Quantcast

Best technique for building boxes

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

SquareCircle

Established Member
Joined
17 Jan 2004
Messages
53
Reaction score
0
Location
Surrey
Apologies in advance to the purists who better give this one a miss.

Embarking upon the next project, a small wardrobe + hanging wall cabinet for the spare bedroom. Material is 15mm ash veneered MDF with solid ash edging and ash door frames with 9mm ash veneered MDF panels. In total there is approximately 5m of 500x350 mm vertically or horizontally aligned cabinets and 6 doors. Trying to think about it this time instead of just getting stuck in…..

In the past, I have used a variety of methods for building boxes, and in particular joining the tops and bottoms to the sides. Dowels, biscuits, glued rebated joints, splined mitres (that was not fun), just plain screwed butt joints. Probably driven by what new toy was getting a workout / what side of the bed I got out off.. Cannot say definitively that one method was more efficient than the other. Lately, and especially when working with half inch sheet material, I seem to be cutting rebates to the top and bottom edges of the sides panels with a table mounted guided bearing cutter, coating with some glue, assembling around the tops and bottoms in and clamping up. Seems to work quickest for mid sized stuff, and is reasonably fool proof (and possibly bomb proof as well). Rebates for internal shelves are the same depth, so the panels are always the same size, alignment never seems to be an issue. I also think that biscuits a better than dowels, simply because alignment is usually better with a Lamello than with a cheap dowel jointing kit. Decided moons ago that buying a pocket hole joint set on top of everything else was just going too far.
I have always wondered if there was a particular method that was deemed to be more efficient in terms of material consumption, machining time etc; what preference do the pro’s out there have.
The other question is this. Is it more efficient to apply hardwood lippings the edges of panels before building the boxes, or is it better to build the boxes first and then apply the lippings afterwards. Again I have tried both methods with varying degrees of success / failure; all depends on the degree of care exercised. Afraid I have never liked the iron on edge banding stuff.
Sorry if any of this is obvious.

Cheers

SC
 

jasonB

Established Member
Joined
26 Nov 2004
Messages
5,044
Reaction score
0
Location
Surrey
I tend to favour biscutes and screws for carcases, but would leave the screws out if they would need to go through exposed grain at the sides.

I use iron on edging at there is no visible line like you get with lipping. If you do go with lipping it is easier to do before assembly as it can be planed/sanded more easily. The only advantage of lipping after construction is that the lipping can be mitred at the corners.

Jason
 

tim

Established Member
Joined
5 Nov 2004
Messages
2,307
Reaction score
0
Location
Herefordshire
I'd agree with Jason esp on MDF - pocket screws don't hold well in this.

I use pocket screws with solid timber and ply.

If I'm making MDF stuff that I have to take apart several times eg for transport or moving in sections then I use Confirmat screws - they don't lose their holding power. You can use them by drilling with several different bit sizes or you can buy a tapered bit which is about £25.

Cheers

Tim
 

Latest posts

Top