CABINETMAKING JOINERY

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image41Подпись: 1 Applying the glue Set two bar clamps on a work surface and lay the boards on top. Add as many clamps as you need to support the pieces at 24- to 36-inch intervals. Prop the clamps on notched wood blocks to keep them from falling over. Mark the end grain orientation of each board with a pencil, then arrange the pieces to enhance their appearance, as shown in the photo on page 13. To minimize warping, make sure the end grain of adjacent boards runs in opposite directions. Once you have a satisfactory arrangement, align the pieces edge-to-edge and mark a triangle on the stock to help you assemble the boards at glue up. Next, cut two protective wood pads at least as long as the boards. Leaving the first board face down, stand the other pieces on edge with the alignment marks facing away from you. Apply a thin glue bead to each board (above), then use a small, stiff-bristled brush to spread the adhesive evenly.

This section introduces some stan­dard joinery techniques common to the building of virtually any style of cabinet or bookcase. If you are using sol­id lumber for your project, you will make up the wide panels for the carcase or the panel of a ffame-and-panel assembly by gluing boards together edge-to-edge, as shown below. This technique enables you to save money—wide boards are prohibitively expensive—without sacri­ficing strength; a glued-up panel is just as strong as a single piece of lumber. If you are working with plywood panels, hardwood banding will hide unsightly edges (page 25).

Of the dozens of joinery options, the through dovetail joint remains the benchmark of craftsmanship. The joint

The plate, or biscuit, joint offers a strong and simple method of connecting car­case corners with a minimum of set-up time. The slots are cut with a special tool known as a plate joiner. Once glue is added to the slots, oval biscuits of com­pressed beech are inserted. When the joint is glued and assembled, the biscuits swell, creating a durable connection.

can be cut on a variety of power tools, but the hand-cutting technique shown starting on page 26 will give you the dis­tinctive look associated with fine furni­ture. A plate joint, shown beginning on page 29, is a much quicker option. Although it lacks the dovetail’s esthet­ic appeal, the plate joint is virtually as strong and is an excellent choice if you are working with plywood panels, which cannot be joined with dovetails. Whichever joint you choose, your car­

GLUING UP A PANEL
case will need a back. Installation details are provided on page 31.

Many types of cabinets, including the armoire shown on page 60, are built around frame-and-panel assemblies rather than carcases. Two joinery options for building such a cabinet are present­ed: the mortise-and-tenon (page 33) and the cope-and-stick joint (page 35). The panels for a frame-and-panel cabinet can be raised on either the table saw (page 36) or router (page 38).

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SHOP TIP

Adding edge molding to plywood

Conceal the visible edges of plywood panels with solid – wood molding. Use a tongue – and-groove joint to join the pieces. Cut a groove into the edge one-third as thick as the panel. Then saw a matching tongue on the edge of the hardwood board that will be used as the edge mold­ing. (It is best to make the tongue in a wide board, and then rip the molding from the piece). Secure the panel upright in a vise and spread some glue in the groove and on the tongue. Secure the molding in place with three-way clamps.

2

Tightening the clamps

Set the boards face down, making sure the sides of the triangle align. Tight­en the clamps under the boards just enough to press them together. Install a third clamp across the top of the stock, centering it between the others. Gradually tighten all the clamps (above) until there are no gaps between the boards and a thin bead of glue squeezes out of the joints. Use a C clamp to level adjacent boards that do not lie perfectly flush with each other. Protecting the boards with a wood pad, center the clamp on the joint near the ends and tighten it until the boards are level (inset), then remove the clamp and pad. Use a putty knife to remove as much of the squeezed-out glue as possible before it dries. Once the adhesive has cured, remove the clamps and use a paint scraper to remove any glue that remains.

HAND-CUT DOVETAILS

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1

Outlining the pins

Mark the outside face of each board with a big X, then set a cutting gauge to the thickness of the stock and scribe a line around the ends of the four panels to mark the shoulder of the pins and tails. The panels that will form the top and bottom of the carcase will be the pin boards. Secure each one in turn in a vise and use a dovetail square to outline the pins on the ends of the board in the sequence shown above. (You can also use a sliding bevel to mark the pins; set an angle of 1:6 for softwood or 1:8 for hardwood.) There are no firm guidelines for sizing and spacing the pins of a dovetail joint. In general, the pins

should be no wider than the tails; evenly spaced pins at least one-third the size of the waste sections around them will make for an attractive, strong joint. Begin with half-pins at each edge, making certain that the narrow sides of the pins are on the outside face of the panel. Outline the waste sections beside the half-pins and mark the center of the panel end. Outline a pin at the center mark, then mark the remaining pins (above, right), indicating all the waste sections with Xs. Use a combi­nation square to extend the marks down to the shoulder line on both faces as you go.

