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The Art And Craft Of Cabinet-Making | by David Denning



A practical handbook to the construction of cabinet furniture the use of tools, formation of joints, hints on designing and setting out work, veneering, etc. Together with a review of the development of furniture

TitleThe Art And Craft Of Cabinet-Making
AuthorDavid Denning
PublisherWhittaker & Co.
Year1891
Copyright1891, Whittaker & Co.
AmazonThe Art And Craft Of Cabinet-Making

With Two Hundred And Nineteen Illustrations

The Art And Craft Of Cabinet Making 1
-Preface
By way of preface it seems unnecessary to say much beyond stating that the intention is to supply amateurs and young professional cabinet-makers with a reliable guide to the construction of cabinet fu...
-List Of Illustrations
Fig. 1. Handsaw. 2. Size and Shape of Saw Teeth. 3. Rip-saw Teeth. 4. Tenon Saw. 5. Bow Saw. 6. Jack Plane. 7. Angle for Plane Iron Edge. 8. Unsuitable Edge. 9. Plane Iron. 10. Edge requirin...
-Announcement
However lucid instructions may be it is impossible in such a complex subject as cabinet-making to foresee every difficulty which may occur to the novice or to give directions which shall cover and app...
-Chapter I. Introductory
Ordinary Joinery not Cabinet - making - Joiners' Furniture- Example of different forms of Tools - Subdivision of Labour in Furniture-making Special Work of the Cabinet-maker - Subdivision of Cabinet-m...
-Introductory. Part 2
There is, of course, a good deal to be said both for and against this subdivision of labour, which certainly does not meet with the approval of those who, ignoring the conditions of modern trade, woul...
-Introductory. Part 3
The amateur is not bound by the same restrictions as the professional worker, and there is no reason why he should not make himself a good general cabinet-maker. He certainly labours under the disadva...
-Introductory. Part 4
Perhaps something may be said about the advantages of cabinet-making as a hobby, though really very few remarks can be necessary. It may be taken for granted that the days have gone by when the amateu...
-Chapter II. Review Of Development Of Furniture
Sham Antique Furniture - Mistaken Ideas about Old Furniture - Furniture in Tudor Times - Development of Furniture - Carving on Old Furniture, and Restorers' Practices - Furniture of the Georgian Perio...
-Review Of Development Of Furniture. Part 2
Not till towards the end of the Tudor period or the commencement of the Stuart dynasty can it be considered that any marked advance had been made in furniture, so that for all practical purposes its h...
-Review Of Development Of Furniture. Part 3
From all the foregoing it will be seen that the study of genuine old furniture, especially of that anterior to the last century, is not altogether an easy matter, and the young cabinet-maker must be s...
-Review Of Development Of Furniture. Part 4
Following Chippendale, the next great cabinetmaker who illustrated a distinct style was Heppelwhite, whose designs are of a simpler character, for a reaction evidently soon set in against the florid m...
-Review Of Development Of Furniture. Part 5
It may seem somewhat contradictory to these remarks to attribute any important share in the upward movement to the late Sir Charles Eastlake, but there is no doubt that his book, modestly called Hints...
-Review Of Development Of Furniture. Part 6
Such is a brief and only a very curtailed outline of the changes which have taken place within the last five-and-twenty years, for it has been impossible to do more than glance at some of the principa...
-Review Of Development Of Furniture. Part 7
The return to the solid construction which prevailed during the period last mentioned has been advocated by more than one theoretical writer, but before this can be agreed to by the modern cabinet-mak...
-Chapter III. Furniture Woods
Mahogany- Cedar - Pencil Cedar - Oak - Walnut - Ash - Hungarian Ash - Rosewood - Birch - Beech - Satinwood - Pine- Pitch Pine - American Whitewood - Sequoia - Timbers occasionally used - Logs - Buying...
-Mahogany
With this, as the one which is in popular ideas most intimately associated with furniture, a start may be made. To describe its general appearance is of course unnecessary, as it is so well known. Apa...
-Walnut
The kind now chiefly used is the American or black walnut. It is a hard brown wood with very little figure, generally very clean, and often of considerable width. From having been regarded as a worthl...
-Rosewood
This is a handsome timber, which, after having been out of the fashion for many years, is once more considerably used, especially for drawing-room furniture. The colour is a dark red or brown, with st...
-Pine
This is one of the most useful kinds of timber to the cabinet-maker, either for making up furniture entirely, or for those portions which are not seen, and are of comparative unimportance, such as the...
-American Whitewood
This is an extremely useful substitute for ordinary pine, and has come much into vogue within the last few years. It is somewhat harder than pine, is of a very uniform texture, and of a lightish yello...
