Woodworking Essentials: Casework Construction – Smart Assembly

By David Thiel
Pages: 45-52

From the  February 2006 issue #153
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What are we talking about when we say “smart assembly?” In previous chapters, we’ve discussed a couple of issues that can complicate casework: proper material preparation and choosing the proper joint to make the strongest furniture. Another place to trip up when building case furniture is in the assembly of your components.

Most casework is larger than the average breadbox (although that breadbox is also casework). Because of that large size, cases can be awkward to fit and assemble.

Another complication is that many case pieces are more than just four sides, a top and a bottom. Each side can be as many as five pieces (a frame-and-panel side, for example), and accurately fitting, gluing and assembling all those pieces is like trying to build a jigsaw puzzle without a table.

In this chapter, you’ll learn to: test the fit of the pieces prior to gluing; work in stages; and use proper clamping techniques – all of which will help to make your casework construction a more pleasurable and successful experience.

Other assembly issues we’ll discuss were briefly touched upon in the previous chapter, but here we’ll go into more detail about attaching backs to your case pieces. We’ll also spend some time focusing on mechanical assembly options – namely, screws and nails.

From the  February 2006 issue #153
Buy this issue now