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2

Cutting the pins

Secure the first pin board in a vise with its outside face toward you. Use a dovetail saw to cut along the edges of the pins, working from one side of the panel to the other (right). Some wood­workers find it easier to cut all the left – hand edges first, and then move on to the right-hand edges. For each cut, align the saw blade with the waste side of the cutting line and use smooth, even strokes, taking care to keep the blade perpendic­ular to the panel end as you cut to the shoulder lines. Repeat the procedure at the opposite end of the board and at both ends of the other pin board.

image48Подпись: SHOP TIPПодпись:image50"3 Chiseling out the waste

Most of the waste wood between the pins can be removed with a coping saw, as shown in the shop tip below, leaving the final paring for a chisel. However, it is not much more difficult to chisel out all the waste. The key is to work patient­ly, removing thin slivers of wood with each cut, using a chisel no wider than the narrow side of the waste section. Set the pin board outside-face up on a work surface and clamp a guide block on top with the edge aligned with the shoulder line. Holding the chisel bevel-out against the guide block and perpendicular to the face of the workpiece, strike the handle with a wooden mallet to score a ‘/e-inch – deep cut (above, left). Then cut from the end of the board to shave off a ‘/e-inch layer of waste (above, right). Continue removing the waste until you are about halfway through the stock. Once you have removed all the waste from one side of the board, turn it over, reposition the edge of the guide block directly over the shoul­der line, and remove the waste from the other side.

CABINETMAKING JOINERY

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Outlining and cutting the tails

Mark shoulder lines on the tail boards as you did on the pin boards. Set one of the tail boards outside-face down on a work surface and clamp a guide block along the exposed shoulder line. Then, using a handscrew and clamps, fix one pin board on end against the guide block with its outside face away from the tail board. Make sure the edges are aligned, then outline the tails (above, left). Repeat the procedure on the opposite end of the board and on the other tail panel, then remove the clamps and use a combination square
to extend the lines onto the ends of the boards. Mark all the waste sections with Xs. Use a dovetail saw to cut the tails the same way you cut the pins (step 2). For some woodworkers, angling the board (above, right) rather than the saw makes for easier cutting. In either case, saw smoothly and evenly along the edge of each tail, stopping at the shoulder line. Once all the saw cuts have been made in both tail panels, remove the waste with a chisel or a coping saw.

5

image54 Gluing up the carcase

Dry-assemble the carcase before glue up to ensure the joints fit properly. Press each corner together by hand as far as it will go, then tap the pieces into final position with the mallet, protecting the wood with a scrap board. If a joint is too tight, mark the spot where it binds, then disassemble the carcase and pare excess wood at the mark. Once you are satisfied with the fit, take care of the other requirements of the carcase, such as installing a back panel (page 31)or preparing the sides for shelving or drawers. For glue up, make four wood pads as long as the width of the panels and cut small triangular notches in the pads so they only contact the tails. Spread a thin, even layer of glue on all the con­tacting surfaces, then assemble the carcase and install two bar clamps across the pin boards. Tighten the clamps a little at a time until a small amount of glue squeezes out of the joints (right).

ASSEMBLING A CARCASE WITH PLATE JOINTS

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Подпись: Cutting the slots The setup shown above will allow you to cut all the slots for one carcase corner without moving the panels. Leaving a side panel outside-face down, set the top piece outside-face up on top of it. Offset the top panel by the stock thickness, making sure the mating slot location marks on the two panels are perfectly aligned. Clamp the pieces in place and set a support board the same thickness as the stock in front of the panels. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for setting the depth of
Подпись: cut on the plate joiner. Rest the tool on the support board, butt its faceplate against the end of the top panel, and align the guideline on the faceplate with a slot location mark on the stock. Then cut a slot at each mark (above, left). To cut the mating slots in the side panel, butt the joiner’s base plate against the top panel and then align the center guideline on the plate with a slot location mark (above, right).

