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Thread: Frame and panel chest of drawers

  1. #1
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    Frame and panel chest of drawers

    Being my chair near completion, I'm thinking of building a chest of drawers using the frame and panel technique. However, as I've never used it with solid wood (always with plywood) I wonder what would be the basic rules to take into account when making the panels out of solid wood for instance:

    Minimum/Maximum panel thickness?
    Way of gluing the boards of the panel? Loose splines or any other method?
    How to avoid cracking? and any other advice I can get will be very appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.
    Best regards,
    Toni

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    web site:http://www.toniciuraneta.com
    I also dream of a shop with north light where my hands can be busy, my soul rest and my mind wander...

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toni Ciuraneta View Post
    Being my chair near completion, I'm thinking of building a chest of drawers using the frame and panel technique. However, as I've never used it with solid wood (always with plywood) I wonder what would be the basic rules to take into account when making the panels out of solid wood for instance:

    Minimum/Maximum panel thickness?
    Way of gluing the boards of the panel? Loose splines or any other method?
    How to avoid cracking? and any other advice I can get will be very appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.
    Hi Tony,

    Are you wanting raised & fielded panels or flat ones?

    Either way I'd suggest a thickness of between 15 and 20mm. Anything thinner is difficult to glue up and will be more prone to splitting.

    Just edge joint the boards with PVA glue. You can use biscuits or splines for alignment if you want to but they are not necessary for strength. I wouldn't bother.

    For R&F panels you need to raise the front of the panel on the router table leaving the correct thickness to fit snugly into the groove of the frame. For flat panels you need to machine a rebate on the back of the panel accordingly.

    Cut the panel about 1mm smaller all the way round than it needs to be to allow for movement.

    Most importantly, do not use glue on the panel when assembling - only on the corner joints of the frame - this allows the panel to 'float' in the frame, reducing any possibility of cracking or splitting.
    Last edited by Duncan Cheslett; 10-11-2007 at 06:06 AM. Reason: keyboard dyslexia

  3. #3
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    Hi Duncan.

    Thanks a lot for your input, I'll proceed as you suggested, although by now I haven't made up my mind wether I'll make raised or flat panels, most problably flat ones, I think that raised panels give a rather classic look which is not what I intend with this piece, on the other hand, flat panels are a bit uninteresting. So I'm still working on that
    Best regards,
    Toni

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _________________
    web site:http://www.toniciuraneta.com
    I also dream of a shop with north light where my hands can be busy, my soul rest and my mind wander...

  4. #4
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    toni, the shakers raied `em in reverse......flat on the outside raised portion hidden in the case.
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by tod evans View Post
    toni, the shakers raied `em in reverse......flat on the outside raised portion hidden in the case.
    Thanks Tod.
    That is interesting... Is there any advantage on that?
    Apart from being a way of keeping the inner surface leveled with the frame if that is of any use, I can't imagine what else.

    I've got to have a look again to my shaker's furniture books

    Thanks
    Best regards,
    Toni

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _________________
    web site:http://www.toniciuraneta.com
    I also dream of a shop with north light where my hands can be busy, my soul rest and my mind wander...

  6. #6
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    overall strength of the panel....a 16"x24" panel made out of solid wood only 1/4" thick would be pretty fragile.
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by tod evans View Post
    toni, the shakers raied `em in reverse......flat on the outside raised portion hidden in the case.
    I've seen that, but had forgotten about it. I usually run a rebate (rabbet?) around the back of the panel but the purpose is exactly the same.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by tod evans View Post
    overall strength of the panel....a 16"x24" panel made out of solid wood only 1/4" thick would be pretty fragile.
    Of course Tod but the strength would be the same no matter if the raised part was placed inside or outside the frame.
    From your comment about the shaker's I wondered if there were other beneficial side effects. Hence my question.
    Best regards,
    Toni

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _________________
    web site:http://www.toniciuraneta.com
    I also dream of a shop with north light where my hands can be busy, my soul rest and my mind wander...

  9. #9
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    I think that the Shakers would have reversed the panel purely for aesthetic reasons. From what I understand they didn't hold with frivolous decoration; a flaunted raised panel could have been construed as decoration.

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