Buffet Hutch - Part nine - The Backs

This is a continuation of the posts:

Buffet Hutch - Part one - Drawing up the plans
Part two - Same style different finish
Part three - The buffet face frame
Part four - The buffet sides and web frames
Part five - Drawers 
Part six - Doors and wood movement
Part seven -  Designing the Hutch
Part eight - Making the hutch

I have been seeing so many plans online that show plywood backs just nailed directly onto the edges of the sides of a project.  Something like this:

This is really not the correct way to make good long lasting furniture.  The edging of the plywood shows from the side, and plywood edging is not pretty. Whether you paint or stain, that plywood is going to show. Of course this is a fast way to do it, but really not the way to go unless you are making a completely built in unit where the back edge of the sides do not show.

Backs should fit into the sides.  You can do this with plywood by having a groove cut into the sides that the plywood fits into as shown below.  This way the edges of the plywood do not show because they are captured by the sides.  The back will also sit in from the back end of the sides. 

Or you can cut a rabbet into the sides and sit the plywood up against it:

When viewed from the side, the back does not show it's edges, and the back sits even with the end of the side.  Of course all these things have to be taken into account when designing your project.

For the base part of this buffet hutch I went with plywood that was let into a rabbet, as shown in the sketch directly above.  My reasoning was that plywood does not expand or contract with the climate and it was mostly hidden inside the buffet because the doors and drawers are on the front and closed up most of the time.

For the upper part, the hutch, I used ship-lapped pine that I made myself, using the same pine that I had used for most of the project and placed it in a rabbet as well. 

These boards are random width and pre-finished meaning that they are stained and polyurethane is put on them so that when they decide to expand you don't see the plain pine in the spaces between the boards.  I use just one small nail in each board at every spot where it meets the top, each shelf and the bottom horizontal trim board.  That way the board is free to move from side to side.

Now just the top moldings to add!

Labels: ,