The most useful joint for this in solid wood is the lapped dovetail, the advantage being that it is entirely concealed at the sides. It is applied to a bookcase. Assuming that a top proper is to be fixed above, the false top can be in a cheaper softwood with a facing of hardwood at the front. For a much deeper carcase such as would be needed for a chest of drawers an economy can be effected at the top by using rails with angle brackets. The bottom would have to run to the full width, of course, and it is advisable to cut small dovetails at front and back as at B to prevent any tendency of the corners to curl away. Drawer rails are stub tenoned into the ends as at X and Y. The double tenon Y is better in every way. Apart from being stronger the rail is bound to fit square, whereas the single tenon X may easily twist over at an angle. It is seldom practicable today to make a large item, such as a wardrobe, from solid wood_ Depending upon the material used the corners of these could be joined. When there is an inner partition the pinned joint is strong but the simpler housed joint B is often used. Fixed shelves can be plain-housed or, preferably, dovetail-housed.
Simple carcase construction.
Here the plinth is made in one with the main carcase. If latter is deep, sides of the plinth should be glued at front only. Wardrobe construction in multiply or block board. Ends have wide edging to provide fixing for the door hinges. Dovetails are cut in edging. Coarse dovetails or screws can be used at rear is allowed at the front so that the joint is concealed. Note that the dovetail is tapered, this being much easier to fit than the parallel form and is just as strong. The point is that it is quite loose until pushed practically home. It is thus easy to detect where it may be tight.
The modern tendency to eliminate moldings and overhangs means that the top proper has to form part of the construction, and not be a merely ornamental part screwed on from beneath. In other words, there cannot be a false top. One of the joints could be applied, the choice depending on the particular material used.
The bottom is usually fixed similarly to the top in work having a separate plinth, but it is sometimes desirable to make • the plinth in one with the main carcase, and in this case the bottom can generally be dovetail-housed into the ends. Glue blocks are rubbed into the angle beneath. If a plain-housed joint is used nails can be driven in at the outside, these being dovetailed to give maxi-mum strength. They will be concealed by the plinth to be applied later.
It is generally necessary to lip the edges of all parts, and when doors are contained between the ends only a thin slipping is needed, as hinge screws can be driven into the surface of plywood or block board successfully. When, however, the doors are over the face of the ends a wider edging is needed so that the screws are driven into solid wood. Otherwise they would be entering the edges of the ply or block board where they would have poor grip.
It sometimes happens that legs or posts have to be incorporated with the ends, and these can be either tongued-and-grooved or dowelled. Top rails with their angle brackets are dove-tailed into both leg and end panel as shown, thereby locking the two together. The panels are glued to the legs before the rails are dovetailed in. Note how the rail ends have to be cut to fit round the legs. Since the legs necessarily extend down
Cabinet end with chipboard ends with solid wood edgings at top, bottom and front.
Be careful to avoid the trap, where the two grooves practically meet, of leaving an isolated corner which is nearly severed. If possible, the pilaster should be shallow rebated to receive the top.
When it is desired to use chipboard for the ends, the wide front lipping is needed, of course, for the reason already stated, but there is the difficulty of making a reliable fixing for the top and bottom. A method by which this can be done. Cross-rails are tongued to the top and bottom edges of the ends before the front is edged. These rails are rebated to hold the top and bottom which are glued and screwed in position. Generally, rails are tongued to the front of the top and bottom also and these can be dovetailed to the edging of the ends.