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Thread: connecting dust panels in bureau

  1. #1

    connecting dust panels in bureau

    A real basic question...are dust panels connected to the back of a dresser in any maner? Can the back be connected to them to hold it on?

  2. #2
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    Welcome to the forums Harold! To answer your question, I'd be concerned with the panel splitting if you secure it to the back. Wood has to move, and if you secure it to the back it wouldn't be able to expand/contract easily.
    -Ned

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold Hall View Post
    A real basic question...are dust panels connected to the back of a dresser in any maner? Can the back be connected to them to hold it on?
    Harold,
    First, Welcome to the forum! You'll find lots of helpful folk here.

    Regarding your dust panels, a bit more information would be helpful:

    What are they mad from? Solid wood? Plywood? MDF? A mix of solid and something else, like perhaps a frame with a panel in it?

    How are they installed in the front and sides of the carcase? Set in dados in the sides and glued/nailed to the face? Glued to the sides (with ot without dados)?

    Is the cabinet back plywood, composite, or solid wood (like tongue and groove or shiplap)?

    Depending on your answers to those questions, you might be able to glue/screw/nail the back to them.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  4. #4
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    Welcome. I use cut nails to tack the back slats to the webframes that hold the dust panels in dresser construction. No glue or screws for the back. There is no problem using the dust panel frames as an anchor point for the back. Just allow for movement of the back panel material; this is why small nails instead of glue and screws. If you use a plywood back movement of the back panel is not a concern; movement of the structure around it could be.

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    As far as attachment goes I fasten at the front few inches and allow the rest of the depth to float. The front attachment can come in many flavors; sliding dovetail for about 3" and then a dado the rest of the depth,

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    dado full depth, in one instance I used three pocket holes and glue per side at the front and two (oversized to allow movement) pocket holes at the rear on each side. The freedom of movement is to allow the solid sides in which the frames are installed to move. The thinner/narrower frame material is of little concern in and of itself.
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 11-20-2013 at 04:41 PM. Reason: Fix broken picture links
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  5. #5
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    another one for anchoring the back depending on the back material,, i use sliding dado's on the side and anchor the front, and the back is attached allowing for movement.. not sure how ned uses dust panels or his attachment method's?
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
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    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  6. #6
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    I'll fess up, I've never built something that Needed a dust panel. I was just going by the truism: allow wood to move.
    -Ned

  7. #7
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    Hi Harold and welcome to the family. Can't help with the dust panels but I think you've gotten good advise so far.

  8. #8
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    Harold, glad you found the family. Can't help with the answer, but can give you a welcome.
    "We the People ......"

  9. #9
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    I see that others have covered the subject well. I would like to suggest Bill Hylton's book, Illustrated Cabinetmaking. It has a short write-up in the front that explains a little of the wood movement issues, but more importantly it illustrates the various construction methods that you can choose in building most furniture.
    “When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.” - John Ruskin
    “Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.” - Oscar Wilde

  10. #10
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    Look at the pictures in the section labeled Drawer Slides in www.plesums.com/wood/bedroom/drwhite.html

    This chest did not have dust panels, but the construction would be the same, with a groove in the middle of the slides and the front and back, to capture a thin plywood or masonite or whatever dust panel.

    I glue the front in place, made of premium wood, and matched to the "show" wood of the piece.

    The sides, which also function as drawer slides, are 1/8 inch thicker than the front and back (1/16 above, 1/16 below) so the drawer doesn't ride on the front show piece and wear the finish, and so the drawer doesn't catch on the back.

    The sides/slides are NOT glued in place, so they can slide forward and back in the dado or, in this case, the sliding dovetail. A dry mortise and tenon in the front and back add strength in addition to the dovetail or dado.

    By leaving the sides completely floating, with a gap to allow the cabinet sides to expand and contract (with hardwood sides, in some seasons the back of the cabinet will be closer to the front of the cabinet that it is at other times of the year), I can then glue the back cross piece in place, so I have a fixed place to attach the back.

    With fancy cabinets, I use shiplap boards, about 3/8 inch thick for the back, nailed in place (with an expansion gap between each board) with rectangular nails. Those nice rectangular steel nails come from my brad nail gun. With simpler cabinets, I just use 1/4 inch plywood back, but nail it to each cross board so it doesn't rattle.
    Charlie Plesums, Austin Texas
    (Retired early to become a custom furnituremaker)
    Lots of my free advice at www.solowoodworker.com

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