1 Marking the slot locations

Identify the outside face of each panel with an X, then mark location lines for the slots on each of the four corners. To start, place one side panel outside-face down on a work surface and hold the top panel at a 90° angle to it. Use a pen­cil to mark lines on the adjoining panels about 2 inches in from each corner; make a third mark midway along the edge (left). Wider panels will require additional bis­cuits; in general, there should be one biscuit every 4 to 6 inches. Repeat the procedure to mark slot locations on the other three corners of the carcase. Add reference letters to help you identi­fy the corners.

image584 Gluing up the carcase

Fit the top and bottom panels on the side panel and then apply adhesive in the slots and along the panel ends, inserting biscuits as you go. Add the oth­er side panel (right). Turning the car­case on end, use two bar clamps to press the top and bottom panels together and tighten the clamps exactly as you would when gluing up a carcase with dovetail joints (page 28), this time using standard wood pads to protect the stock.

3

Inserting the biscuits

Once all the slots have been cut, dry – fit the panels and cut a back panel if that is part of your design (page 31), or make ready for shelves or drawers. Then set one side panel outside-face down on the work surface and spread glue in the slots and along the panel surface, inserting biscuits as you go (left). To prevent the wooden wafers from expanding before the panels are assembled, proceed to step 4 as quickly as possible.

CABINETMAKING JOINERY

INSTALLING A BACK PANEL

 

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Подпись:1 Routing a rabbet for the panel

Dry-assemble the panels and set the carcase on a work sur­face with its back facing up; hold the pieces together using a bar clamp with support boards. Install a %-inch rabbeting bit with a ball-bearing pilot and adjust the depth of cut to make a rabbet that will be Vm inch deeper than the thickness of the back panei you will be installing. Starting at one corner of the carcase, rest the router’s base plate on the support board with the bit just clear of the workpiece. Holding the router firmly in both hands, turn on the tool and guide the bit into the panel. Once the pilot bearing meets the stock, pull the router against the direc­tion of bit rotation, keeping the base plate flat. When you reach the corner, turn off the tool, reposition the support board and cut rabbets along the edges of the remaining panels following the same procedure (left).

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3

Installing the panel

Installing the panel during glue up of the carcase will help keep the assembly square. Cut a piece of plywood to fit snugly into the rabbets. Glue up the carcase and, at the same time, apply a thin bead of glue along the rabbets and on the con­tacting surfaces of the plywood. Spread the glue evenly, set the panel in position, and use finishing nails to secure it at 4- to 6-inch intervals (above). You can also glue up the carcase separately, let the adhesive dry, and then install the panel.

Подпись: ANATOMY OF A FRAME-AND-PANEL CABINETПодпись:Подпись:Подпись:image62"Подпись: Median rail Separates door and drawer image64

FRAME-AND-PANEL CONSTRUCTION

Frame-and-panel cabinets may vary widely in their details, but all share sev­eral features: The assemblies are com­prised of frames made from stiles and rails, and panels that fit into grooves in the frame. A typical front and side sec­tion is shown below at right. To provide access to the inside of the cabinet, the front frequently has a frame but no pan­el. This one features a median rail with openings for a door and a drawer. The two missing assemblies would be simi­lar to the side assembly shown; each has a frame and a panel. In this case, the sides would share stiles with the front and back assemblies, allowing the rails to fit into both the edges and faces of the stiles.

Bottoms are typically attached to the frame by ledger strips or let into grooves cut in the inside edges of the frame. Tops can be attached with wood buttons that fit in grooves in the frame, or with metal fasteners, ledger strips, or pocket holes.

The two most common joints used in frame-and-panel construction are the mortise-and-tenon shown in the illustra­tion and the cope-and-stick. The mor- tise-and-tenon provides a relatively large gluing area, making it a very strong joint. Two variations are employed in the typi­cal cabinet: Blind mortise-and-tenons join median rails and stiles, while the haunched version is used to fill the groove end, eliminating the need for stopped grooves. The cope-and-stick is not quite as strong, but offers an addi­tional decorative touch. The router bit that cuts the grooves for the panel also carves a decorative molding on the inside edges of the frame. Step-by-step techniques for producing these joints are shown in this section: the mortise – and-tenons starting on page 33 and the
cope-and-stick on page 35. Whatever the joint, cabinetmakers generally build frames from stock that is at least % inch thick and 2 inches wide. Larger stock can also be used to suit the dimensions of a particular project.

The panels that fit inside the frames can be made either of plywood or edge – glued boards (page 24). To ensure that a panel will fit snugly in the grooves of the rails and stiles, but still have a little room to move as the wood expands and contracts, it is made substantially thin­
ner on the edges than in the middle. The shape of such a so-called raised panel is achieved by cutting away thick­ness at the edges.

