A George II Elm Corner Cupboard – Part Three

Metropolitan-made corner cupboards and cabinets, and those of a later date, employed sophisticated joinery in the form of sliding dovetails, rebates or trenches to enhance carcase rigidity, but often these carcases were simply glued and nailed together. That nailed examples still survive in their thousands is testament enough to the efficiency of their construction.

The flat fronts of the carcases normally consist of mortised and tenoned rectangular frames, with the rails partially visible beneath the cornice and above the bottom moulding. However, with this particular piece, the mouldings are situated right on the upper and lower edges of the door opening. The bottom ‘rail’ is only the height of the shallow moulding and is, in effect, merely a packer, glued to the front of the base board to support the moulding. The top rail is mortised and tenoned into the stiles and again, is only the height of the (cornice) moulding.

I rubbed some 1/2″ and 3/4″ pine boards together for the triangular shelves and the carcase end boards respectively. The cupboard’s elm stiles and sides were bevelled where they meet and rebates were planed in the back edges of the sides which will eventually accommodate the pine backboards. The stiles and sides were rubbed together and then I rubbed two glue blocks-cum-shelf supports into the interior angles of each stile/side assembly.

The end boards and stile/side assemblies.

I glued the top front rail into the stiles and glued the bottom ‘rail’ to the front of the bottom board. The top and bottom end boards were then glued and nailed to the stile/side assemblies and finally, the backboards were nailed in place.

The backboards nailed to the end boards.

Bevelled pine shelf supports were glued and nailed to the backboards and the shaped shelves were also nailed in place.

The shelves installed.

The cornice and bottom mouldings were made up and attached to the carcase.

The cornice…

… and the bottom moulding.

The finished carcase.


About Jack Plane

Formerly from the UK, Jack is a retired antiques dealer and self-taught woodworker, now living in Australia.
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