Building a Credenza #7: Finished Assembling the Case

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Blog entry by Blake posted 06-02-2010 06:01 PM 7638 reads 1 time favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 6: The Tedious Part... (Lots of Photos) Part 7 of Building a Credenza series Part 8: The Guts »

Preparing for Assembly

These are the short “stretchers” that go along the sides.


The rabbet on the inside is for the plywood bottom to rest on.


Now, up to this point grain orientation on every piece of the case construction is “correct” in relationship to its self. These stretchers on the bottom of the side pieces are the first members that could potentially CONSTRICT seasonal movement of the side pieces.

If I permanently attach these pieces at both ends, the sides will push apart the legs when they expand, and split or pull apart from the legs when they contract.

So to account for this…

  • Glue, dowels and one screw at the front end of the stretcher where it attaches to the front leg
  • No glue along the length of the stretcher where it rests along the side piece
  • Horizontal dowels attach the rear of the stretcher to the back leg by friction only (no glue)
  • There is a small gap between the rear of the stretcher and the back leg to allow for movement
  • At the front end of the stretcher there is NO gap

Aligning the dowels:



The gap (remember, this will be at the bottom rear of the cabinet so you will never notice it)


Attaching the front legs and stretcher

More dowels will attach the front legs:


After pressing the legs against the dowel aligners and drilling I drilled the holes into the legs. One of the dowels serves a dual purpose… it pins the tenon of the stretcher. How cool is that?


The “pinned tenon” goin’ in:





And it all goes together:



These 3/4” X 3/4” strips will strengthen the top so it is rigid enough for a heavy TV. They act like I-beams. They are glued and screwed to the underside of the top.


And the case is pretty much finished!


Total Building Time So Far: 53 hours

-- Happy woodworking!

14 comments so far

View dustbunny's profile


1149 posts in 3318 days

#1 posted 06-02-2010 06:08 PM

Woah, this is moving very quickly,
and is looking mighty FAB if I may say so.
Awesome work Blake : )


-- Imagination rules the world. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte ~

View a1Jim's profile


117114 posts in 3599 days

#2 posted 06-02-2010 06:09 PM

Thanks for this Blog Blake .Really good photo layout and very interesting build and Design. Look forward to more progress.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View SPalm's profile


5320 posts in 3904 days

#3 posted 06-02-2010 06:56 PM

Double on the Rad!


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View HighRockWoodworking's profile


182 posts in 3002 days

#4 posted 06-02-2010 07:31 PM

Looks great! Love the legs….the tables not yours??

-- Chris Adkins,

View degoose's profile


7234 posts in 3377 days

#5 posted 06-02-2010 10:24 PM

And one very heavy sucker too… but well built will last several lifetimes I am sure…

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3695 days

#6 posted 06-03-2010 03:01 AM

Looks good.

View sras's profile


4806 posts in 3152 days

#7 posted 06-03-2010 05:04 AM

Very nice Blake! A great story! I notice there is a discoloration on one of the legs. I assumed it was water, but it is in every picture. Is that a test for finish?

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 3897 days

#8 posted 06-03-2010 05:11 AM

I was wondering if anybody was going to notice that.

That happened from the pressure of clamping during assembly. I think it might be moisture from the wood squeezing up to the surface? I am not really sure. I am sure it will disappear when I sand/scrape the surface.

-- Happy woodworking!

View Damian Penney's profile

Damian Penney

1141 posts in 4014 days

#9 posted 06-03-2010 03:29 PM

This is really coming together nicely Blake – mine still just looks like a big pile of wood :) I like how you keep track of the hours definitely going to start doing that myself.

-- I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso

View blockhead's profile


1475 posts in 3331 days

#10 posted 06-05-2010 05:12 PM

This is looking great Blake and love the blog. The Jatoba is beautiful and I can’t wait to see it finished. What would you estimate the weight to be at this point?

-- Brad, Oregon- The things that come to those who wait, may be the things left by those who got there first.

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 3897 days

#11 posted 06-05-2010 06:25 PM

The weight is maybe 80-100 lbs so far??? Its still just a shell though.

-- Happy woodworking!

View bfd's profile


502 posts in 3829 days

#12 posted 06-06-2010 06:06 PM

Solid as a rock and looks like it will last several generations! Cannot wait till you start on the drawers and doors. This is coming together nicely. I have the same issue with my clamps leaving those marks and they do sand out.

View nztoby's profile


14 posts in 3194 days

#13 posted 06-18-2010 12:26 AM

Blake, i have thoroughly enjoyed this build so far! i check back everyday to see if there has been any progress! very much looking forward to the next entry.

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 3897 days

#14 posted 06-18-2010 08:20 AM

Glad to hear it Toby, thanks a lot.

-- Happy woodworking!

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