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Thread: Sideboard Construction Research

  1. #1

    Sideboard Construction Research

    I'm beginning to research building a sideboard and was wondering if someone could point me to a good book or articles on the possible ways (along with advantages/disadvantages) of going about the case construction. Specifically, I'm looking for information on the proper way(s) to tackle the back, drawer dividers, runners, etc... and do it all in a way that accounts for wood movement.

    Here are the kinds of questions I'm looking to answer:

    • So far, I've come across two main strategies for the case - dovetails or frame and panel. Why would someone choose one method over the other - is it mainly for aesthetic reasons or are there other things to consider?
    • If opting for frame and panel construction, should the grain in the case sides run veritcally or horizontally?
    • How should the drawer runners/guides attach to the inside of the carcass (again so that when it moves, nothing splits).

  2. #2
    Not trying to dissuade you from your goal ,but there are a LOT of old sideboards. Some are huge,so they tend to be the
    lower priced ones. Dovetailed drawers are nice, but I would not feel compelled to copy old construction when the main
    result would be to have it called a "fake" down the road. In one employment I cut down several large sideboards because
    the big ones just were not wanted. That was a long time ago, and I think they are even less desired now.

  3. #3
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    Congratulations on taking on this task. Once it's done, no one can ever deny your accomplishment.

    Bigger is not always better. Complexity will delay completion. Wood selection is more important than any ornamentation.

    https://www.theenglishwoodworker.com...-video-series/

  4. #4
    Jim, nothing wrong with that book case, or paint cabinet . But I doubt many in England would call that a sideboard .

  5. #5
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    I have a sideboard sitting right beside me, where I have my computer desk.....What pictures do you need? This one has a door on each end, with 2 drawers in the middle. Legs might be a bit too fancy....have seen plain, square legs on a few others...

  6. #6
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    https://www.finewoodworking.com/1999...ard-strategies

    Membership required -- small price if you're building a sideboard.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by steven c newman View Post
    I have a sideboard sitting right beside me, where I have my computer desk.....What pictures do you need? This one has a door on each end, with 2 drawers in the middle. Legs might be a bit too fancy....have seen plain, square legs on a few others...

    Thanks, Steve, I imagine it would be impossible to get a picture of the way the drawer dividers/runners attach to the case because the top prevents you from seeing inside it. What about the sides? How do they attach to the legs?

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Guest View Post
    https://www.finewoodworking.com/1999...ard-strategies

    Membership required -- small price if you're building a sideboard.
    Thanks, Charles... I actually have that filed away in resources for this build. However, I did discover this comment in relation to that article -https://www.finewoodworking.com/forum/will-neptunes-sideboard-design-how-strong It gives me some pause about these techniques.

  9. #9
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    Here we go....better shots IF I had the tripod upstairs...
    Front view..
    Sideboard details, full front.JPG
    Note: 4 legs in the front are fancy, there are only 2 legs in back, and they are square.
    Sideboard details, legs.JPG
    Fancy legs..from the knees down....knees up, they are square, with a groove detail..there is a square block down at the "ankle" where the stretchers attach
    Sideboard details, outside of door.JPG
    These doors are veneered, with an applied bead molding..more of an Astragal . Doors are veneered 100%..
    Sideboard details, veneer everywhere.JPG
    Including book-match veneer on the inside. Sides of the case, and inbetween the door and drawer compartments are also veneered.....would seem they sit their tenoned edges into mortises in the legs. Drawers ride on runners applied to the case...bottom of case is a frame. Top of case is attached to a frame.
    Sideboard details, drawers, stretchers.JPG
    Drawer details: Bottom drawer has a panel to infill inside the applied molding. It also has a way to hold the tray these used to have, and let the tray slide front to rear. Bottom drawer also slides on the frame that goes across the bottom of the case. ( floors inside the doors are panels sitting on this frame) Top drawer is just a simple drawer, rides on runners let into the side panels

    Also, note the detail on the stretchers....there is no stretcher across the back, there is a middle stretcher, that connects to the ends. there are smaller stretchers that connect to the middle 2 legs and the stretcher. Across the front, there is 2 molded areas, that conceal the top and bottom web frames.

