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What joint to use on my first cabinet?

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tibi

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If the oak is finished to 25 mm you have enough depth to use dowels. The great James Krenov used dowels for his display cabinets. A simple dowel jig or even dowel pops will help. The only downside is that the endgrain of the top and bottom will be on show. I wouldn't practice dovetails on what is to be a finished piece - you are guaranteed heartache. :rolleyes: As with all cabinet pieces a set of sash clamps is obligatory.
Dowels were my original solution, I have a dowel jig as well. I will practice dovetails on test pieces and If I will not get it right in few times, I will use double rabbet with dowels.

Sash clamps are a bit of issue for me right now. I have those quick grip clamps up to 750 mm, but I will not be able to clamp the length of the cabinet that is 1200 mm wide. As one good sash clamp is 50+€, and now I am not able to give another 200-300 € for clamps, so I need to look for some dyi clamp solution online.
 

tibi

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I'd consider making the top into a top i.e. projecting over the box - wider and longer. Then house the verticals in a stopped dado.
Then take the vertical panels to the floor instead of having an unnecessary plinth.
It'd be a toy table as much as a toy box.
It'd still need a bit of bracing - simplest would be a stretcher from end to end under the middle of the bottom shelf, or the top.
Hello Jacob,

I got an additional requirement to match the height of an existing cabinet that is next to it, so I need to remove the plinth anyway. I will probably screw only 4 little square boards to the bottom, as I only have 2 cm height for the legs. WIth bracing you are right, I will put a stretcher to the back, but did not draw it to the model.
 

thetyreman

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dowels in 40cm wide solid oak, do you not think there will be movement issues? I would go with dowels if it was oak veneered MDF but not sure about solid oak.
 

tibi

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dowels in 40cm wide solid oak, do you not think there will be movement issues? I would go with dowels if it was oak veneered MDF but not sure about solid oak.
I will actually glue two 20 cm boards to make the top and bottom, but there will be some cupping for sure. Maybe the dowels will break. I have around 70 - 80 percent humidity in my workshop and 35 percent in the house when using the fireplace in winter, so there definitely will be wood movement.
 

recipio

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I will actually glue two 20 cm boards to make the top and bottom, but there will be some cupping for sure. Maybe the dowels will break. I have around 70 - 80 percent humidity in my workshop and 35 percent in the house when using the fireplace in winter, so there definitely will be wood movement.
It would be prudent to bring the wood into the house for about a month to bring down the moisture levels. No need to over complicate the joint - simple dowels will be more that strong enough ( adding a back would also help ) As for wood movement its crucial that the grain of the side pieces is vertical to allow movement with the top/ bottom. Krenov used to put a chamfer on the dowel holes - he claimed it helped to relieve stress. Dowels need a good bit of force to get them together so some kind of sash clamp is essential. Have a look at hatagane clamps available form www.fine-tools.com. A bit pricey but they are the best kept secret in woodworking.:) As you are clamping top to bottom you only need a span of 35 cm. ?
 

Cabinetman

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The only part of that design that will be affected by the movement is the front to back part of the plinth, all the rest will move as one so don’t worry about that. Re-cramps you could use a ratchet strap or two, it’s surprising how much force you can exert using them. Ian
DB004643-D41E-4D3E-A62C-242A603632A2.jpeg
 

tibi

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The only part of that design that will be affected by the movement is the front to back part of the plinth, all the rest will move as one so don’t worry about that. Re-cramps you could use a ratchet strap or two, it’s surprising how much force you can exert using them. Ian
View attachment 124965
That is a very good idea. I have two of them, so I can use them. but I should probably put some paper around the corners so that the strap will not damage the corners.
 

Ttrees

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If you really wanted dovetails, Barron/Moses/Veritas? and maybe others make a dovetail
angle block, which looks easy enough to make.
Combined with Cosman's offset trick, (or whoever came up with that)
seems pretty foolproof to me.
No need for a skew rebate, if you've got a ruler.

Have you got a rip tooth backsaw for dovetails?
 

Ttrees

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I love my wheel marking gauge too, might try making an offset titemark one sometime,
with a solid stem, and not a pen like structure, no fine adjust, just tight fitting like the Veritas ones are already, makes fine adjust a breeze, double locking screws for when you want to make a deeper cut.
Veritas's cheaper one appears to be a pretty well made tool, compared to the fancy one which is a bit delicate.

The offset trick is why I actually bought one, but there's ways around that, should one want, here's one of the newest gizmos for that, which I believe started off from a block of wood.
Shawn Shim Dovetail Offset Tool
 

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That is a very good idea. I have two of them, so I can use them. but I should probably put some paper around the corners so that the strap will not damage the corners.
I use ratchet straps, if there is an edge, I'll make a matching angle from offcuts to protect the edge from the straps.
 

Cabinetman

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That is a very good idea. I have two of them, so I can use them. but I should probably put some paper around the corners so that the strap will not damage the corners.
On Oak you will be ok, but some ratchet mechanisms need a pad under them, as I found out. Ian
 

Derek Cohen (Perth Oz)

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A simple rebate will hold the sides. Glue and insert wooden pegs or screw and cover the heads with dowels. The visible dowels can make a nice feature.

1640522021418.png


About glueing up: the end grain needs to be "sized". That is, rub a layer of glue into the end grain and let it almost dry. Then glue again for glueing up. The sizing will seal the end grain and allow for decent glue strength,

Regards from Perth

Derek
 

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If you need more than 2 ratchet straps, I would recommend a "Spanish windlass" - ie, a length of (in my case, baler-twine) tied loosely around the objects requiring the pressure and using a length of offcut, wind the twine tight. When at the desired pressure - secure the end of the winding stick! Twine will need the oak edges protecting though!
 

Jameshow

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If you need more than 2 ratchet straps, I would recommend a "Spanish windlass" - ie, a length of (in my case, baler-twine) tied loosely around the objects requiring the pressure and using a length of offcut, wind the twine tight. When at the desired pressure - secure the end of the winding stick! Twine will need the oak edges protecting though!
I use those hard cardboard corner packaging pieces with a layer of tape to stop glue sticking to protect corners whilst gluing.
 

tibi

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A simple rebate will hold the sides. Glue and insert wooden pegs or screw and cover the heads with dowels. The visible dowels can make a nice feature.

View attachment 125100

About glueing up: the end grain needs to be "sized". That is, rub a layer of glue into the end grain and let it almost dry. Then glue again for glueing up. The sizing will seal the end grain and allow for decent glue strength,

Regards from Perth

Derek
Thank you Derek,

I have never heard about pre-gluing the end grain. Thank you for the trick. I will try to cut a few test dovetails, but I am more than sure that they will not be good enough to be showcased, so I will eventually end up with the rebate + dowels. Here in Slovakia, I cannot buy any other dowel rods, just beech. I have a small amount of walnut that I was given from kitchen offcuts, so I will probably make dowels myself to give more contrast to oak.
 
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