Dealing with wood movement in an entertainment console design

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Forum topic by stanleyfatmax posted 02-08-2012 02:36 AM 1144 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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6 posts in 2304 days

02-08-2012 02:36 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question wood movement joinery entertainment console

Hi—ran a few searches on here and the rest of the internet and couldn’t find guidance. I’m planning to build a low post and rail style entertainment console out of walnut. The design is similar to this project by another user—

I’d like to use solid wood rather than plywood throughout, but I’m not sure how to deal with wood movement for the bottom panel and the upright internal panels defining the center compartment. I assume these pieces are fine with respect to each other because the cross grain movement would be in the same direction, but I’m not sure how they should interact with the rails. Should these be fastened into a groove in the inside of the front rails and left loose in grooves in the sides and back rails with a gap in the back to allow movement? Or is there a smarter way to do this? Thanks very much for any help you can provide.

4 replies so far

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Dan Lyke

1520 posts in 4121 days

#1 posted 02-08-2012 05:36 AM

I’d build those pieces as floating panels, just like the ends. Even your bottom panel can just be set into grooves with enough space to allow for movement.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

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117090 posts in 3573 days

#2 posted 02-08-2012 05:47 AM

Good Blog page JaAune that pretty much covers it unless you want to get Bruce Hoadlies book.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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19 posts in 2308 days

#3 posted 02-09-2012 02:40 AM

Let them all float friend. When your solid panels want to move, they will, no holds barred. lol. Also it would be highly recommended to remember balance when it comes time for finishing. I would finish all faces, ends,sides etc., interior or not, with the same amt. of coats and care including the bottom and back of the carcass. You’ll thank yourself. Floating panels and a balanced finish are the key on this. Hope this helps.

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6 posts in 2304 days

#4 posted 02-09-2012 03:59 AM

Thanks everyone for the help, sounds like I have a plan. I’ll post pics when I’m done, though at the speed I move this will probably be a 6 month project

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