A classic solution for sound construction
Synopsis: Woodworkers who work with solid wood must contend with its constantly altering width. The medieval discovery of the frame and panel revolutionized furniture design and frame-and-panel systems are as valuable today as 500 years ago. In this article, David Savage talks about the pros and cons of frame-and-panel construction, construction details, design considerations, and how to rough out stock. He describes how to make a basic frame and panel.
As long as we are daft enough to work in solid wood, we must contend with the fact that wood is constantly altering its width, Since wood moves only across its width, and not along its length, you can easily set up cross-grain constructions that restrict movement. This inevitably leads to disaster because the forces involved are immense. Just remember how ancient stoneworkers split marble slabs from a mountainside. They would drill a hole, insert one dry wooden peg and add…