Frame and panel or frame and thin skin construction

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Much of this method of construction is a legacy of the utility furniture of the 1940s and early 1950s, when wood was at a premium and components were whittled down to a bare minimum. The extremely thin veneered plywood skins and panels were designed to give the appearance of solid wood construction and a traditional feel. This method of construction,

Frame And Panel Joint

177 Basic construction showing joints 1. Housed/ with economy of material as its main aim, dadoed joint 2 & 3. Tongue and lap 4. Mitre and became standard practice for most inexpensive tongue/spline 5. Dowel joint kitchen and bedroom furniture production.

Coloured panels and plastic laminates were often used to relieve the monotony of wood veneers and to add visual interest.

This form of construction is best seen in the very inexpensive unpainted whitewood furniture so popular in the 1970s but now largely t=

r/, solid edging solid edging

veneer edging

178 Types of lipping or edging veneer edging

178 Types of lipping or edging

1 E 1


solid tongued edging



ply tongue or spline ply tongue or spline

veneer edging or spline with cock or corner beads

solid panel spot glued at centre to allow equal movement between stiles stile stile stile stile

179 Solid frame and panel construction

179 Solid frame and panel construction superseded by low-cost KD production. However, frame and panel construction in solid wood, as practised over the centuries, is still in evidence in high-quality reproduction work, some quality pine pieces, and in the work of the small cabinet-making shops and designer craftsmen.

A simple assembly for framed carcasses often employed in production-work is to glue and screw a fillet to the top side framing rail and screw the top frame to this, cutting it round the front post as in 181. Under-tops, fixed shelves, rails and carcass bases must be inset by the thickness of the back, and it is as well to form the groove or rebate/rabbet for these before laying out the carcass joints.

Other forms of frame construction are shown in 182. In 182:1 the panelled wardrobe or cupboard construction has side frames

180 A fine example of the imaginative use of solid frame and panel construction, this small wall-hung cabinet in walnut is designed and made by Kenneth Marshall

Frame And Panel Cabinet ConstructionMarshall Cabinet Construction

181 Simple assembly for framed carcasses dovetailed to the top and bottom rails, and a front pilaster planted on and either tongued and grooved, as shown in the inset, or glue blocked on the inside with a small bead or vee groove at the junction with the side frames. In the chest construction (182:2) the pilasters are dispensed with; there are no middle rails to the side frames and the single ply panel is further stiffened by the drawer runners glued on. Figure 182:3 shows the junction of a top bearer rail with a post and frame construction, while in 182:4 the side frames are rebated/rabbeted for a ply sheet to yield a flush surface. This method, together with 182:5 in which the ply is press glued over the, whole framework and the edges rounded over, is often used in whitewood furniture for subsequent painting. Figure 183:1 is a pedestal desk construction. The meeting of the drawer rail (183: lA) with cheeks flush with the leg posts on the inside is shown at 183:2A, and with cheeks flush with the outside at 183:3. Figure 183:4 is the junction of the base (B) stub tenoned into the post and rebated and screwed into the cheek, as carcass dovetailing cannot be used owing to the different direction of entry. Top kickers (183:1C) will be necessary, also drawer guides as shown in the dotted lines

(183:3); if the cheeks are not flush with the posts on the inside, they are merely cut in and pinned and glued to the drawer runners. Figure 183:5 is a knee-hole type desk with suspended drawer units or pedestals. The drawer bases are stub tenoned into the legs, rebated and screwed to the cheeks (183:4) and carcass dovetailed into the inner cheeks. A front apron rail in lieu of a centre drawer (which is an inconvenient place for a drawer as the sitter has to move back every time it is fully opened) is either tongued, slot dovetailed or dowelled and glue blocked on the inside. In cheap work this rail is often pocket screwed to the cheeks or sides and then glue blocked, or, if the pedestals are to be detachable, fitted with locating dowels glued into the apron rail and dry fitted to the sides with a heavy block glued to the apron rail and screwed through. The junction of two pedestals can be further strengthened with a centre bearer rail if necessary, and the top is fixed by screwing up through the top rails, pocket screwing through the apron rail, pocket screwing the back, if thick enough, or screwing up through blocks glued to the back. Figure 183:6, 7 shows the top in position, shaped or square edged.

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