dull brown and sometimes turning to a lavender tinge.
furniture. Oak sometimes is used in boatbuilding where
Cedar is known for its pungent odor and spicy bitter
strength is required.
taste. It is a light, soft wood of low strength and does
1-13. Hardwood Grades and Standards. Because
not bend easily. However, it works well, finishes
hardwood grading standards are of particular importance
smoothly, takes paint, and glues well, although it will split
in cabinetmaking, we will emphasize this importance by
easily. Cedar has a high resistance to decay, is uniform
discussing such standards under a separate special
in texture, and is very knotty. After it is seasoned, it will
heading. These standards are based on the amount of
keep its shape well. It is used as a liner for closets, cedar
clear, usable lumber in each piece. Material commonly
chests, etc., because of its moth-repellent action. It is
called clear-cutting must have one clear side and the
also used for millwork, novelties, and furniture.
reverse side sound. This means that there must be no
1-8. Redwood is a soft, odorless, straight, even-
rot, shakes, or other features present which might impair
grained softwood, coarse in texture and light in weight.
the strength of the wood.
It works well with tools and holds glue and paint
1-14. The highest grade of hardwood is termed "first"
exceptionally well. Redwood shrinks very little and keeps
and the next grade "second." The third grade is termed
its shape well after it is seasoned. It resembles cedar in
"select," followed by No. 1, No. 2, and No. 3 common.
color but has a much coarser texture. It is used for
These grading rules are by no means complete. There
building construction, millwork, garden furniture,
are numerous details and special rules for certain species.
novelties, and shingles.
However, if you keep those specifications mentioned
1-9. Hardwoods. Hardwoods are used extensively
above in your mind. your problems in selecting general
for fine furniture and cabinets. Their strength, plus
hardwoods will be made easier.
beauty and ability to take clear finishes (varnish and
1-15. Plywood. Today plywood is used for thousands
lacquer), makes them ideal for the finest products of the
of products, and the average person comes into contact
cabinetmaker. There are many types of hardwoods;
with it every day. It, too, is used extensively in
however, we will cover only the principal ones.
1-10. Walnut is one of the finest of cabinet woods,
1-16. Modern plywood consists of veneers that are
because the grain is porous and varies from straight to
fabricated with glues. In simple terms, it consists of
Walnut works well with tools, finishes
three or more layers of thin wood firmly glued together,
smoothly, and holds glue and stain well. It is a hard,
with the grain direction of the middle layer at right
strong wood and is easily identified by its dark
angles to the outer layers. By this means of fabrication,
heartwood. It is used extensively for plywoods, veneers,
swelling and shrinking is reduced and stability and
furniture, and millwork.
strength are added, qualities which would not be found in
1-11. Mahogany is not a native wood; therefore, all
the original material.
species are imported. Most varieties come from Central
America, Africa, and India. It is a hard, strong wood;
of hardwoods, softwoods, and plywood. When selecting
however, the hardness can vary with the species. Color
materials for cabinets, you should select the type best
can vary in shade, but generally speaking, it is reddish
suited for the job you are doing. That is, don't use the
brown. Mahogany has a close, varying grain, causing a
highest grade of lumber or the best grade of plywood to
pleasing reflection of light. It is used chiefly for fine
construct a cabinet that is to be used for storage.
furniture, plywood panels, veneers, and interior finishes.
1-18. Now that we have discussed some of the woods
1-12. Oak is a very hard, strong wood with two main
used in cabinetwork and their characteristics, let's take a
species: white and red. Unless it is carefully seasoned, it
look at some of the joints used when constructing a
will warp and check; however, once it is worked to a
finish it is without rival for strength and beauty. Oak
2. Joints Used in Cabinetmaking
holds glue satisfactorily. The grain is coarse and porous;
and when quartersawed, the medullary rays are broad and
2-1. Wood surfaces that are to be glued must be
numerous, making pleasing patterns. It takes stain very
smooth and rue; therefore, when you glue wood surfaces,
well, making beautiful grain contrasts, and is used for
be sure that there are no machine marks, chipped or
interior finishes, flooring, plywood panels, veneers, and
loosened grain, or other surface irregularities and that you
follow the instructions on the glue container. Another
important point for you to remember is that a strong
joint is a joint where the glue and wood are in