The Well-Built Cabinet
Face: All pieces visible from the front of a cabinet. The wood used on the face of a quality cabinet shouldn't have knots, pitch pockets, sanding scars, grain irregularities or color differences. (Slide 2, at left)
1. Face-frame stiles and rails are joined with long tenons (protruding wood tongues) and deep mortises (the slots into which tenons fit). Where two pieces of wood meet in a joint, the line between them almost disappears.
2. Drawer fronts are cut from a single piece of solid wood.
3. Flat door panels are made from solid pieces of wood.
End Panel: The side of the cabinet exposed to view. (Slide 3)
4. Solid wood is chosen for similarity of grain and color.
5. Frame pieces have mortise-and-tenon joinery; assembled panel is attached to the carcass (a plywood box) with screws driven from the inside out.
Drawer: All sides are made from hardwood 5/8 inch or thicker. (Slide 4)
6. All sides are routed with a groove that supports drawer base.
7. Joints are dovetailed at all corners.
Carcass: The plywood box that forms the cabinet's interior, seen here lying on side panel. (Slide 5)
8. Side and floor panels are 1/2 inch minimum thickness.
9. Plywood shelves are at least 3/4 inch thick.
10. Cabinet floor and back fit into a routed side panel.
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