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Thread: Frame and panel chest of drawers question.

  1. #1
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    Frame and panel chest of drawers question.

    I'm thinking in making a frame and panel chest of drawers, but I'd like the sides of it not showing the bottom rail but a continuos panel ( see sketch).

    The left sketch shows a typical frame and panel construction, with the vertical rails becoming the legs, the right one is what I'd like to achieve.

    However as the bottom rail is needed to give stiffness and provide the frame where the panels are fixed but left "floating" to prevent cracking. I wonder if there is a "standard" or most used way to do this.

    The question is divided into two. First how to fix the bottom rail, I can imagine a couple of ways but they do not satisfy me.
    Second how to fix the panel so that it looks as drawn on the right sketch.

    Or is it that I should opt for a solid sides frame rather than a frame and panel one?

    Any help will be greatly appreciated
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails frame and panel.jpg  
    Best regards,
    Toni

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  2. #2
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    I love a challenge. My first thought is to put a frame behind the panel so it is hidden. I think I would just cut some notches in the legs to hold it in place.

    As for the panel I am not sure. My first thought is to glue it at the top and leave the sides free. Assuming it is in some dado's. I might just add a few brads from the inside through the dado's.

    Will think on this one some more.
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  3. #3
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    Hi Jeff.

    I love challenges as well, but I do not want to reinvent the wheel, this sort of problem must have appeared to somebodyelse as well.

    Maybe we can work it out together, I wonder what the "PROS" this forum have to say about it.
    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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    Two ideas for you Toni....

    First, if the legs are large enough, you could put a narrow rail M&T'd behind a thin panel, with maybe a brad nail in the center of the panel to reduce rattling.

    You could also just use a thicker panel, perhaps a fielded panel with the flat side out if you don't want to cut a large groove for the panel, and use the floor of the cabinet - would have to be plywood - as the lower structural member.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Downey View Post
    Two ideas for you Toni....

    First, if the legs are large enough, you could put a narrow rail M&T'd behind a thin panel, with maybe a brad nail in the center of the panel to reduce rattling.

    You could also just use a thicker panel, perhaps a fielded panel with the flat side out if you don't want to cut a large groove for the panel, and use the floor of the cabinet - would have to be plywood - as the lower structural member.

    Thanks John,
    but please indulge me with this question ¿what is a "M&T'd rail" ?my lack of woodworking vocabulary shows on this sentences that I'm not able to understand.

    Last but not least, as It will be a chest of drawers I was not thinking at all in making a floor on it, and rely on the frame for stifness. Should I make one? on the ones I've seen the isn't any. Is it considered a sign of low quality piece? At least not here
    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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    Quote Originally Posted by Toni Ciuraneta View Post
    Thanks John,
    but please indulge me with this question ¿what is a "M&T'd rail" ?my lack of woodworking vocabulary shows on this sentences that I'm not able to understand.
    I'm sorry, it's short for mortise and tenon, abreviations are kind of a bad habit. You can attatch the rails in a variety of ways, but the mortise and tenon is going to be the strongest.

    Quote Originally Posted by Toni Ciuraneta View Post
    Last but not least, as It will be a chest of drawers I was not thinking at all in making a floor on it, and rely on the frame for stifness. Should I make one? on the ones I've seen the isn't any. Is it considered a sign of low quality piece? At least not here
    I missed that it was a chest of drawers in your first post, started thinking about the sides and the rest of your post didn't register. So, no, it doesn't have to have a bottom, you could perhaps use whatever holds the drawers up to also stiffen the side. The "best" antique pieces do have frame and panel "bottoms" between each drawer, mostly for dust proofing I believe. I can't remember the name of the parts now (it has "dust" in it though), maybe someone can jog my memory. Whether you add something similar is really just personal preference, or if its dictated by your design.

    I also assumed you're going to use solid wood panel sides. If you use a veneered plywood, you could just attatch the legs to the side and use the panel as the structure.

  7. #7
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    I'm with John but he beat me to it. A M&T rail behind the bottom edge of your panel with a minimal or floating attachment like a pair of small screws, one about 2" from each end with an over sized hole in the M&T'd rail to allow for movement. On the other hand if your panel is going to be ply, movement is not such an issue.
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  8. #8
    Sliding Dovetail would allow for the slats to creep as MC changes and remain in place in a vertical plane. Arrange the slats in order Across the back cut a Dovetail across each piece. In the back, slide in a rail via dove tail to lock them in place. The rail would be there but hidden as it is behind the panel.

  9. #9
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    Yep, Bill beat me too it, sliding dovetail would be a very nice solution, the rail would be hidden behind the solid wood panel, and the rail would have the "Male" part of the dovetail, while the panel would have the "Female" part, or groove in it, make it a bit loose, (only a bit) and put a dab of glue in the center to keep it from rattling. The legs would have a regular stopped groove on them to pick up the tenon on the three sides of the panel.

    This would have a very nice clean look, and even if you flipped the unit upside down and took a look, it would still look clean and simple, with no obvious bolts or screws showing, elegant and simple.
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  10. #10
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    The sliding dovetail idea is great. You could even do away with the top rail with that setup.

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