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▲ Two Good Options. The left photo shows the simplest assembly option, a shallow rabbet with screws installed through the case sides. A deeper rabbet allows you to "hide' the screws (right photo).
28 ShopNotes No. 1)2
Finally, you have an abundance of good gluing surface — and more is definitely better.
Very Basic. Building a case with rabbet joinen couldn't be much easier. The drawing at the lower left illustrates how the pieces all go together.
To create a four-sided "box," all you need to do is cut rabbets across the ends of two opposite case pieces — most often the sides. The depth of the rabbet can vary from one quarter to three quarters of the thickness of the case piece. The width of the rabbet matches the thickness of the mating case piece so tha t the assembled joint forms a "flush" corner. A second series of rabbets along the back edges of the case pieces holds a back panel. This further stiffens the case and also allows you to easily attach it to a wall. Fasteners (screws work the best) and glue hold all the pieces together.
Considerations. Before getting to work, there arc several things you'll want to think about. The first is how to size your case pieces. If the rabbets arc cut on the case sides, the length of these pieces should match the height of the case (drawing at left). Then, to end up
building cases with
This basic method offers quick, easy, and solid construction.
RABBETS HOLD CASE BACK -
cut case -back to fit
take joinery into
account when ^ cutting top •y and bottom x to length /
CASE SIDES, TOP AND BOTTOM CUT TO SAME WIDTH
LENGTH OF CASE SIDES MATCHES HEIGHT OF CASE
CASE ASSEMBLES WITH SCREWS AND GLUE
ALL RABBETS ARE SAME DEPTH
DEEP RABBET ALLOWS SCREWS TO BE INSTALLED ON TOP AND BOTTOM OF CASE
When it comes to building a sturdy case for a shop project out of plywood or MDF, basic rabbet joinery is often the best choice for the job. It's a fast way to assemble a cabinet without sacrificing strength.
Why Rabbets? Rabbet joinery has some very basic structural benefits. First, the shoulder and the bottom of the rabbet automatically capture and align the mating pieces during assembly. The result is that the parts go together easier. Second, the "two-sided" joint creates racking resistance and a much more solid case.
WIDTH OF RABBET MATCHES THICKNESS OF MATERIAL