    That might be enough to get you started...

  10. #10
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    Sides can be fastened to the legs via post-and-panel construction. Complete your "four square" joinery of the legs to the rails (upper, lower, mid level, etc) and plow a groove between the upper and lower mortises to fit a panel in. I attach drawer blades from the front rail to the back rail with half-lap dovetails or M&T. Dividers can be fixed to the blades in several different ways as they are not really a load bearing part in my opinion. The drawer guide that sits on the end next to the legs and panel can be simply glued in place, again because it is not load bearing.
    David

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnM Martin View Post
    I'm beginning to research building a sideboard and was wondering if someone could point me to a good book or articles on the possible ways (along with advantages/disadvantages) of going about the case construction. Specifically, I'm looking for information on the proper way(s) to tackle the back, drawer dividers, runners, etc... and do it all in a way that accounts for wood movement.

    Here are the kinds of questions I'm looking to answer:

    • So far, I've come across two main strategies for the case - dovetails or frame and panel. Why would someone choose one method over the other - is it mainly for aesthetic reasons or are there other things to consider?
    • If opting for frame and panel construction, should the grain in the case sides run veritcally or horizontally?
    • How should the drawer runners/guides attach to the inside of the carcass (again so that when it moves, nothing splits).
    Hi Martin

    There are a number of builds on my website, including solid and frame-and-panel construction, building drawers, etc. All in step-by-step construction with explanation of the design elements.

    Link: http://www.inthewoodshop.com/Furniture/index.html

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  12. #12
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    I reached in, behind the "blades" ...they used a groove. Runners then went into the grooves. Grooves also hold a strip to which the side panels are attached to. At least at the top. Floor seems to be a panel, that everything above it sits on....fancy front edge is a glued on strip...with glue blocks.

    BTW: this was a Yard Sale find, that my Daughter found....no idea of what age it is.
    Last edited by steven c newman; 02-18-2020 at 12:47 PM.

  13. #13
    Steven , Im guessing 1920s for that piece.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by steven c newman View Post
    Here we go....better shots IF I had the tripod upstairs...
    Front view..
    Sideboard details, full front.JPG
    Note: 4 legs in the front are fancy, there are only 2 legs in back, and they are square.
    Sideboard details, legs.JPG
    Fancy legs..from the knees down....knees up, they are square, with a groove detail..there is a square block down at the "ankle" where the stretchers attach
    Sideboard details, outside of door.JPG
    These doors are veneered, with an applied bead molding..more of an Astragal . Doors are veneered 100%..
    Sideboard details, veneer everywhere.JPG
    Including book-match veneer on the inside. Sides of the case, and inbetween the door and drawer compartments are also veneered.....would seem they sit their tenoned edges into mortises in the legs. Drawers ride on runners applied to the case...bottom of case is a frame. Top of case is attached to a frame.
    Sideboard details, drawers, stretchers.JPG
    Drawer details: Bottom drawer has a panel to infill inside the applied molding. It also has a way to hold the tray these used to have, and let the tray slide front to rear. Bottom drawer also slides on the frame that goes across the bottom of the case. ( floors inside the doors are panels sitting on this frame) Top drawer is just a simple drawer, rides on runners let into the side panels

    Also, note the detail on the stretchers....there is no stretcher across the back, there is a middle stretcher, that connects to the ends. there are smaller stretchers that connect to the middle 2 legs and the stretcher. Across the front, there is 2 molded areas, that conceal the top and bottom web frames.

    That might be enough to get you started...

    Wow, thank you, Steven for taking the time to supply the pictures.

  15. #15
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    FWW #277 (Oct 2019) has a sideboard project on the cover. Nice looking project.
    David

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