Southern Joinery

The Wood Shed

Feb 11, 2016

Construction techniques – Custom furniture

Feb 11, 2016

This client approached me with a need for a place to hang coats in his newly remodeled home in downtown Atlanta.  With his ultra-modern home, this mid-century modern styled armoire was very fitting and added an eye-catching piece of art to the large open living room (as well as a coat closet).  As with most custom hand-crafted furniture, the client contributed the size, style and wood selection … my part was the detail design, hardware selection and construction.  The clean lines and walnut wood created a perfect addition to this home.

When designing a new piece of furniture the construction techniques must consider wood expansion and the strength of the joinery.  Because the expansion of the solid wood panels in the doors requires special consideration, I use “space balls”,  1/4″ rubber balls, in the dadoes in the door.  These “space balls” allow the panel to expand, keep the panel centered in the frame, and prevent the panel from rattling. This technique is easy to use and and does a fantastic job for its intended purpose.

Strength of the mitered joints and the rigidity of the box are always a concern with a project of this size.  The mitered joints on the corners were reinforced with splines to give the needed strength to this construction.  In order to increase the rigidity, a tight fitting plywood back was set into a rabbet and held in place with screws.  This prevents extra stress from being place on the joints when the armoire is being moved. This turned out to be a fun and successful project.

MCM Armoire

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2015, Southern Joinery, LCC Photography by Paul O`Mara