Having used a tongue and groove joint for doors and sides, you might expect me to use them for the frames which make up the top, bottom and back of the carcass.
Wrong! The sections of the components involved, in relation to the'overall size of the frames, are smaller, making for less gluing area and greater racking stresses. As a consequence, good old-fashioned mortice and tenons are used, which should please the purists. The inner edges of the back panel's frame are grooved for dry-fitted panels.
Again, I make these a little oversize and trim after assembly -note that the back panel is fixed straight onto the top frame and solid horizontal member, while it is rebated into the sides.
Top and bottom frames, and the solid carcass member which forms the floor of the cupboard, project in front of the carcass sides by the thickness of the side facings, see main illustration, and must be notched to accommodate them. I cut these notches before assembly, but if you are feeling your way through this piece it might be better to glue-up first and then cut to fit.
Before gluing-up, though, one more part must be made up - the drawer divider. This is made from two pieces of oak; the main part with grain running front-to-back, with a smaller piece to form a muntin rail biscuited to the front. This is, in turn, biscuited between the bottom frame and solid member.
All three horizontal parts should now be ready for biscuiting to the sides. Top and bottom are straightforward corner joints cut from the biscuit jointer's fence, the mid-panel joint for the solid member is made using the drawer divider as a guide for the jointer's base plate.
Having cut these, glue and cramp in the following order: first, make up the drawer divider, bottom frame and solid member as a subassembly, cramp and allow to dry;
next glue and cramp this and the top frame between the sides, paying particular attention to square and the lining up of front edges.
Once this lot is dcy and cleaned up, cut notches for the side facings if you haven't already done so, then biscuit the facings to the edges of the sides. If you have a biscuit cutter for the router, it is possible to fit a biscuit across the top and bottom of these, inside the notches.
Give everything a good clean up, planing the various bits that make up the front of the carcass flush, and rout a small V-groove along the join between sides and facings to tidy it up.
The main structure is now complete, which seems like a good time to pause. In the next article we do the twiddly bits.
Full measured drawings for this piece are available free of charge. See next article for details.
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