-American Whitewood. Part 2
Although there are many intricacies involved in the measurement of timber, the cabinet-maker has little to do with any of them. The stuff he uses, and in such quantities as he is likely to buy it, is ...
-American Whitewood. Part 3
The amount of moisture contained in what may be regarded as dry, workable wood is perhaps more a matter of scientific than of practical interest,and need not be insisted on if the fact is understood t...
-Chapter IV. Glue And Its Preparation
Frequent Use - Selecting Glue - Preparation - Employment - Preservation - Liquid Glues - Brush. In making up any piece of furniture, it is well known that glue is largely used, so largely, indeed, th...
-Chapter V. Nails
Screws - Sizes - Brass Screws - Brads - Wire or French Nails - Needle Points - Dowels - Dowel Plates - Glass Paper - Stopping. The varieties of nails used in cabinet - making are not numerous, and th...
-Chapter VI. Tools
Selection and Care - List of Tools - Saw Teeth - Panel Saw - Sharpening and Setting - Tenon Saw - Dovetail Saw - Bow Saw and Frame - Planes - Iron and Wooden Planes - Plane Irons - Jack Plane - Trying...
-Tools. Continued
The following list contains those tools which may be considered indispensable to the cabinet-maker, though it must be remembered it is by no means an exhaustive one, for there are many other things wh...
-Saws
On looking through any tool catalogue the novice may be bewildered by the number he sees named. If he asks advice about the different sorts he may be told they are all useful if not absolutely necessa...
-Planes
These tools are used for a variety of purposes, smoothing wood, both on the surfaces and edges, cutting grooves, forming mouldings, and suchlike work, according to the shape of the cutting iron. This ...
-Jack Plane
This is a tool shaped as shown in Fig. 6, and is the one used first on a rough piece of wood, or when it may be necessary to reduce the size considerably. Either this planing down or the removal of ro...
-Chisels
These, whether called firmer, paring, or mortise, are much the same thing, and between the former two the cabinet-maker need hardly distinguish, as the chief difference between them is that the paring...
-The Gouge
The Gouge may be described as being a chisel with the blade rounded, as in Fig. 20. Though not so much used as chisels, they cannot be dispensed with, and a few should form part of the outfit. Unless ...
-Spokeshave
The ordinary form of this is shown in Fig. 21. It consists of a small, narrow blade fitted into a long handle, and is used for planing or shaping purposes on curved surfaces where a plane could not be...
-Gimlets
Gimlets are well known as convenient boring tools, and it is unnecessary to say anything about them except that there are two principal varieties, known as the shell and the twist gimlets, which are r...
-Bradawls
These simple boring tools are also well known. The holes made by them result from compression of the wood, hence they are not convenient for hard wood. The blade beyond the handle is merely a straight...
-Brace and Bits
The Brace and Bits are used together for boring holes which either from their size or other circumstances could not well be managed with a gimlet. The brace itself is nothing but the handle into which...
-Screwdrivers
Little need be said about these tools, as their use and general shape are well known. There are several patented forms, but apparently they are principally used by amateurs, as they are rarely seen in...
-Gauges
These are known as the cutting, marking, and mortise. In principle they are alike, and consist of a sliding block which can be fastened at any part of a bar, near one end of which a small steel blade ...
-Square
Fig. 31. - Square. Pincers are used for pulling out nails other than screws, and similar purposes. Pliers, though not indispensable, will often be found useful, either for cutting wire nails, etc,...
-Sliding Bevel
This is also a setting out and testing appliance, with a movable blade, as in Fig. 33, so that it can be adjusted to any angle. Fig. 33. - Improved Ebony Sliding Bevel. A wooden square, larger tha...
-Hammer
The usual and most useful form of this for cabinet-makers is that shown in Fig. 34. Fig 34 - Hammer. Mallet This is a kind of wooden hammer, and is useful where the iron one would injure either a...
-Punch
This is merely a blunt piece of steel for driving the heads of hammered nails below the surface of the wood. Compasses are used both for measuring and for scribing circles or parts of them. To preven...
-Rule
This, of course, is indispensable for measuring. It is made in a variety of patterns, and any but the very cheapest and commonest may be used. The latter are often unsatisfactory in the hinge or joint...
-Scraper
Scraper. This is a thin piece of steel from four to six inches long, by rather less in width, and though apparently not commonly known among amateurs, is invariably part of the workshop outfit. As its...
-Sharpener
This is a piece of steel for sharpening scraper edges, but many cabinet - makers prefer a 'currier's steel,' while many dispense with a special sharpener, and use the back of a gouge instead. Almost a...
