Gentlemen (and ladies).
Happy Memorial Day to all of you.
I am in the process of making a (mostly) solid cherry entertainment center..... the "mostly solid cherry" is where I am running into an issue.
I designed this as I went along, and realized that I might have two problems that I didn't forecast:
a) a joining problem between the plywood top and bottom with the solid cherry sides (cherry expanding/contracting with changes in humidity and the plywood not doing so). The carcass is birch plywood on the top and the bottom, but my sides and middle sides I made out of solid cherry boards. My plan was to glue the plywood to the simple dado joints I made in the cherry sides and then to reinforce with pocket-hole screws. Now that I am thinking about it, I think that this might not allow for the expansion/contraction of the cherry sides and the sides may crack over time.
b) Related to the expansion/contraction of the sides, my drawer slides (attached to the cherry side panels) were going to follow the same concept.... simple strips of plywood either glued or screwed to the inside of the solid cherry sides..... apparently, however, this will not allow for the expansion of the wood. The attached link only sunk my heart further, as the diagram on page 19 of this article was exactly what I did last night.... luckily for me, I didn't glue the drawer slides up, but simply attached the strips with screws (as I planned on finishing both sides of the panels as mentioned before).
Necessary Background information:
There are four solid wood panels (two outside and two inside). They are all constructed of solid cherry boards, planed to about 3/4" and measure 20" in width with the boards running in a vertical direction. The expanding and contracting problem is horizontal.
I didn't yet treat the cherry or the plywood. I plan on shellacing both sides of the cherry wood for sealer, then using a water-based dye on the show sides of the panels to slightly darken the cherry, finishing coat using shellac again. This, I believe, will have slightly minimize the amount of expanding and contracting.
I constructed a solid cherry top, but don't forecast having an expansion/contracting problem with it as I am drilling a series of oversized holes in the top of the carcass and will attach it the top from underneath so it "floats" on top of the carcass.
The big questions are for both problems..... how do I join the plywood top and bottom carcass and how do I join the drawer slides to the solid panels so the panels don't crack over time and yet my cabinet will remain solid?
I figure that I might be able to oversize the screw holes in the drawer slides, but I am worried that this will cause too much shift.... the drawers are rather heavy (constructed of poplar with cherry faces).
I have no idea what to do about joining the solid side panels with plywood top and bottom.
Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again!