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Forum topic by Eric_S posted 03-15-2010 08:30 PM 798 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Eric_S

1551 posts in 2656 days


03-15-2010 08:30 PM

This is in regards to the nightstands I have been working on in my free time since back in November….I hope they will be close to finished by end of April but we’ll see. Sorry I haven’t posted progress blogs, but right now I’m just trying to get it finished and have been picking up speed lately. I’ll take pictures when I can actually start dry-fitting.

Now, on to the question:

I live in Indiana, and have been working in my garage all winter in temperature range of 55-65 degrees. I don’t have a humidity measure though for the garage, but know its pretty constant since my boards haven’t warped since acclimation time way back in October. Anyways, since I am building this in Winter and have read that I should account for summer time expansion, I’m wondering how wide the rails can be from leg to leg.

The panels are Cherry, 5/8×13 1/2×19 1/2, legs are Hard Maple. I was planning on having a 3/8” tongue on all edges of the panels and 3/8” grooves on the legs and rails. First, is 3/8” enough?

Now, I want to make sure I make my rails long enough to account for the extra expansion room. If the panels are 13 1/2 in Winter, how much wider can I expect them to expand by summer? These nightstands will be indoors with AC on in the summer.

At 13 1/2” width it means the area that would be sitting between legs outside of grooves would be 12 3/4” So, would 13” rails be long enough to account for this extra expansion or is that too long?

Also, I am undecided by I might buy some extra wood and edge joint another piece onto the panels to these to make the nightstand a little larger like originally intended. So if I brought panel to 18” width (including 3/8” tongues on both sides) then how wide could the rail be excluding the tenons.

Any help would be great. Thanks.

-- - Eric Noblesville, IN


4 replies so far

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Michael Murphy

452 posts in 2466 days


#1 posted 03-15-2010 08:42 PM

The width is what you need to worry about (13 1/2”?). I deal with a few manufacturers that make solid raised panel doors and they generally use what they call “Space Balls” (little rubber balls) in between the panels and the bottom of the grooves to hold the panel evenly in the frame but allow for expansion. I beleive they leave an 1/8” difference all the way around the panel. So if your Groove is 3/8” deep then make the panel be 1/2” larger than the opening of the frame and get yourself some Spaceballs.

“May the Schwartz be with you.”

-- Michael Murphy, Woodland, CA.

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Eric_S

1551 posts in 2656 days


#2 posted 03-15-2010 08:43 PM

Thanks Michael for the reply. yes, the width is 13 1/2”. Did you mean to say make the panel 1/2” SMALLER than the opening?

I’ve heard and seen these spaceballs and plan on getting them. I’ve also heard if you put a few drops of silicon caulk in the groove and let it dry before installing the panel then that would work too? Anyone try this?

-- - Eric Noblesville, IN

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Michael Murphy

452 posts in 2466 days


#3 posted 03-15-2010 09:45 PM

Larger than the opening in the assembled frame. In glass terms it would be called “Daylight”.

If the opening in the frame of the ends is 13 by 19 then the panel should be that + 1/2” in each direction so that it extends 1/4” into each leg and the top and the bottom, add the Space Balls and you have your 3/8” deep groove.

Prefinish the panel before assembly so if it shrinks or moves you don’t have unfinished wood showing. That also keeps glue from sticking to it.

To me, Silicone + Wood = fisheyes in the finish. I try to avoid silicone in the shop.

-- Michael Murphy, Woodland, CA.

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Eric_S

1551 posts in 2656 days


#4 posted 03-15-2010 10:49 PM

That helps a lot and makes sense. Thanks Michael. Also, I plan on prefinishing all the pieces before glue up.

-- - Eric Noblesville, IN

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