HowTo Cut the Web Frame Joinery

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Cut grooves on back . frame >gf parts yWji I

Cut tenon to fit mortise


dado blade

Making Mortises. Rough out the waste on the mortises at the drill press. Use a stop block to keep each one consistent. Then clean up the edges with a chisel.

Wow, the Tenons. Cut the tenons on the table saw. Start with an oversize tenon and work up to a snug fit.

The Grooves. Before assembling the frames, cut grooves in the web frame back to hold the back panels.

used to screw the web frames to the case later on, as you can see in detail 'b' on the opposite page. These holes provide a strong mechanical connection to the case sides and still allow for wood movement.

GROOVES. Before assembling the frames, 1 cut a narrow (VV'-wide) groove in the top and bottom of both frame backs. These grooves, like the ones in the case pieces, will be used to hold the plywood back panels you'll make next.

Now you're ready to assemble the frames. I glued the frames together at the front, but not the back. Since the case is solid wood, the backs of the web frames need to float freely. This way, the grooves stay aligned with those in the case as the sides expand and contract with seasonal changes in humidity. You can see this in detail 'c' on the facing page.


The last parts to make before you can assemble the case are the back panels. To avoid expansion and contraction issues, I made these from plywood. However, finding good-looking %" mahogany plywood can be a challenge.

CUSTOM PLYWOOD, The solution to this problem was simple — I "made" my own, as in tire drawing above. I started with oversize V2" Baltic birch plywood blanks. Then I applied a piece of straight-grained mahogany veneer to one side of each of the panel blanks. To find veneer sources, turn to page 49.

RABBIT TO fIT. Tile next step is to cut the panels to final size and cut a rabbet on all the edges to create a tongue. The thickness of the tongue is sized to match the grooves in the case and web frames (detail 'a').

CASE ASSEMBLY. At this point, you're ready for assembly. And here, you really need to do things all at once (and in the right order). The box below shows you how I did it.

Before applying any glue, however, it's a good idea to do a dry run. This way, you can make sure everything fits well and there aren't any gaps.

DRAWER RUNNERS AND CATCHES. Once the case is assembled, you can attach some drawer runners to the web frames and case bottom (detail 'b' above). Finally, you can make and install the drawer catches on tire case top and the underside of both web frames, as in the drawing and detail 'a' on the opposite page.

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Veneer is only on outside face of back


See box below to assemble frames and panels





Cut rabbets after veneer is glued on back face

Chamfer front edge


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Wood Working 101

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