Making frames

The minimal frame consists of two stiles and two rails. When the frame is displayed vertically, as in a cabi net door, the stiles arc the vertical elements and the rails the horizontal elements. The rails invariably fit between the stiles. The edges arc unembellished.

In more elaborate constructions, the frame can have three or more rails, as well as intermediate vertical members called mullions or muntins. The edges are embellished with quarter rounds, ogees, coves, or combinations of these shapes.

A number of different joints can be used to assemble the frame: miters, laps, dowels, biscuits, and—the strongest, the most traditional— mortise-and-tcnon.

One of the big challenges in frame-and-panel construction is finding practical, economical ways to meld strength and utility with beaut)-. The joiner)' has to be strong, especially if the unit is to be a door. A mortise-and-tenon is the traditional

Cabinet Face Frame













framing joint, since it resists all four forms of stress (tension, compression, shear, and racking). But it can he ume-consuming to make, especially if you are assembling a couple dozen cabinet doors. And attractive appearance is often as important as the joinery. Adding a series of operations to embellish a workpiece adds to the project's cost.

In relatively recent years, more and more of these frames—for cabi-net doors in particular—have been assembled with what's known as thecopc-and-stick joint (sometimes it s called a copc-and-pattcm join t). It's a form of the mortise and stub tenon that's cut on the shaper or router table. At the same time that the joiners' is cut, the piece is embellished. The woodworker's products ty is increased I

The router bit used has two cutlers on the shank. One forms a decorative profile on the edge of the frame member while at the same rime the other cuts the groove For the panel. The bit is reconfigured iby repositioning these cutters), then it's used to cut the ends of the rails, forming a tongue and a reverse of the decorative profile. When the cuts arc properly aligned on the work-pieces. the tongue fits into the groove and the rail end confonns perfectly to the profile. Bonded with a modem glue. it is a strong joint.

The terms cope and slick are carryovers from hand-tool woodworking. Cope is the more familiar temi. since it is the name of the icchniquc carpenters still use to fit one piece of architectural trim to another at inside comers. The pertinent dictionary definition of copc is "toshape one structural member to conform to the shape of another member."

Stick, as it's used here, Isn't in the dictionary. In the old days, a woodworker would clamp—or "stick"—a board to his workbench, then use a profile plane to form a decorative shape on an edge. Then he'd rip the shaped edge from rhe wider board. The process was called sticking.

One focus of this chapter is setting up and making cope-and-siick frames. We won't go into mortise-and-tenon joinery here, because ii merits its own complete chapter. Nor will we get into routing decorative edges on frame members, because it is covered thoroughly in the chapter "Decorative Treatments." Suffice it to say that copc-and-stick joinery is just one of several frame constmc-tion options available to the router woodworker.

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Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.

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