Crossgrain trim installation

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Forum topic by GT350 posted 12-22-2015 02:30 PM 634 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View GT350's profile


370 posts in 2184 days

12-22-2015 02:30 PM

I am building a couple of Cherry Dressers, the top and sides are solid Cherry. There is a piece of trim right under the top where the top is attached, how do you fasten the trim to the sides/top so they can still expand or contract with humidity changes.

5 replies so far

View bondogaposis's profile


5093 posts in 2554 days

#1 posted 12-22-2015 02:36 PM

Nails are somewhat forgiving, as they will bend w/ movement. Use a dab of glue in the center and nail the rest.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Aj2's profile


1881 posts in 2001 days

#2 posted 12-22-2015 02:42 PM

Bondogapo has it right for small pieces of trim nails.If it’s got some thickness a dovetail cleat is used the cleat is attached whole to the sides of the carcass then cut into smaller segment.A sliding dovetail female part is formed on the trim part as long as it’s thick enough.
I must be a nice dresser since your putting though and care into it.

-- Aj

View jdh122's profile


1052 posts in 3020 days

#3 posted 12-22-2015 02:49 PM

Is the trim really crossgrain to both the top and the sides/front of the chest? In most scenarios I can think of you would have long grain on the chest that will run in the same direction as the trim. You would run into wood movement issues attaching it to the top but not in attaching it to the sides.

Edit: You can probably ignore my comment – other than in frame-and-panel construction you usually will have vertical grain on the side.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

View BinghamtonEd's profile


2298 posts in 2572 days

#4 posted 12-22-2015 02:59 PM

+1 to a dab of glue, and nails. I don’t know how much it would matter as to the placement of the glue, but when I put the trim on the lid of my cedar chest (attached to the lid, not the base), I glued on the front (all long grain), and put the glue on the first two or so inches of the side trim closest to the front miter, and nailed the remaining length (long grain nailed to end grain). I wanted to make sure the front corner miters stayed closed, and there was no trim along the back of the lid, so that was of less concern. That was 4 or more years ago I think, and the corners are still tight, the nails must be allowing for what little movement their is (top is maybe 24” deep), because there are no cracks and nothing is loose.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View GT350's profile


370 posts in 2184 days

#5 posted 12-23-2015 01:48 AM

Thanks for the suggestions, I never thought that there would be enough give in the nails, not that I have much to worry about with humidity in Oregon, but you never know in the next 100 or so years where this furniture may end up. I have seen the dovetail cleats somewhere but I think that they are probably a little large for the trim I am going to make. I thought about cutting some small keyhole slots in the back of the trim and using screws to slide in those slots but I am not sure how small of a bit I can get.

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