-Marking Awl
Marking awl (Fig. 36) is merely a sharp-pointed piece of steel for marking with instead of a lead pencil. A useful form of a similar tool is that shown in Fig. 37, which has a chisel or knife end as w...
-Oilstone
The oilstone, or stone on which the edges of tools are kept keen, is a very important adjunct to the cabinetmaker's bench, and care should be used to get a good one. The qualities of the different kin...
-Hand-Screws
These are continually necessary to bind pieces of wood together till the glue has set in the joint. As will be seen from the illustration, Fig. 39, pressure is exerted by turning the two screws, the w...
-Bench Holdfast
The bench holdfast, Fig. 40, is made of iron and is used to fasten down wood when being sawn or worked on in any way which requires it to be firmly held on the bench top. To use it the bench has a hol...
-Rasp And File
These come in handy for a variety of purposes, which will suggest themselves when working. The most convenient form is that known as the half-round, and eight inches will be a suitable length. ...
-Dowel Plate
As this has been already mentioned, it is only necessary to say that it can be obtained ready made, with several holes for different thicknesses of dowels. Bits, of course, will be required to match. ...
-Chapter VII. Wooden Appliances Made By The User
Cramp - Extemporised Cramps - Shooting Boards - Mitre Shooting Boards - Mitre Block - Mitre Box - Square - Straight Edge - Winding Strips - Scratch or Router - Benches - Tool-Chest. In making the fol...
-Cramp
The bar of this may be any length, but a convenient one will be about 3 ft. The wood should be hard and strong, such as oak or ash, but it is by no means necessary that these only should be used. Stuf...
-Shooting Board
This will be found of great assistance for truing up or shooting square ends and edges of wood with the trying plane, and it comes into constant employment. Its form will be seen in Fig. 51, and the c...
-Mitre Shoot. Mitre Block
The mitre shoot is for the same purpose, only instead of being for square corners it is adapted to those at 450, or half a right angle. In case the novice does not know what a mitre is, he may be refe...
-Mitre Box
The mitre-box, as represented in Fig. 56, is preferred by many, and has the advantage of guiding the saw on both sides of the stuff being operated on instead of only on one. For this reason it will no...
-Scratch or Router
The scratch or router is an exceedingly useful tool for working the small beads and hollows now so much seen on furniture, and is also available for forming small mouldings, chamfering, and a variety ...
-Bench
It has been a matter of consideration with me whether to include the bench among the things which should be described, but I am inclined to think a detailed description is unnecessary. The professiona...
-Chapter VIII. Grinding And Sharpening Tools
Angles of Cutting Edges - Workshop Practice - Grinding and Sharpening Edge Tools - How to Hold Them - Sharpening Scrapers. THE importance - indeed, I may say the absolute necessity - of keeping tools...
-Chapter IX. General Directions On The Use Of Tools
Sawing - Planing - Scraping - Boring with Brace and Bits - Use of Winding Sticks - Circular Saw - Lathes - Fret Machine. THE tools being ready, it may fairly be supposed that the novice is anxious to...
-General Directions On The Use Of Tools. Part 2
Cross-cutting is done in very much the same way, but it may be well to note that the wood when nearly sawn through must be held up near the saw, otherwise it will probably drop, and in doing so break ...
-General Directions On The Use Of Tools. Part 3
When planing wood on the surface, the board is placed against the bench-stop, and the plane is worked in the direction of the grain as much as possible. This latter remark also applies to edge planing...
-General Directions On The Use Of Tools. Part 4
Before leaving the subject of tools, it may be perhaps advisable to explain why no mention has been made of machinery for the cabinet-maker. By the use of machinery a good deal of manual labour is sav...
-Chapter X. Joints
Squaring up - Edge Joints - Plain Gluing - Dowelling - Tonguing - Plain Dovetailing - Lap Dovetailing - Mitred Dovetailing - Hearers - Keyed Corners - Mortises and Tenons - Dowelled Frames - Halving. ...
-Joints. Part 2
A plain, glued joint properly managed is often so strong that soft wood will split more readily than it will come asunder at the joint. It is not uncommon to find that this joint has been used for th...
-Joints. Part 3
The same precautions as when boring holes for dowels must be observed for ensuring the grooves being quite opposite each other. If care be taken to set the plough properly, and to work with the fence...
-Joints. Part 4
Fig. 85 - Lap Dovetail. Any joint which is formed by a piece of wood being shaped with a dovetail is said to be dovetailed, for this form of construction is found in many instances where perhaps it...
-Joints. Part 5
Fig. 92 - Mortise and Tenon. In other joints of the same kind the tenon does not show at all when the joint is complete, and, needless to say, this is the neater form, though a little more troubles...