There are several ways of making a raised panel, depending on the visual effect you desire. A common method, shown beginning on page 36, involves beveling the edges of the panel with a table saw or router.

The steps for gluing up individual frame-and-panel assemblies and cabi­nets are shown on page 39.

image65image66MORTISE-AND-TENON JOINTS

1

Cutting the tenon cheeks in the rails

Подпись:Подпись:For both blind and haunched tenons, start by installing a dado head on your table saw that is slightly wider than the length of the tenons—often % inch. Then attach an auxiliary fence and raise the blades to cut a clearance notch in it. Set the width of cut equal to the tenon length and the cutting height to one-third the stock thickness. Feed the workpiece face-down, butting the end against the fence and the edge against the miter gauge. Turn the rail over and repeat the cut on the other side (left). Test the tenon in a scrap piece of wood with a mortise the same width as those to be cut in the stiles (page 34); adjust the height of the dado head and repeat the cuts, if necessary. Cut the remaining tenon cheeks before proceeding.

Tenon

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Подпись: Cutting the tenon shoulders The shoulders for both blind and haunched tenons can be cut on the table saw. For the blind tenons, leave the cutting width unchanged and set the height of the dado head to about У2 inch. With the rail flush against the fence and the miter gauge, feed the workpiece on edge into the blades. Turn the rail over and repeat on the other side of the tenon (above). Cut the shoulders at the opposite end of the rail the same
Подпись: way. For the haunched tenons, use the same cutting height and cut one shoulder as for the blind tenons, then position the fence to leave a haunch equal in width to the depth of the panel groove on the other shoulder. With the stock on edge, use the fence and the miter gauge to feed it into the blades (inset). Repeat to cut the haunch on the other end of the board.

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Routing the mortises

Clamp all the stiles together face to face, ends aligned, and use one of the blind tenons cut in step 2 to outline the mortises on the stiles. To cut each mortise, secure one stile in a vise. Install a commercial edge guide on a plunge router, then screw a wood extension onto the guide. Fit the router with a straight bit the same width as the mortise and set the cutting depth. Center the bit over the mortise outline and butt the extension against the stile. Gripping the router firmly, turn it on and plunge the bit into the stock (right). Move the tool from one end of the mortise to the other, making as many passes as necessary to complete the cut to the required depth. Repeat to rout the other mortises, then square the ends of the cavities with a chisel.

image71image721 Cutting the tongues in the rails

Подпись: Miter gauge extension

CABINETMAKING JOINERY
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Подпись: Cutting the grooves Replace the coping bit with a piloted sticking bit—also known as a stile cutter. To set the cutting depth, butt the end of the completed rail against the bit, and adjust the bit until one of its groove-cutting teeth is level with the rail tongue (above, left). Align the fence with the edge of the pilot bearing. Use two featherboards to secure the workpiece during the cut:
Подпись: Clamp one to the router table opposite the bit and secure the other on the infeed side of the fence. (In this illustration, the second featherboard has been removed for clarity.) Make each cut with the stock outside-face down, pressing the workpiece against the fence (above, right). Use a push stick to complete the pass. Repeat the groove cut on all the rails and stiles.

Begin constructing a cope-and-stick frame by cutting tongues in the ends of all the rails. After that, rout grooves for the panels along the inside edges of the frame pieces; the grooves in the stiles will accom­modate the rail tongues at the same time. To cut the tongues, install a piloted coping bit—the rail cutter—in your router and mount the tool in a table. Set the cutting depth by butting the end of a rail against the bit and adjusting the router’s depth setting so that the top of the uppermost cutter is slightly above the workpiece. Position the fence par­allel to the miter gauge slot and in line with the edge of the bit pilot. Fit the miter gauge with an extension and lay the outside face of the stock flat on the table; keep the ends of the workpiece and extension butted against the fence throughout each cut (left).

RAISING A PANEL WITH A TABLE SAW

CABINETMAKING JOINERY

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1

Cutting the end grain

Test-fit the rails and stiles and mea­sure the opening between them. Add ‘A inch to each dimension; A inch of each panel side will fit into the grooves in the frame. Then cut the panel to size on the table saw. To determine the blade angle for raising the panel, draw a M-inch square at the bottom corner, then mark a line from the front face of the panel through the inside corner of the square to a point on the bottom edge % inch from the back face (inset). Hold the pan­el against an auxiliary wood fence and adjust the blade angle until it aligns with the marked line. Adjust the height of the cutting edge until the outside tip of one tooth extends beyond the face of the pan­el, then clamp a guide block to the work­piece to ride along the top of the fence. Feed the panel into the blade, keeping it flush against the fence while pushing it forward with the guide block (left). Test – fit the cut end in a groove. If less than / inch of the panel enters the groove, move the fence a little closer to the blade and make another pass. Repeat the cut at the other end of the panel.

