The construction of any large carcass must provide for possible distortion, either under the weight of its own members or by applied forces—pushing, pulling, lifting, upending, etc.—or by setting on an uneven foundation such as sloping floors. The effect of any such disortion may not be detectable visually, but nevertheless doors will bind, drawers jam and connecting joints may fail; therefore overall stiffness and squareness under all normal conditions are essential. Assuming an open-faced rectangular box with top, bottom, two sides and fixed back, any force applied, no matter from what direction, will endeavour to twist the faces of the box, including the open face, which will tend to take on a diamond shape (174:1) with the corner angles greater or less than true right angles. If, however, one side of the box is so anchored that it cannot twist then all the other sides will be prevented from twisting and the opening will remain square (174:2), while if the opening itself is so stiffened with cross-bracing that the diagonals are preserved then the sides also will be prevented from twisting (174:3). Obviously, this latter method is not practicable in open carcass-work, therefore other methods must be adopted.
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