Slides and Squares in Woodworking Projects

Woodworking allows artisans to produce furniture with innovation, function, and style such as the collapsible bookcase made for a Chicago office. Although made of plywood, the piece is intricately fitted and finished to appear manufactured from solid lumber. The use of a slide system allows the offset shelves to nest into one another in the collapsed position. Pulled apart, the varying spaces between the shelves enable the office workers to display books or objects although the case’s chunky construction may offer more form than function.

When building a piece with corners, especially ones that fit together, the woodworker must take care to make precise right angle wood joints. Accomplishing this requires the use of a corner square, jigs, and carefully adjusted tools. Depending on the desired appearance, the strength of the joint, and the lumber the builder has several joining techniques from which to choose. Joinery consists of the basic butt joint to the exacting through dovetail.

The office’s collapsible bookcase is a unique example, but drawer slides are an essential part of furniture design. From keyboard trays to trundle beds, slides must offer smooth, stable motion so the woodworker should select the devices carefully. Typically, slides are side or under-mounted with under-mounted units offering centered or paired mechanisms. Manufactures rate slides for load-bearing capabilities, as well, so the builder should consider how much weight the drawer or shelf may hold. With creativity and careful attention to detail, even mundane projects can become practical works of art.