BEYOND joints there are many minor details of work which the cabinet-maker should understand, as he is constantly requiring to put them in practice, and they are as important in their way as any of the particulars which have been given. In fact, all cabinet - making consists of such details. No attempt can be made to classify such work as is now alluded to, for the different operations are mostly independent of each other.
Lining - tip is the term applied to the narrow pieces which are fastened on underneath a top to give it an appearance of thickness. The lining pieces may be little more than mouldings, or they may be several inches in width. The same variety will also be found in thickness, this depending on the appearance wanted. By the use of linings a considerable saving is effected in material, for a top half inch thick may be strong enough, but its edge would look paltry; it is, therefore, made to look more massive. But perhaps some who are imbued with the false notions so prevalent about art in relation to furniture may regard such work as improper, the apparent thickness being unreal or a sham one. Well, all I can say to those to whom lining-up may be a new revelation, and who may think thus, is that they can always get a top of the same thickness throughout by paying sufficiently, and, I may add, thereby encouraging a waste of material, for to use double the quantity that is necessary without any corresponding advantage is surely this. Lining-up cannot be regarded as a sham either, for no one who knows anything about furniture would be taken in with it. Those who regard it, veneering, and such-like processes, as calculated to deceive are not generally distinguished as having any practical acquaintance with furniture construction; and, with due respect to all such would-be teachers, they may be reminded that it is not generally considered that those who are ignorant of any subject are the best guides as to what is right in connexion with it. Because they may have been deceived, it does not follow that others who have been better instructed are. If they have been, it has been from their own want of knowledge rather than from the perverse ingenuity of the cabinet-maker. I think my readers may safely follow the practices of skilful workers, and so I have no hesitation in recommending lining - up, veneering, and other methods with which the pseudo art-furniture critic so often finds fault.
Lining - up is satisfactory when done properly, otherwise it is likely to be a source of trouble. With the front piece there can be no difficulty, but with the ends the case may be different. These, if glued on, must be formed of pieces with their grain running in the same direction as that of the top, so that they with it show end grain. It is, however, not always so convenient to use the lining pieces thus as to have their grain running across that of the top. In this case no good cabinet-maker would dream of using glue to fasten them with, for the top being bound and unable to contract naturally would either split or, if free to do so, curve hollow.
If they are fastened with screws, and the holes in the lining are made so large as to allow a little play in the top, no harm will result. The pressure of the screw-heads on the lining will keep the parts close, and yet not prevent the top contracting, as the screw-shanks will be free to move slightly backwards. Some men prefer to make slots instead of round holes in the lining for the necks of the screws, and of course from the extra provision for ensuring free play of the top they make 'assurance doubly sure.' A fairly wide, round hole is, however, generally enough, and is more easily made than an oblong one.
Figs. 102 to 105. - Sections of Lined-up Tops.
The front linings may be carried right through at the ends, and the others be shouldered up against them. This does well enough when linings showing end grain are used, but not otherwise. In this case the front and end pieces are mitred, a little glue being used at the joint. The front lining may be screwed or glued only, hand-screws being used for pressure till the glue has set. It will also be as well to put one on at each of the mitres covering the joint. It is seldom necessary for a lining to be more than three or four inches wide, or to have one along the back edge. If there is a lining all round, as in the case of some tables, care should be taken to leave the necks of the screws fastening the top to the framing sufficiently loose to allow of play, as explained above.
Perhaps the reader may discern that it is rarely that wood can be glued up with its grain running transversely across another without great risk of curvature or splitting. Let him avoid doing so, and he will be saved a good deal of trouble. It will be understood that lined edges can be treated just as if they were solid, and any mouldings be worked on their edges. A few examples are given (Figs. 102 to 105). In the case of the beaded one it will be advisable to regulate the beads so that the joint is between two of them, or at any rate sunk, and not on the face of any member. The same rule applies whatever the moulding. To make the instructions concerning end linings clear, so that there can be no possibility of a mistake, Fig. 106 is given. A shows an end lining which may be fastened in any way, while B shows the other, which must not be glued. The mitred and square joints will also be noted.
Lining-up is also used to thicken up ends of carcase work. It may be only on the front edges, or on top, bottom, and back as well. In either case the work is subject to the same rules as the other so far as grain is concerned, though it may be said that top and bottom linings should always be glued, and therefore the grain of them runs vertically. Such linings are generally flush with the edges of the wood to which they are joined. In front the joint may be concealed between beading, and by the one behind being set back a little it may save the work of cutting a rabbet in which to lay the backing.
Fig. 106 - Top with Lining.