Joint #2 in the Hillbilly Tansu Project is for the front drawer/door bearer. This piece, for me, was the key to developing the rest of elements for the tansu construction. Once I had this element designed all the rest sort of fell into place. Like I said in my earlier post, what I am doing is only conjecture and is in no way historically correct. But, I have been able to develop what I think will be a rock solid and scalable assembly. So back to the front bearer and it’s joinery.
I needed this piece to perform several functions in the assembly. First, it needed to tie the front posts together. Second, it needed to provide a bearing surface on which the drawers will run. Third, it needed to provide a surface on which the doors will slide and be held into place. Fourth, it needed to provide an attachment area for the drawer bearers along the side of the case. Finally, it needed to provide an attachment area for what will be the shelf/floor of the sliding door compartment.
That’s a lot to ask of one piece of wood but I think I have configured to do all that I need it to. The joint that attaches the bearer to the front posts obviously needed to be some sort of tenon arrangement. Since I knew that I would be adding grooves for the sliding doors, the grooves and the tenons needed to be arranged so they would not interfere with each other. (More on that in an upcoming post) I wanted the joint to be strong in both lateral and in shear. After many hours of sketches I arrived at what I am showing here. It’s a combination of tenon and lap joints. The pointed lap on the face of the post is a fancy way of adding glue surface and alignment. The center tenon is pretty straight forward. The rear lapped section gives me increased glue surface and increased bearing surface. The groove down the rear of the bearer will provide a place to attach the side bearers for the drawers and the shelf/floor for the sliding door area.
This joint is pretty strong even without glue. It resists any twisting of the bearer pretty well as is. Although my execution was not quite exact. There is a gap on the top 45deg area that resulted from my cutting on the line instead of beside the line. Still not too bad for a first attempt.
I now have most of the other joinery and pieces configured. I just need to draw them up and cut the samples. I’ll be posting on those as I get them done.