead of having stiles of their own, the sides fit into the stiles of the front and back assemblies. If you are using mortise-and-
tenon joints, as in the piece of furniture shown below and on the following pages, the tenons of the side rails fit into mor­tises cut into the inside faces of the stiles; for cope-and-stick joints, tongues cut in the rads fit in grooves routed in the stdes. In both cases, the panels fit into grooves routed along the inside faces of the front and back stiles and the edges of the rads between them.

GLUING UP A CABINET

ASSEMBLING A FRAME-AND-PANEL CASEPutting the case together

Test-fit the case as you would when dry assembling a single frame-and-panel side (page 57), then sand the inside surfaces of all the pieces. Apply glue to the joints—with the excep­tion of the grooves that hold the panels—and make your final assembly: Set the back of the cabinet face down and fit the four side rails into its stiles. Install the two side panels in the groove in the back stiles and the inside edges of the side rails. Finally, put on the front, placing the mortises in the stiles over the haunched tenons on the side rails. Set the case upright and install four bar clamps running from front to back over the rails, protecting the surfaces of the stiles with wood pads. Tighten the clamps evenly (right) until a thin glue bead squeezes out of the joints. Use a measuring tape to check whether the case is square, measuring the distance between opposite corners; the two measurements should be equal. If not, install another bar clamp across the longer of the two diagonals, setting the clamp jaws on those already in place. Tighten the clamp a lit­tle at a time, measuring as you go (below) until the two diago­nals are equal. Once the glue has dried, remove the clamps and use a paint scraper to remove any dried adhesive.