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2

Cutting with the grain

Set the panel on edge and feed it into the blade, then turn the panel over to cut the remaining edge (right). No guide block is needed for these cuts, but take care to keep the back flush against the fence. Cutting into the end grain of the panel first—beveling the top and bottom before the sides—helps reduce tearout.

CABINETMAKING JOINERY

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A JIG FOR CUTTING RAISED PANELS

The jig shown at right will enable you to raise a panel on the table saw without having to tilt the saw blade. Refer to the illustration for suggest­ed dimensions.

Screw the lip along the bottom edge of the angled fence, making certain to position the screws where they will not be struck by the blade when the jig is used. Lean the angled fence against the auxiliary fence at the same angle as the cutting line marked on the panel (page 36). (Use a sliding bevel to transfer the angle.) Cut triangular supports to fit between the two fences and fasten them in place with screws.

image78To use the jig, set it on the saw table with the seam between the lip and the angled fence over the blade; check to be sure the screws are well

image79clear of the table opening. Position the rip fence against the auxiliary fence, then screw the two together. Turn on the saw and crank up the blade slowly into the jig to cut a kerf through the lip. Turn off the saw, seat the panel in the jig and adjust the blade height until the outside tip of one tooth extends beyond the front face of the panel. Make a test cut on a scrap board the same thickness as the panel, then test-fit the cut end in a groove. Reposition the blade or fence, if necessary. Then, place the panel in the jig and make the cuts, beveling the end grain first (left).

MAKING A RAISED PANEL WITH A ROUTER

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1 Setting up the router

Install a panel-raising bit in your rout­er and mount the tool in a table. To ensure that the cutting depth is uniform, posi­tion the fence parallel to the miter gauge slot and in line with the bit pilot. With the router turned off, adjust the fence by placing a scrap board along the fence and across the bit. The bit pilot should turn as the board touches it (right). Start with a ^-inch-deep cut so that you will reach your final depth in two or more passes.

2

Raising the panel

Lower the guard over the bit and turn on the router. To minimize tearout, cut the end grain of the panel first. Work carefully; a panel-raising bit is one of the more dangerous router bits because of the large amount of stock that it re­moves with each pass. Keep the panel flat on the table outside-face down and flush against the fence as you feed it across the bit (left). Repeat the cut at the other end and along both sides. Turn off the router and test-fit one end in a frame groove. If the panel lies less than % inch deep in the groove, increase the cutting depth slightly and make another pass all around. Continue in this manner until the panel fits properly.

ASSEMBLING A FRAME-AND-PANEL CABINET

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1

Gluing up a single assembly

Test-assemble the frame-and-panel (above, left). If a joint is too tight, disassemble the pieces and use a chisel to pare away some wood. Once you are satisfied with the fit, sand any surfaces that will be difficult to reach when the frame has been glued up, and spread glue on all the contact­ing surfaces of the joints. Do not apply any adhesive in the panel grooves; the panel must be free to move within the frame. Reassemble the frame and set it face down on two
bar clamps, aligning the bars with the rails. To keep the clamps from falling over, prop them up in notched blocks. Using clamping blocks to protect the stock, tighten each clamp in turn until a thin bead of glue squeezes out of the joints (above, right). Check that the corners are at 90° as you go. Once the adhesive has dried, remove any dried glue remaining on the wood with a paint scraper, and sand the outside surfaces.

2

Gluing up the cabinet

Test-fit the cabinet, adjust any ill-fit­ting joints, and sand the inside surfaces of all the pieces. Apply glue to the joints— except the grooves that hold the panels— and assemble the cabinet. Then, with the cabinet upright, install four bar clamps running from front to back over the rails, using wood pads to protect the stock. Tighten the clamps evenly (left) until a thin bead of glue squeezes out of the joints. Check that the cabinet is square by measuring the distance between diagonal corners; the two measurements should be the same. If not, install an extra bar clamp across the longer of the two diagonals, setting the clamp jaws on those already in place. Tighten the clamp until the diagonals are equal. Once the glue has cured, remove the clamps and scrape away any dried adhesive.

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