I'm working on a (two-piece) hutch for SWMBO, and I've been
considering the options for joining the bottom/frame to the top unit.
(Note: I'm not talking about attaching the flat surface to the base
unit; that's something I always do with glue-blocks.)
I DAGS and found the usual options. Use a connector on the back
(figure-eight or the "stacking connector" like LV carries), use a
dowel-pin and let gravity do its job, or use a cleat or fastener to
attach from the inside. I had also considered cutting mortise into
the top of the base unit and tenoning the frame members of the top to
fit, but that seems like a lot of work for very little advantage to be
So, do any of youse have actual experience with the various
methods? Would you care to point out some gotchas to be aware of or
simply suggest your favorite options?
At this point I'm leaning a bit towards the connector method, and
maybe cutting some molding to dress up (i.e., *cover* up) where the
two units meet. But I'm struggling a bit with it because I tend to be
a traditionalist (read: Neanderthal) and use metal fasteners only as a
Any suggestions are appreciated.
The "traditional" method, at least what I see most of around here, is to
simply let gravity/friction do the job with two piece furniture like
hutches. AAMOF, we have two hutches in the house, factory made and not
inexpensive, and both went with this philosophy, with nothing but gravity
and friction to "join" them..
That said, I used trim along the sides of the piece, attached to the bottom
unit only, on my last similar two piece project ... mainly to help keep
alignment, as it had drawers and there was a tendency to move backward with
the closing of the drawers.
My preference is that if there is no need for joining the pieces, as above,
I go with the simplest (read gravity) method consistent with the design of
Just my tuppence ...
You're right of course and the correction is duly noted .. we do not take
that into account around here, but I sure would were I somehow living
voluntarily on a fault zone. :)
AAMOF, the last earthquake we had here in Houston was when Betty Sue and
Billy Bob tried to steal a tire from Leon about twenty years ago.
Dear Cro-Magnon person:
I have a workbench with a 1 3/4" maple top joined to the botom by gravity
and located by dowels. For everything except the most vigorous hand planing
it's just fine, and then it just walks a little but doesn't separate. A
hutch is subject to rather less force, so why not let nature rule?
I'm also building a two-piece unit, in this case a stereo cabinet. I plan to
let Mr. Einstein's gravity do the work here as well. What could be more
Disclaimer: I have used tailed tools in the commission of this project. Will
a security guard come and kneel on my chest?
Yeah, the discoverer of fig bars also discovered gravity and
Uncle Al thought up all sorts of new things to do with it,
and electrons, and light, and energy. Cool dude, too.
See the movie I.Q. for the details. (Matthau, Ryan, Robbins)
Where ARE those Weapons of Mass Destruction, Mr. President?
On Wed, 18 Aug 2004 12:54:37 -0700, Larry Jaques
|>> > I plan to let Mr. Einstein's gravity do the work here as well.|>> Newton?
|>As refined and improved by 'ol Albert, the Master.
|Yeah, the discoverer of fig bars also discovered gravity
And all along I thought Lucy discovered gravity about 3.5 million
years ago when she fell out of a tree. Go figure.
firstname.lastname@example.org (Conan The Librarian) wrote:
I've done 4 or 5 two piece cabinets for clients. Although gravity is
probably sufficient, I never want to have a client phone me up to say that
someone has knocked the top piece off. So, I use threaded inserts in the
bottom of the top cabinet. I use knock-down bolts (the ones with a thin
head that use an allen key) that go through the bottom cabinet. The
boltheads sit in holes countersunk into the inside surface of the bottom
cabinet's top. I've found this to be an easy to do and very strong way to
connect two part cabinets.
I tend to just use gravity unless there is a push/pull force, from use, on
the upper section. If needed, one dowel at each end or one screw up through
the top of the bottom section is ample to hold things in place.
Thanks to all who responded with their good ideas (and you too,
Lar). :-) I definitely want to be able to easily separate the top, but
don't want to run the risk of it moving around on its own. With that in
mind, I'm leaning towards using the dowel-pin locator approach, and
adding some molding which is fixed to the base.
I've looked at the various mechanical fasteners, and figure I can
always add them after the fact if I'm not pleased with how things turn
out. (Sort of a belt-and-suspenders approach.)
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