-Chapter XI. Decorative And Minor Structural Details
Lining - up - Rabbeting - Bevelled - edge Panels - Cross Grooving - Stop Chamfering - V Grooves - Beaded Edges - Stopped Beads - Flutes- Inlaid Stringing - Mouldings - Panels - Facing. BEYOND joints ...
-Rabbeting
Rabbeting, like much other work in cabinet-making, is simple enough when one knows how, but unless he were shown, the novice would no doubt find a difficulty in using the rabbet plane. The rabbet, or ...
-Rabbeting. Continued
Fig. 111 - Stop Chamfered Edges. Fig. 112 - Guide for cutting Chamfer Stops The stop will be sloped off with the chisel, and he must be a poor worker who cannot do this with sufficient accuracy. I...
-Inlaid Stringing
Inlaid stringing is much used on edges of furniture with marquetry inlays. The 'stringing' consists of bands of veneer cut to an exact width. This varies from 1/16th of an inch, or even less, to a con...
-Mouldings
Mouldings are much used in cabinet-work. Strictly speaking, many of the edges referred to under beading are moulded, but they are not generally understood as being included among mouldings. Mouldings ...
-Chapter XII. Construction Of Parts
Drawers - Doors - Cornices - Plinths. SOME portions of construction and parts of furniture are of sufficient importance to warrant a chapter to themselves, as the principles and general modus operand...
-Drawers
Drawers, and the various fittings connected with them, may receive special attention, for they are used largely, and nothing so clearly shows the skill of the workman. If he can make a good drawer, an...
-Doors
The principal parts of these are the frames and panels. The upright portions of the frames are the stiles, the cross-pieces being the rails. These are fitted within the former, that is to say, the sti...
-Chapter XIII. Glass In Furniture. Glass
Sheet Glass - Plate Glass - Purchasing - Flaws - Bevelling - Silvering - Measuring - Fixing. GLASS, either transparent or silvered, i.e., looking-glass, plays an important part in modern furniture, a...
-Plate Glass
Plate glass is thicker and better adapted to the cabinet-maker, the only thing that can be said against it in favour of sheet being its weight in large doors, though this is not a serious objection if...
-Plate Glass. Part 2
Scratches, if not deep, may sometimes be ground or 'blocked out,' but this must be done by one accustomed to the work. Defects in the silvering can only be got rid of by resilvering, which, of course,...
-Plate Glass. Part 3
Convex mirrors need only be mentioned because they are sometimes supposed to be old and not made now. This is a mistake, as they can be got from almost any glass house. They are not much used. Me...
-Chapter XIV. Drawing And Designing
Considerations for Guidance in setting out Work - Miniature Designs - Working Drawings. WHEN working from a small sketch or when attempting to design furniture, the amateur is often at a loss to adju...
-Drawing And Designing. Continued
From all this it will be seen that the designer is confined by little beyond convenience and custom in arranging the size of furniture, though very frequently the cost has to be taken into considerati...
-Chapter XV. Veneering
Objections considered - Burr Veneers - Saw-cut and Knife-cut Veneers - Laying with Caul - Wooden Cauls - Metal Cauls - Care and Preparation of Veneers - Preparation of Wood for Veneering on - Light co...
-Veneering. Part 2
Like solid wood, most veneers are reckoned by the superficial foot, burrs being generally sold at so much each. Veneers are laid, that is, glued to the solid backing, by two methods, viz., with the c...
-Veneering. Part 3
The veneer should be cut slightly larger than the wood it is to be placed on, leaving the rough edges to be cleaned up afterwards. With regard to the ground work something must be said, for there are ...
-Veneering. Part 4
The cauls should be left on till cold, and even then there need be no hurry in taking them off, as they cause no damage by being left on. When several pieces of the same size, such as drawer fronts, a...
-Veneering. Part 5
Fig. 166.- Diagram showing course of Veneering Hammer. Whenever, as occasionally happens, it is necessary to fasten veneer on end-grain wood, the glue must be well rubbed into this and allowed to d...
-Chapter XVI. Cabinet Brass - Work
Till Locks - Cut Cupboard Locks - Box Locks - Desk Locks - Straight Cupboard Locks - Wardrobe Locks - Nettlefold's Piano Lock - Spring Catches - Flush Bolts - Socket Castors - Screw Castors - Pin Cast...
-Cabinet Brass - Work. Part 2
Straight cupboard locks are perhaps the most easily fitted of any kind, as instead of being cut into the wood they are simply fastened on the back of the door. Their position is in fact the reverse of...
