ASSEMBLING THE UPPER CHEST

The highboy’s upper chest has two major components: a large carcase and an elaborate face frame that fits within it. As shown below, the carcase consists of a top and bottom, two side panels, and two back panels separated by a stile—or muntin. The carcase cor­ners are joined with through dovetail joints (page 26), and the back panels sit in rabbets cut around the inside edges of the carcase and muntin (page 31). The muntin is attached to the top and bot­tom of the carcase with mortise-and – tenon joints.

The face frame, shown face-up below and face-down on page 111, is built from a top rail, two L-shaped front posts, and
a drawer frame for each tier of drawers. The top rail is shaped to accept the crown molding (page 124) and rosettes (page 128), both of which are added later. The back face of the top rail is grooved to accept the carcase top, and has a tenon cut in each end to fit in mor­tises in the two front posts. The L shape of the front posts creates the space for the quarter columns (page 134). The front posts sit in notches cut in the car­case top and bottom.

The drawer’s supporting frames are assembled from rails and stiles joined

with mortise-and-tenons (page 36). Each frame has an added dovetailed slide (page 122). To anchor the frames to the carcase, two braces are screwed to the top of each one and to the side panels. The drawer frames are notched at the front to accommodate the front posts and screwed to them. The uppermost draw­er frame supports three small drawers; it features two dividers and three draw­er slides. Once the face frame has been built, it is simply slipped into the car­case (see below) and then screwed to the side of the carcase through the braces.