Frame and Panel Construction - DVD
with Graham Blackburn

Published by Taunton Press, USA
Originally published in VHS format in 2000



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As reviewed in The Australian Woodworker Issue 136:

Graham Blackburn begins by relating some of the history of Frame and Panel construction and extolling its virtues.

This is a method of construction that goes a long way towards overcoming one of the ever-present problems of woodworking.

Wood is hygroscopic. It absorbs moisture from the air around it and that moisture makes it swell. When moved from an area of higher to one of lower humidity, the process works in reverse and the wood contracts.

The largest movements occur in soft woods and in any wood, across the grain.

A door made from a large piece of wood cut to precisely fit an opening in a cabinet might jam tight during the rainy months of the year but show unsightly gaps around it during the dry season.

A Frame and Panel door does not exhibit this problem. The Frame of the door, made to precisely fit the opening, does not move appreciably because its members are made from relatively small section material. The Panel that fits inside this Frame is much larger so it certainly moves, but this movement is taken up in the sliding joints between the panel and frame.

Graham Blackburn uses an example of a double panel with stiles, rails and a central muntin to demonstrate the techniques involved.

He goes through each stage in the construction, starting with making the frames, sizing the components, then cutting the grooves for the panels and making the haunched tenons...

At every step, Blackburn shows (or at least discusses) the various methods that might be employed. For example, he begins by showing how the grooves may be cut with a combination plane, then goes on to show how the same job might be done with a router table, portable router or table saw.

In the second part of this DVD, Blackburn presents a wide range of panels that can be used - flat panels centred in the stiles and rails, recessed towards the back, raised proud at the front, fielded panels, feathered panels... He also shows how each of these panels might be achieved.

Graham Blackburn is a writer, illustrator and book designer who has been an editor of Woodwork and a contributing editor to Fine Woodworking. Not surprisingly, his descriptions are clear, concise and easy to follow and only a basic understanding of woodworking would be required to benefit from this DVD.

Frame and Panel construction can be a stylish as well as sensible solution for applications, not only in furniture-making but in the fitting out of interior spaces.

Duration: 40min

DVD - English - NTSC