Q: I’m making a cabinet that will see everyday use. It has two frame-and-panel doors with solid-wood panels. Are cope-and-stick joints strong enough to be used on the doors? Bert Kneal, Chico, CA A: No, the joint isn’t strong enough for daily use, because the lateral forces created by the door repeatedly striking against the case or face frame weakens the joint and may cause it to fail. I’ve repaired numerous doors that have suffered that fate. If you want to use a cope-and-stick joint, reinforce it with two dowels. After milling the rails and stiles to their final dimensions, use a doweling jig to drill the holes for the dowels before cutting the cope and sticking. I like using 5⁄16-in.-dia. dowels, splitting the 2-in. length evenly between the rail and stile. By the way, the situation would be different with plywood panels, which can be glued into their grooves, strengthening the door and eliminating the need for the dowels. click to enlarge Drill holes for the dowels first. On the rails, they need to be far enough in from the edge that you don’t cut into them when forming the sticking. click to enlarge Rout the sticking. It goes…
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In this video, Matt takes some of the lessons learned in episodes 3 & 4 and builds on them to demonstrate the North Bennet Street method for the half-blind, or half-lapped, dovetails on the toolbox drawers.
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