I'm building a set of file cabinets and wanted to know what kind of
joint would be the best for me to use. I don't have a dovetail jig and
I don't have a biscuit joiner, nor is it in my budget to purchase one.
I was thinking of using a rabbeted joint in the back.
What do you reccommend?
I don't own a dovetail jig either and I routinely use rabbet joints in the
front and in the back. You can reinforce them with screws. Very strong
joint, just not as perty as a dovetail joint. I usually plug the screw
holes with a contrasting wood.
> I'm building a set of file cabinets and wanted to know what kind of
> joint would be the best for me to use. I don't have a dovetail jig and
> I don't have a biscuit joiner, nor is it in my budget to purchase one.
> I was thinking of using a rabbeted joint in the back.
> What do you reccommend?
Assuming you are going to use 1/2", 9 ply, cabinet birch for the
front, back, and sides, I'd use a 1/2W x 1/4DP dado for the back and
1/4W x 1/4DP for the front.
Cut a 1/4 x 1/4 rabbet on both sides in the front piece.
Attach a separate decorative front with some coarse thread, self
tapping, S/S, sheet metal screws (I like them better than wood screws)
and use 1/4" cabinet birch for the bottom, and you are done.
All you need is an accurate table saw and sharp blades.
I make drawers with just a dado. Use nominal 1 inch (3/4" actual)
board for front back and sides. 1/4 plywood for the bottom. Put a pair
of 3/4 inch dadoes in the front to accept the sides. Put a 3/4 inch
dado in the sides to accept the back. Put a 1/4 inch dado in the front
back and sides to accept the plywood drawer bottom. Glue and a few
small finishing nails holds everything together. This yields a drawer
front that overlaps the frame of the cabinet into which it slides. For
a drawer that slides flush into the frame, rabbit the sides at the
front. Leave at least 1/4 inch (more is better) between the edge of the
board and any dado.
The drawers I made this way for my radial arm saw stand are still in
good shape after 20 years loaded with heavy shop stuff. They even slide
The dovetail joint is very pretty, widely admired, and traditional on
fine furniture. However lesser joints are plenty strong enough for
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