Dividers | Shop-Sawn Veneered Panels | Sideboard Series Pt 5

Video - December 13, 2023

I’m going to make the case dividers from shop-sawn veneered panels, primarily for stability. A veneered panel is much less likely to expand and contract with changes in humidity compared to one made from solid wood. When it comes to casework, I like to  keep in mind the reality of wood movement, especially if the divider is being attached to a frame that will not expand and contract. Furthermore, when it comes time to attach our drawer slides, which do not want to be attached to a panel that moves. I should note that you could simply use walnut-faced plywood for the dividers, but sometimes it’s nice to splurge. It’s also nice to exercise our veneering and vacuum press skills once in a while.

To make shop-sawn veneered panels, we’ll start by cutting the core from a piece of 1/2″ MDF. I then add a walnut frame around the perimeter. I like the idea of trimming with solid wood before applying our veneer as it gives the veneer a nice continuous run on the face while also giving us a good amount of solid stock we can use for our joinery. Next we cut sheets of walnut from a thicker board to make the veneer. I can then glue the veneer pieces together edge to edge. Once the glue dries, I apply glue to the sheets and the MDF core and place the sandwich in the vacuum press.

After the glue dries, the panels are trimmed and the sliding dovetails are cut so that they slide into the dovetail recess in the case perfectly.

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