I defer to this group. A friend is making a full size china hutch from
solid panel black walnut. The panels are all joined with biscuits and the
"box" in turn is joined with biscuits. The panels are around 29" deep by
24" tall to form the lower box, and the top is some 60" tall by 20" wide.
I'm telling him that he did not allow for any expansion and that this thing
is doomed to blow up! am I off base here? (he's nearly done so its a mute
point anyhow...just interested in what the wreck has to say...)
I've built a number of solid panel cabinets myself. If the grain is all
running the same direction, it shouldn't self-destruct (everything expands
and contracts in the same direction).
ps I do use frame and panel back in all my cabinets--but sides, top, and
bottom would be solid wood
I assume what you mean by "solid panel" black walnut is that it is solid
black walnut through and through and not a laminate or plywood made with
walnut veneers. Because there are some who will call it solid even though it
is laminated. A fine point in terminology but a big difference in stability.
First black walnut is a very stable wood. So even if he did create cross
grain joints it will likely be many years before he will see any problems.
As long as the joints are with the grain running in the same direction he
will not have a problem. Where he would have a problem with that is how he
fastened the front and back panels.
Area he lives in will make a difference too. Southern California for
instance. The humidity levels do not change long enough to make a difference
to the wood.
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