I've built a cabinet where the two sides are solid wood and the top,
bottom and back are plywood. After I glued up the cabinet, I went to a
friend's house and saw a cabinet which I had made for him last summer.
The wood had moved around quite a bit, and I'd like to avoid the same
situation with the new one. One idea I had was to make a vertical cut
through each of the glued up panels, to allow for expansion. This is
how the maker of an antique highboy that we own handled the problem.
Seems as though the width of the kerf would be sufficient to allow for
seasonal movement. What do you think of inserting a piece of softwood
(pine) into the cutout? If I do use some insert, should I glue it, or
not? Next time, it's all ply for me.
Presumably the side grain runs vertically. So the only significant
movement you'll see is front-to-back of the sides. This will be a
problem for the top, but not really anything else.
Let the bottom be loosely fitted and allow it to move relative to the
sides. Sit it in a dado or groove in the sides and hold it there with
either the front and back panels, or a single nail/screw in the middle.
Allow the top to move upon the frame. Read a good cabinetry book for
details, or do something similar to the base. You might also groove the
tops of the sides and screw L-shaped buttons to the underside of the
top, as for a tabletop.
Don't worry about the back or front.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.