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Attaching a solid wood back and wood movement

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Forum topic by BrianC87 posted 09-07-2013 02:44 PM 1051 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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BrianC87

35 posts in 848 days


09-07-2013 02:44 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question cherry joining wood movement

I’m am currently building a small 3 bottle wine rack based on Steve Ramsey’s rustic wine rack http://www.woodworkingformeremortals.com/2013/08/build-rustic-wine-cabinet-using-free.html

I’m basically just using the plans for the dimensions as I am trying to make it a bit fancier. I’m making it out of cherry lumber with the main carcass being joined with dowel reinforced half laps. I have put a rabbet in the back to drop in the back panel. It was at this point that I started thinking about wood movement in the back. The back is going to be a solid wood panel about a 1/2 inch thick.

The concern I have is the back shrinking as it will be going to a climate with lower relative humidity than we have here. Initially I was going to just glue the panel in until I thought about the movement issue. My next thought was to use dowels from the top and bottom of the back panel. Another option would be to use screws from the top and bottom as there will be caps glued on that would cover them up.

Please let me know what you think about any of these options or if you have any other ideas that might work. Or is it small enough that I do not need to be concerned? The back is about 14 3/4 inches wide and 17 inches tall.

I will try to get some photos of what I have done so far posted shortly.

Thanks in advance for all the help and suggestions!


12 replies so far

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

5661 posts in 2086 days


#1 posted 09-07-2013 02:57 PM

Depends on which direction the panel is installed….grain running vertically or horizontally.
If vertically, two screws spaced equally on the top and bottom would do the trick. No need to cap the ones on the bottom.
If horizontally, screws on the sides, but that wouldn’t be as attractive.
I’ve seen single dabs of glue in place of the screws. The objective is to allow for the movement across the grain so no screws or glue on the edges.
You might’ve been better off to dado your sides, bottom and top and slide in the panel and let it float.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

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BrianC87

35 posts in 848 days


#2 posted 09-07-2013 03:06 PM

I should have mentioned the panel runs vertically. I would have gone the dado route if I had thought about it earlier.

Here are some pictures of where I’m at.

The reason for the cap on the bottom is I am making it so it can either hang on the wall or sit on a counter.

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

5661 posts in 2086 days


#3 posted 09-07-2013 03:23 PM

I see.
That’s a nice piece of work, BTW.
Looks like you have two boards to make the panel. A dab of glue (Tite Bond II is what I’d use) in the middle of each panel, top and bottom, should work. No glue on the edges. Or, you could pin nail it from the back. But, the glue is actually stronger.
To disguise, or allow for shrinkage, the back panel should be finished before installation. That way if it shrinks, there won’t be a tell tale unfinished line on the edges.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

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BrianC87

35 posts in 848 days


#4 posted 09-07-2013 03:33 PM

Thanks for the compliment and great suggestions! I think I’ll probably go with the dabs of glue route. I’m glad you brought up the finishing thing as I probably wouldn’t have thought of that either.

Another question I have is about the shelves. There will be three angled shelves with the ends being about a 5 degree bevel. Do you think glue on the ends will be good enough to hold these in or will I need something more?

View joeyinsouthaustin's profile

joeyinsouthaustin

1256 posts in 730 days


#5 posted 09-07-2013 03:53 PM

+1 finish before install!!

-- Who is John Galt?

View SteveKnnn's profile

SteveKnnn

66 posts in 545 days


#6 posted 09-07-2013 05:58 PM

Cherry plywood? (PureBond available from HD in 24” x 48” size.

-- Steve in Richmond, VA

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

5661 posts in 2086 days


#7 posted 09-07-2013 06:57 PM

Since you’ve got the case assembled and glued, getting a tight fit on the shelves will be problematic….and messy.
1/2X1/2 pieces glued in at the angle you need at each shelf location then glue the shelf to that. Make the 1/2X1/2 pieces shorter than the shelves’ width and they shouldn’t be visible….unless you hang it above eye level.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

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BrianC87

35 posts in 848 days


#8 posted 09-11-2013 03:04 AM

Thanks everyone for the suggestions and help. I have decided to stick with the solid back that I already have made. If I would have thought of these issues earlier I probably would have went with the plywood back.

Here is a picture of the progress I have made. Nothing but the case is glued up right now.

View George Coles's profile

George Coles

98 posts in 1102 days


#9 posted 09-17-2013 09:57 AM

HI. You could also put molding all around the back, which would then act like it was a dado fit.

-- George Coles, Antipolo, Philippines

View dvail12's profile

dvail12

17 posts in 629 days


#10 posted 09-17-2013 01:05 PM

Don’t fret. Every time I finish a project I notice the improvements I could have made. Usually every project is the first and last time I will make that piece. It is a process of learning. Your rack looks great. What have you learned that you can use in your next project?

-- Dvail12

View BrianC87's profile

BrianC87

35 posts in 848 days


#11 posted 09-18-2013 03:27 AM

This project is close to being finished. I prefinished most of it including the back and currently the back is being glued on in two small areas on the top and bottom around the middle of each board that makes up the back panel. I will try to post some pictures tomorrow night which will show it pretty much finished. All I will have to complete is back of the rack and the bottom. I’m pretty proud of how everything has turned out as this is my first real “fine” woodworking project. Thanks again to everyone for the help!!

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BrianC87

35 posts in 848 days


#12 posted 09-19-2013 02:09 AM

Here are the pictures I promised last night. I hope the people I built if for will enjoy it as much as I do!!

I still have a bit of finishing to do on it but its close to complete!

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