Flat Vs Rabbeted Molding Frame

The type of molding frame will determine how much of the top or bottom edge of the carcase is visible.

FLAT FRAME

FLAT FRAME

Timber Types

RABBETED FRAME

Internal frame is the same thickness as the molding.

Internal frame is the same thickness as the molding.

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Molding

Avoid gaps here.

A flat frame is easier to build and fit.

But it shows the entire case edge and must lie perfectly flat.

Internal frame

Molding

Avoid gaps here.

A flat frame is easier to build and fit.

But it shows the entire case edge and must lie perfectly flat.

RABBETED FRAME

Molding overhangs the frame, creating a lip that covers any gaps.

Rabbeted frame leaves the carcase reveal up to you. And if the frame doesn't lie perfectly flat, the gap won't show.

Once the frame has been made, you need to form the tongues, stopping them at the front and leaving extra wood for the tails. Because the tongues and dadoes will be hidden, only the shoulders for the dovetails need to be tight, and the tongues don't need to bottom out in the dadoes; however, the tongues should be snug in thickness, especially at the front.

A few tips for the drawers

Once the frames have been fitted and glued in, you may build and fit the drawers by any method you're comfortable with. Drawer fronts, of course, have a lot to do with the appearance of a chest, so look over the wood and plan the overall grain pattern before you begin.

This article presents two options: a flush drawer and a lipped drawer (see top photo, p. 65). Both types need stops (the fragile lip molding is there only to cover the clearance gaps). One reason why I

locate the stop blocks on the rear dividers is that it's easy to clamp them in place while testing the drawer. Just remember to size your drawers to make room for the stops. But the great trick here is that putting the stops on a floating frame keeps the drawers flush at the front even as the case changes depth through the seasons.

Ease the transitions with moldings

Visually, top and bottom moldings have a powerful effect. They frame the case with their strong horizontal lines and play of light. Their projection at the bottom gives the base a sense of stability and strength. An upper molding provides a transition to the overhang of the top and also balances the bottom molding.

Many times you'll see old work with moldings attached to the case itself, but these tend to fail over time as the case shrinks. Using separate frames for the moldings will give the same appearance while allowing for case movement. These top and bottom frames can be built using either of two methods (above).

Both methods can use secondary wood for the inner part of the frame. The first is a simple mitered frame with a molded edge. A more complex, rabbeted frame system wraps over the sides and front edge of the case. With this system you can choose how much of the front case edge shows, giving a wider range of effects.

Both frame systems should overhang the back to allow for expansion of the case. Fasten the frames to the case with screws, tight along the front but with elongated holes along the sides and back to allow the case to move.

Flat frame is quicker to build—The first step for the flat frame is to know the exact dimensions of the molding you want, its projection from the piece, and the width of the primary wood. The next step is to glue the primary-wood strips onto the

Internal frame

Molding is thicker than frame.

Rabbeted frame leaves the carcase reveal up to you. And if the frame doesn't lie perfectly flat, the gap won't show.

Smaller reveal

Internal frame

Molding is thicker than frame.

Smaller reveal

Ogee Bracket Feet Rear

Mitered corner

Glue blocks reinforce the joint without restricting wood movement.

inner-frame stock and then mill the blanks to thickness.

Get the front miters fitting correctly before mortising in the flat, unmolded rear rail. Join the mitered corners with biscuits or stopped splines. Last, mold the desired profile on the outside edge.

Build the rabbeted frame in two parts—The second frame system is built in two stages. The inner, secondaiy-wood frame is thinner than the molding, based on how much of the case edge you want covered. I build the frame first, slightly oversize, then trim it to fit the case exactly. Let the back edge overhang to hide seasonal case expansion.

Now form the rabbet with the three thicker molding blanks. Dry-fit the parts carefully, making sure the miters come together exactly at the corners of the case, keeping the end pieces long at first to allow room for adjustment. Then glue the blanks to the edges of the frame and mold the profile. The frame is held with screws as before, with elongated holes to allow for movement.

Attach the top

The top of the case is often molded on three edges and usually has an overhanging back to hide shrinkage and to avoid a large gap between the case and the wall.

If a molding is used below the top, it's important to let the case, the molding frame, and the top move independently. All three parts are held tight with screws along the front edge to keep the miters and reveals constant. But along the sides and back use elongated screw holes between the frame and top, as well as the case and frame. People commonly lift cases by the top edge, so all of these connections must be veiy strong.

Molded or unmolded, with a wide variety of cutouts, bracket feet are used in many periods and styles. They are glued to the base molding frame (or attached to the case).

FLAT BRACKET FOOT OGEE BRACKET FOOT FLAT BRACKET BASE

BRACKET FEET

Molding frame serves as the attachment point for the base.

wood is used at the back of the base.

Glue blocks

Half-blind dovetail or tongue-and-dado joint

A strong bottom molding frame serves as a stable platform for attaching the feet, whether bracket style (shown here) or vertical (see the facing page).

Bracket feet may be flat or molded.

BASES

Miter joint at front corners

Miter Joint Bracket

Details define the style

Period or contemporary? The choice of moldings, drawers, feet, and hardware offers a wide range of design possibilities.

Period or contemporary? The choice of moldings, drawers, feet, and hardware offers a wide range of design possibilities.

Details define the style

This construction system will produce a wide variety of case pieces, depending on the combination of the individual elements. An 18th-century piece (top) combines moldings, drawers, and feet common to that period. Lipped drawers soften the line of the front. A wide base molding and classic ball-and-claw feet give the piece a broad stance. The top is carefully dimensioned and molded to relate to the rest of the piece.

The bottom chest of drawers has a more contemporary look with harder lines and surfaces, including a flush front. The curved, tapered legs flare outward, broadening the stance without looking heavy. The base and top moldings are beveled to complement the style. And the top is chamfered to make it appear thinner and to match the other elements.

These examples are the tip of the iceberg. You could make the case taller than it is wide, or use a different array of drawers. And consider the effect of other wood species or figured wood for the drawers.

Choose a base

The final bit of woodworking is to prepare a base. For this article, I built the two most common systems, each adaptable to many leg styles. Bracket feet are cut from blanks with horizontal grain and are mitered at the front. The other leg style has vertical grain, which usually features narrower legs, often braced by flanking side pieces.

Bracket feet—Start the flat bracket feet with one long board about 3/4 in. thick. The six blanks should be taken out of a single board, if possible, so the grain pattern wraps around the base, matching at the miters. It's also nice to use the same board here as you did for the base molding to help hide the joint between the base frame and the feet.

Round tenon attaches to the molding frame.

Transition pieces are tenoned into the foot.

Transition pieces are tenoned into the foot.

Vertical-grain foot

Vertical-grain foot

The rear feet are braced with secondary wood. The joint at this back corner can be half-blind dovetails or, more simply, a tongue and dado. The miters for the front parts can be reinforced with a spline, but usually it's enough just to butt them.

Cut and dry-fit the joints before cutting the foot profile. The assembled feet are glued to the base frame. All of the foot and base joints should be reinforced with glue blocks. A single vertical block can cause the foot to crack, so I use three short blocks with Vs in. of space between them.

Vertical feet with support pieces— The second constaiction system is seen in the saber leg with flanking transition pieces. Its main advantage over bracket feet is that the vertical grain direction allows a strong foot of a much smaller size.

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.

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  • nibs
    How to use rabbeted cabinet moulding?
    3 months ago

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