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What is a Web Frame?

By D. Nelson
Updated May 17, 2024
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A web frame is the internal frame of a cabinet. This frame is normally what supports the drawers in the cabinet. A typical frame also divides one cabinet from another. Finally, this frame also provides a platform for the drawer runner. The runners are the slides, normally made from a kind of metal, on which the drawers can slide open and close.

A cabinet maker often inserts grooves in the web frame. He or she then insert a thin piece of plywood into each groove. The plywood serves to protect drawers from dust and other kinds of debris when the drawers are closed.

The typical web frame consists of two separate parts. A front frame will be visible at the front of the cabinet. This is also known as a face frame. The face frame covers up the carcass of the cabinet to improve the cabinet's appearance. The face frame is also used for fixing doors and drawers. This part of the web frame is also essential for adding to the overall strength of the cabinet.

The second part of the web frame is the side rail. Normally there are two different side rails. A side rail extends from the front of the cabinet to the back on both the left and right sides of the structure. These rails serve to strengthen the cabinet and help to hold it together. They may also be used as bases for the runners, which allow the drawers to slide. In some cases, a rear rail may be added to a web frame for support.

In cabinets that are considered to be of a higher quality, the face frame is connected to the side rails. In some cases, the face frame may also be connected to vertical components of the frame. In these cabinet constructions, a dovetail joint is often used to connect the face frame to other components of the cabinet.

A dovetail joint is used often in joinery, particularly in fine cabinet making. This joint is made out of wood and is thought to be incredibly strong and impossible to pull apart. The joint is glued to the structure without the use of any mechanical fasteners.

When a cabinet is made of solid timber, a dado may be used to support the side rails. A dado is a groove that is cut into wood to allow for partial movement. The dado is fixed at the front of the cabinet, though it allows the side rails to move so they may act as runners.

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