IN YOUR JOB AS AN Army carpenter, you will build
Many beautiful hardwoods are strong. Being strong and
many cabinets. Cabinet building is a precision job that is
naturally beautiful, they are favored for cabinetwork.
performed inside a shop, although much of the work is
1-2. It is almost impossible to discuss in detail all the
done at the location where the cabinets are to be
woods used in cabinet construction; however, we are
The cabinets should be well designed,
primarily concerned with those woods which are in
structurally sound, and appealing in appearance. Look at
some of the cabinetwork around you or try to recall the
1-3. In this section we will discuss the types of wood
appearance of some kitchen cabinets that you have seen.
used in cabinetwork and the characteristics of each type.
Do they make good use of the available space? Do the
After studying these characteristics, you should be able to
doors fit and latch tightly? Are the shelves strong and the
identify and select the proper wood for a particular job.
joints tight? Do the cabinets look like they were done by
1-4. The most desirable woods for cabinetwork
a. Have the ability to keep their shape without
2. This chapter is devoted to the materials used
and methods applied to achieve these goals. We will
shrinking, warping, or swelling.
b. Be easily workable with tools and machinery
cover the types and characteristics of wood used in
cabinetwork. Some of the softwoods are white pine, fir,
without causing rough surfaces.
c. Be strong, with suitable grain characteristics that
cedar, and redwood; some of the hardwoods are walnut,
mahogany, and oak. Of course, grades and standards of
are pleasing to the eye.
hardwood and plywood will also be covered here.
Many softwoods are used in
3. We will discuss some of the joints used in
cabinetmaking. Among these, white pine is one of the
cabinetwork, such as parallel grain joints, right-angle grain
most useful of all. It is also easy to work, because it has
joints, grooved joints, miter joints, mortise and tenon
a uniform grain and holds its shape well. White pine is
joints, dovetail joints, and butt joints. Remember, a good
soft, light, and of medium strength. It splits easily but
joint is one that is well made and fits properly. The type
holds nails fairly well. It also takes glue well. The grain
of cabinet that you will make will be one of three types:
is not prominent; therefore, it has no particular beauty.
frame, stool, or box. A step-by-step procedure will be
For this reason, coupled with its ability to hold paint, it is
given in the construction of each of these items.
most often painted.
4. Study each section carefully and try to apply
1-6. Fir comes in three well-known species: Douglas
what you learn to all of your cabinetmaking projects.
fir, yellow fir, and red fir. Fir is difficult to work with
hand tools, because it splits easily. It glues well but will
not hold paint; therefore, it is usually treated with a
1. Cabinet Woods
1-1. In cabinetmaking, those characteristics of wood
and in millwork, boatbuilding, and shingle manufacturing.
with which we are concerned differ somewhat from
1-7. Cedar comes in a variety of species; this makes it
those characteristics of wood with which we are
difficult to, cover each in detail; however, we will discuss
concerned when we are dealing with frame construction.
some of its general characteristics. The sapwood is
For example, in cabinetmaking, beauty and finishing
generally white, with the heartwood being a reddish brown to
qualities are the determining factors rather than strength.