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Posted by joeabbott on January 3, 2014

For the cabinet we are building, I had always thought I’d use this (Plan A) as the top … this is looking down at the top, walls would be to the left and up, right and down would be accessible.

A image

Plan A has the drawback of ensuring we’d have a seam going through the strand panel. Normally that wouldn’t be a HUGE issue, but I’d had enough problems getting the 12’ panels without a gappy seam that I am starting to think of a few other options.

The other options would introduce a divider of sorts down the middle, splitting the top into “left” and “right” sides. Once you do that, it starts to make sense to “frame” the entire top, And then I’m into the realm of worrying about dimensions of the banding strap and how to join them. With Suzy, we decided that a 3” band would look good.

I then built up the following options.

B image

Plan B starts to look a lot more formal but these are the sorts of joints I’m used to seeing. It moves away from the hard, square lines of some of our other furniture  but, again, is what I’ve seen in other furniture. It does very much give a “left side”/”right side” sort of appearance to the top … and I could even build them this way, making it a LOT easier to build in the shop and transfer to the living room when finished.

C image

Plan C is identical to B with the exception that the center divider is the same dimension as all the other framing pieces, 3”. This does a little to remove the left/right appearance but very much has an optical illusion of the center member not looking as thick as the other framing pieces! This plan would give me a bit of a challenge in creating the joint as it introduces two angles between the side frame and the center frame. I’m a bit less of a fan of this option.

D image

Plan D is similar to C except I’ve simplified the joints, which now match the look of our dining room table. But joints are easier to build but I’d still need a tight, tight fit. This improves the overall simplicity and would allow me to build it in parts and then join them in the living room and rout/trim to fit the top. A drawback to this design is that the center member still has the optical illusion of being smaller.

E image

Plan E is just like D but I’ve made the center member one-and-a-half=times as thick; this removes the optical illusion but otherwise is the same as D … and even starts to look a bit more like B, without all the fussy miter joints. Right now this is my favored design but I will note that design issues are not my strong suit.

But, that’s it! Gotta decide how this should look and then can start the cuts. In the meantime I’ll work on the sliding door top rail and see what comes of this decision.


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