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Forum topic by jjbuckeye posted 11-13-2009 06:05 AM 1058 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View jjbuckeye's profile


11 posts in 3240 days

11-13-2009 06:05 AM

I’m making my daughter an Armoire for her American girl doll for Christmas. The piece will be 27 inches high, 22 inches wide and 9 3/4 inches deep. It will be made out of solid cherry. Most of the piece will 1/2 inch thick (including the shelves which are 10 inches wide). I cut out dados for the shelves and I’m curious how I should attach the shelves to the case sides so there are any issues with the wood splitting. Should I put glue on part of the dado?? Should I bypass glue all together and drill holes through the outside with screws into the shelves and plugs?? I probably could have used plywood and not worried about this issue but I wanted it to be solid wood.

Probably a simple question but I wanted to do it right so I didn’t have issues years down the road. I’m hoping this is something she keeps and passes down some day.

Thanks in advance,


6 replies so far

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 3856 days

#1 posted 11-13-2009 06:10 AM

if the shelves grain direction matches that of the sides then both sides and shelves will shrink and expand at the same rate, so gluing them together shouldnt be an issue.

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Rabbet's profile


35 posts in 3104 days

#2 posted 11-13-2009 06:38 AM

You could glue the first couple of inches on the front so the back half will slide(Just to be safe). Or you could do the whole shelf with a sliding dovetail with glue on the first inch or so.

View mcase's profile


446 posts in 3092 days

#3 posted 11-14-2009 12:51 AM

If its only 9 3/4” deep this should not present much of a problem. The problem is that the joint is all end grain and glue will not hold. Rabbet is right about the sliding dovetail. A sliding dovetail provides a physical joint that is ideal for this application. Personally I would not recommend a new woodworker try this out as it is a difficult joint to get right. Also it sounds like you already cut the dados. Not to worry though. I made a lot of bookcases for myself and friends back when I was in school (don’t ask how long ago). Suffice it too say they held up over the decades. I made them out of 1×10” pine with dados and screwed them together and capped the screws. I hope she enjoys the armoire

View jjbuckeye's profile


11 posts in 3240 days

#4 posted 11-15-2009 07:15 AM

Thanks for all the good information. The armoire is turning out very nice.


View BTKS's profile


1986 posts in 3427 days

#5 posted 11-16-2009 01:46 AM

Do we get to see pics of the armoire? I hope so. BTKS

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4062 days

#6 posted 11-16-2009 02:07 AM

Roman is exactly right about the orientation of the pieces and the wood movement.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

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