-Cabinet Brass - Work. Part 3
Hinges are at least as important an item in cabinet brass-work as any of the foregoing, and some space must be devoted to a few of the chief varieties. Butt hinges are those for which there is most e...
-Chapter XVII. Construction - Tables
General Advice - Simple Fancy Table - Small Table with Shelf Below - Octagon Table with Spindled Rails - Square Tapered Legs - Small Round Table - Common Kitchen Table - Leg Writing-table - Table with...
-Construction - Tables. Part 2
Fig. 168. - Screw through Rail. Fig. 169. - Small Table with Tray below. Fig. 170. - Fitting of Legs to Rails. The ends of the rails above the shelf are merely sunk in mortices cut in the leg...
-Construction - Tables. Part 3
The table-top requires more 'making' than if it were plain, and it may be as well to say here that the construction of tops for plain pedestal tables is exactly the same. As no object would be gained ...
-Construction - Tables. Part 4
Fig. 183. - Finger Joint for Brackets. Another way of fixing the bracket is by means of an ordinary hinge, though beyond its obvious simplicity it has not much to recommend it, and is seldom or nev...
-Construction - Tables. Part 5
Fig. 188. - Rule Joint. Fig. 189. - Setting out on Ends for Rule Joints. When the edges are ready, the work of fitting the hinges can be proceeded with, and this will probably be found the most ...
-Construction - Tables. Part 6
Fig. 191. - Simple extending Dining - table Framing. As is no doubt well known, dining - tables are made to expand and contract by means of a screw worked by a large key. It is unnecessary to say m...
-Chapter XVIII. Bedroom Furniture
Plain Hanging Wardrobe - Small Wardrobe with Drawer - Wardrobe with Straight Ends - Beaconsfield Wardrobe - Six-ft. Wardrobe with Long Trays and Drawers - Short Trays and Drawers - Fittings - Toilet T...
-Bedroom Furniture. Part 2
Fig. 196. - Wardrobe with Straight Ends. The plinth may also be made separately, but it will occur to any one that it will entail less work if formed like the cornice. Screws are used to fasten the t...
-Bedroom Furniture. Part 3
Another method is to fasten the front in, and have a sliding tray above it to give access to the interior. A variety of large wardrobe (6 ft.) precisely similar in external appearance to the one last...
-Bedroom Furniture. Part 4
As it will not again be necessary to refer to chests of drawers, it may be said here that the plinth is almost invariably a fixed one. It should be said that, as the backs of toilet-tables are often p...
-Chapter XIX. Library And Office Furniture
Pedestal Writing - table - Double ditto - Desk Slopes - Register Writing-tables - Cylinder Fall-tables - Old Bureau - Dwarf Bookcases - Secretary Bookcase - Nests of Pigeon-holes. Writing-tables or d...
-Library And Office Furniture. Continued
Fig. 211 - Top of Cylinder-fall Table. The table part is usually framed up, and slides within the ends. In the ends of the table grooves are ploughed, and in them fits a corresponding piece of tong...
-Library And Office Furniture
As long bookcase shelves are seldom advisable on account of the weight they have to bear, and consequent tendency to bend, it is usual to make the case when over 4 ft. or 4 ft. 6 ins. long with uprigh...
-Chapter XX. Sideboards And Cabinets
Ordinary Arrangement of Sideboards - Fixing of Back - Cabinets - Music Cabinets. Probably in no articles of furniture is there more variety in design and consequent modifications of construction than...
-Advertising
iiynoszELiimr & sonsr, 323 HIGH HOLBORN, W.C. Near CHANCERY LANE (formerly of Covent Garden), Utakrs Of J^atos, Planes, Lfa%S, Carbmg Haute, And Tools Of Eyery Description For Mechanics And Amateurs...
-Practical Handbooks
Full Lists Free Upon Application. The Practical Telephone Handbook and Guide to Telephonic Exchange. By J. Poole (Wh. Sc. 1875), late Chief Electrician to the Lancashire and Cheshire Telephonic Exch...
-A List Of Works Published By Whittaker & Co
2 White Hart Street, Paternoster Square, London, E.C. Accumulators, Salomons', 5s. & 6s. ------Plante, 12s. Adams' Joints in Woodwork, is. ------Prac. Trigonometry, 2s. 6d. net. Agricultural Eng...
-A List Of Works Published By Whittaker & Co. Continued
Electric Railways, Hering, 5s -----Railways and Tramways, Dawson, 30s. ------Traction, Reckenzaun, IOs. 6d. ------Transformers, Kapp, 6s. ------Transformers, Weekes, 2s. ------Transmission, Back. ...









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