Greene & Greene Thorsen Sideboard #8: Carcass Assembly

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Blog entry by TungOil posted 03-17-2020 10:02 PM 821 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 7: Cloud Lifts and Square Plugs Part 8 of Greene & Greene Thorsen Sideboard series Part 9: Bottom and Back Panels »

With all of the carcass components cut and sanded, I begin assembly of the case components. I do the glue-up in stages, working on sub-assemblies of the carcass one at a time. First I glue up each pair of front and back legs with the associated rails and panels. Once those four sub-assemblies are completed, I glue up the center (drawer) section, then finally add the outer (door) sections to complete the carcass.

Before I begin the glue-up of the leg sub-assemblies, I cut the holes for the shelf pins in the side panels. A Rockler shelf pin jig makes quick work of drilling the holes in the panels.

I also cut the mortises for the knife hinges before assembly. To assure I get a clean hinge pocket at the proper depth, I use a Mortising Block to remove the bulk of the waste (Jeff Miller published plans for this mortising block in FWW several years ago).

Once the majority of the material is removed for the hinge pockets, I square up the corners with chisels and remove the remaining wood where the hinge will protrude through the front of the casework.

To prepare for the glue-up, I arrange all of the pieces needed for the sub-assembly in the proper location, correctly oriented. These parts are easy to get mixed up, so having them pre-arranged will help prevent any mix ups during the glue-up process. I mark the inside top edge of the panel with a small piece of tape to make sure it does not get glued in backwards or upside down.

I glue each leg sub-assembly, carefully making sure that the finished assembly is square and flat. For these sub-assemblies, I use a spacer block to assure that the bottom rail is positioned precisely the correct distance down from the top. If these rails are not precisely aligned, the bottoms of the finished case will not fit properly. Likewise, I use a spacer to set the exact height of the lower stretchers.

Once all four of the leg sub-assemblies are completed, I glue-up the center (drawer) section of the carcass. The assembly of this section is critical to assuring the finished case is square. If this section is out of square, the two outer sections will follow and the finished case will be out of square.

To begin, I first do a dry test fit, including all clamps, protection pads, etc. to be sure I have all of the items needed. As it turns out, I am short one 60” pipe clamp, requiring a quick trip to the hardware store to resolve.

To assure that the finished case comes out square, I fabricate two triangular clamping fixtures from scrap plywood. I carefully cut the fixtures, making sure to maintain a perfectly square corner to use as a reference during glue-up. A hole in the center of each triangular fixture allows me to use a bar clamp to hold the carcass square as necessary.

Gluing up the two side sections is similar to the center section. This view shows why I needed to extend my bench top for this project.

The finished carcass is ready for the backs and bottoms.

NEXT STEPS: Constructing the top and fitting the doors, backs and bottoms.

-- The optimist says "the glass is half full". The pessimist says "the glass is half empty". The engineer says "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"

2 comments so far

View EarlS's profile


4754 posts in 3593 days

#1 posted 03-18-2020 11:25 AM

Well thought out glue plan. Glue ups for large pieces seem to be more complicated and require a lot of pre-planning and dry runs to make sure everything is ready and in the right place as well as making sure you have enough clamps.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View pottz's profile


20683 posts in 2229 days

#2 posted 03-18-2020 06:37 PM

thats really takin shape and like earl said it’s all about the prep.ive done glue ups like that and right in the middle discovered something forgotten or not made right.not fun.but what is fun is watching your projects evolve start to finish.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

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