Which side to rabbet for stronger joint? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 18 Old 05-09-2015, 06:48 AM Thread Starter
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Which side to rabbet for stronger joint?

Hi all,

I'm going to build a small cabinet to put my TV on. I'm going to use 3/4" Baltic Birch plywood.
Should I rabbet the horizontal or the vertical sides?
What is considered to be stronger, and what should I use for connecting the pieces together? (glue/screws/nails).

I've choosen the rabbet joint since it's the most suitable for my limited tools (handsaw, chisel, cordless screwdriver), and also it's the only joint I managed to do so far :)

Thank you.
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post #2 of 18 Old 05-09-2015, 06:58 AM
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Rabbet the sides.

I do not prize the word "cheap." It is not a badge of honor...it is a symbol of despair. Cheap prices make for cheap goods; cheap goods make for cheap men; and cheap men make for a cheap country. ~ William McKinley
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post #3 of 18 Old 05-09-2015, 07:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AmirKou View Post
Hi all,

I'm going to build a small cabinet to put my TV on. I'm going to use 3/4" Baltic Birch plywood.
Should I rabbet the horizontal or the vertical sides?
What is considered to be stronger, and what should I use for connecting the pieces together? (glue/screws/nails).

I've choosen the rabbet joint since it's the most suitable for my limited tools (handsaw, chisel, cordless screwdriver), and also it's the only joint I managed to do so far :)

Thank you.
my self i would use the one on the bottom, also i would but a triangle piece in the corners in the back so that they doin't show, that would help with holding the unit solid ,, my 2 cents use good glue maybe tightbond 2 should be ok
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post #4 of 18 Old 05-09-2015, 07:00 AM
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I believe if it were me I would miter the corners rather than rabbet. It would also add a lot of strength if you would put a 1/4" back on the cabinet.
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post #5 of 18 Old 05-09-2015, 08:17 AM
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You stated you have only "limited tools". Is it possible to have someone with a table saw to "miter the corners" as previously suggested? If you can not miter the corners, side rabbets will do and as advised, "adding a 1/4" back will make the cabinet stronger". Be safe.
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post #6 of 18 Old 05-09-2015, 08:31 AM
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The question was which was stronger and miters were mentioned. I may be missing something, but I have never found that miters were stronger than a rabbit. The only reason I use a miter it for looks. So what are you doing different to make the miter stronger?

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post #7 of 18 Old 05-09-2015, 08:41 AM
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No one has stated "miters were stronger than a rabbet", but IMO perhaps only if you add a spline or use pocket hole joinery, and as suggested "add a 1/4" back for strength". Be safe.
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post #8 of 18 Old 05-09-2015, 08:43 AM
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I did a search and found a joint test video that might be useful

http://www.finewoodworking.com/how-t...ngth-test.aspx

JohnnyB
Iím a die hard DIY guy. Donít tell me to hire someone for what I can do myself.
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post #9 of 18 Old 05-09-2015, 08:52 AM
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Thanks for the "test" info. Be safe.
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post #10 of 18 Old 05-09-2015, 12:02 PM
where's my table saw?
 
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strong corner joints ...

The strongest cabinet will have a rabbeted back panel OR a nailed on back 1/4" thick, no matter what the corner joinery is.

You can butt them, rabbet them or miter them. I would spline the miter, but you do not have the tools to do that.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbY6QstUS-4#t=26

Here's the issue: glue only bonds well to straight grain material, not end grain with certain exceptions. Titebond "no run, no drip" glue is best" on end grain:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ER1k4Pcyn0M



A miter is end grain to end grain, not the best condition.

A butt joint will only have end grain on one piece, maybe better.

A rabbet joint will have some end grain and some long grain AND a little extra strength because of the shoulder.

The other issue is "racking" or lateral strength. The back panel solves that pretty much.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 05-09-2015 at 12:04 PM.
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post #11 of 18 Old 05-09-2015, 01:36 PM Thread Starter
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Hi all,

Thank you very much.. you can't imagine how much your answers and thoughts added to my knowledge and experience as a newbie.
I guess everyone starting woodworking would be afraid to cut/nail/screw things, especially when ordering pre-cut boards from the wood warehouse. So I need to be as much precise as possible.

Thanks again :)
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post #12 of 18 Old 05-10-2015, 01:34 AM
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Strength wise both designs are pretty well equal, it is a matter whether you want the end grain visible from the top or the side. I would definitely add a back to the cabinet, it doesn't have to be a full back if you need access for cables, just have it run along either the top or bottom of cabinet so it can be fastened to sides and one of the horizontal parts.

Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something -Plato

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post #13 of 18 Old 05-10-2015, 07:18 AM
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I don't see what the concern is about. Any design would hold up a television set, even if it's an old one.
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post #14 of 18 Old 05-10-2015, 07:43 AM Thread Starter
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Hi all,

I ended up rabbeting the 3 sides (right, left and back) of both the base and the top parts of the cabinet.
This way, the two sides and the back will sit into these rabbets.
Then I'm going to pre-drill, glue and screw all the pieces together.
I'm still not sure about the front part, it's maybe going to be two closet doors with a drawer or something else..
Meanwhile, I'm happy with this design, and yes, it seems to be strong enough for my lightweight TV.

Thank you :)
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post #15 of 18 Old 05-11-2015, 12:05 AM
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That is how I would have done it. Well I may have rabbeted the side rail for the top but regardless, its strong enough

With modern day wood working, the idea of joinery really is more or less a fan club. Similar to ford guys or chevy guys. Each believe theirs is the strongest, longest lasting.....yada yada yada. At the end of the day, both can tow 5 ton boats, and last a good while.

Thw way I see it, the top load of anything placed on top of that shelf will be transferred directly into the side rail.

the only reason I say I would have rabbeted the side rail where the top meets is because if it ever were loaded until failure from the top, the thinnest cut of the rabbet along the top where it meets the sides is probably where it will fail.

But honestly and realistically, that will never happen because of the amount of force needed.

I bet....well I should probably check the dimensions, but if your pics are relative to actual size, I bet that shelf could take a load well over 300lbs while resting on the ground before you hear buckling. Wall mounted is a different story ...Do you feel like smashing it?


lol just kidding.

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post #16 of 18 Old 05-11-2015, 06:04 AM
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there is another reason ....








In the top sketch, the edges of the sides will show from the top.
In the bottom sketch the edges of the top will show from the side.
Not a huge difference, but in some cases it will matter.
Of course miters would solve that issue, but beyond hand tool capability.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 05-11-2015 at 06:07 AM.
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post #17 of 18 Old 05-11-2015, 11:21 AM
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Definitely the top.
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post #18 of 18 Old 05-23-2015, 03:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post







In the bottom sketch the edges of the top will show from the side.
That is a great reason to add some decorative side trim!
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