Back Rails

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After the front rails were added, I walked around and worked on the back side. There are three rails that connect the corner posts in back, see Fig. 5. But they also serve a couple other purposes. They hold the two W-thick plywood back panels that are added later. And the middle back rail will also hold a shelf, refer to Fig. 12 on the next page.

back rails. All three back rails are 3A"-thick, and all are cut to the same length, see Fig. 5. The important thing here is that the rails are long enough to hold the case square, so measure the opening at the front of the case and add 1" for the tongues on the ends of the rails. (Mine were 39 long.) As for the rails' widths, both the upper and lower back rails (F) are 5Vi>" wide, while the middle rail (G) is only 3" wide.

Like the front rails, some of the work has already been done for the back rails. Here, the rabbets that hold the rails have already been cut on the back posts. So when the rails are cut to size, the next step is to cut a tongue on each end, see Figs. 5a and b. The length and depth of these tongues should match the rabbets on the posts.

Next, I cut rabbets on the rails that will hold the back panels, see Fig. 5b. These rabbets are identical to the ones on the back corner posts — they're VS"-wide and deep enough to match the thickness of W plywood. Cut the rabbets on the back, inside edge of both the upper and lower rails, but on both back edges of the middle rail.

shelf pocket. Before installing the back rails, the middle rail still needs a little bit more work. Since there's a l"-thick shelf that will be added to the inside of the case, I created a "pocket" in the middle back rail to support it. This pocket is simply a 3/8n-deep groove that's cut on the front face of the rail Vs" from the bottom, see Fig. 5b.

installation. Now all the back rails can be glued and screwed in place. I started with the upper rail. If s installed flush with the top of the case, see Fig. 6.

The lower back rail is a little trickier. It should end up level with the rail cap in front, see Fig. 7. To do this accurately, I set a framing square on the cap, holding it against the front corner post. Then I marked the position of the rail.

Once the lower rail is in place, the middle back rail can be added. The position of this rail is important. It determines the position of the shelf added later, which in turn will determine the height of the lower drawer underneath the shelf. I glued and screwed the middle rail 7Vs" up from the top of the lower rail, see Fig. 8.

Note: At this point, you could cut the upper and lower back panels to size from Vi"-thick plywood and screw them in place. But I decided not to add them yet If s much easier to install the shelf and lower drawer while the backs are off.

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