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Forum topic by rbterhune posted 10-13-2014 06:10 AM 1104 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View rbterhune's profile


176 posts in 3999 days

10-13-2014 06:10 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question design

I originally posted this over on forum but thought it would go well here too.

Hi All,

I’m a relatively new woodworker, with only a handful of projects under my belt. I, of course, have many others on my my list that I would like to do. When thinking about one of them…a dresser…I got to thinking about backs. My rambling, and hopefully not confusing, question is as follows:

With a dovetailed carcass/case, I see how easy it would be to do a frame and panel, ship lapped or plywood back set into a rabbet…but what about frame and panel pieces? A rabbet for most of the length of the leg doesn’t seem appropriate to me for some reason. And let’s say my piece has a 2” leg…if I do a frame and panel back with mortise and tenon joinery, will the back have the potential to get in the way of dust frames…I’m now down to 1.25” of leg that I can use for attaching dust frames if I use 3/4” stock for the back frame. Am I making any sense?

Thanks in advance.


5 replies so far

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile


1343 posts in 2491 days

#1 posted 10-13-2014 08:13 AM

Hmm would love to try to help but are not sure i understand the question.
Would it perhaps be possible to do a drawing or show some images?

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

View rbterhune's profile


176 posts in 3999 days

#2 posted 10-14-2014 02:59 AM

Thanks, I suppose I’m just asking if a frame and panel back works with frame and panel pieces. It seems like some pieces with legs only 2” square May not allow the attachment of both the back frames and the dust frames.

Sorry, no images. I kmow it’s a tough question to get across. Thanks for trying.

View jerryminer's profile


960 posts in 2219 days

#3 posted 10-14-2014 04:02 AM

Every piece is different, of course, but if you’re using a F&P back you can attach the dust panels right to the stiles of the back (if you lay out for it). Lot of ways to skin a cat

-- Jerry, making sawdust professionally since 1976

View wseand's profile


2796 posts in 3819 days

#4 posted 10-14-2014 04:05 AM

If I get your question right, this is the back of the dresser. You want a material that doesn’t move to much so ply is usually the preferred medium. I tends to hold square better and strengthens the over all piece. You want the ply to stretch to about 1/4 from the sides and all the way to the top. Where the top of the dresser will cover the ply and the sides are inset enough that it wont be seen. I wouldn’t rabbit the back at all because it really isn’t necessary. Your dust frame can be set all the way to the back of the legs.
Hope I answered your question..


View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4425 days

#5 posted 10-14-2014 05:07 AM

I’m not sure I understand your concerns.

A frame and panel back will work fine. I prefer to
make the panel flush with the frame to the inside,
so you might have a 1/2” thick panel raised on the
back 1/4” to coincide with a 1/4” groove offset
in the frame. From the back of the piece, the
panel is inset, from the inside of the piece the
panel is raised.

Now you might want to consider how to go
about raising the panel. A trick I learned from
a James Krenov book is to dub off the corners
of a straight router bit and use that to rabbet
the edges of the back panel, raising it, and
leaving a slight curved radius on the inside
of the rabbet to make it a little easier to sand
and finish.

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