Sometimes, our instructions use terms and descriptions that only make sense when you’re working in a wood shop. Rabbet is a word just like that. And no, it’s not the fluffy animal with long ears and a cotton ball tail, but a groove cut into the edge of a piece of wood. This edge allows you to use glass, mirrors, art work, or a tile strip in wooden furniture.
In the furniture kits that feature a mirror, you’ll find a rabbet cut into the edges where the mirror will be placed. The rabbet basically creates a step stool in the edge, so that the glass rests on the lower steps, and doesn’t have to be glued on the furniture. Sometimes, a rabbet can be used to ledge two different pieces of wood together, like two ‘L shapes” hooking into each other.
The last way a rabbet can be used in woodworking projects is as a decorative ledge. Our furniture kits don’t use rabbets in this way, but on some pieces of furniture, a rabbet can quite literally add dimension to the piece. Think of some of the edges you might have seen on cabinet doors.
Aside from furniture, one of the most likely places you’ll find a rabbet is in picture frames. When you’re fitting a picture in a picture frame, there’s a good chance you’ll find a rabbet to keep your picture in place.
For an example of one of our furniture kits that uses a rabbet, look at our Steamboat Hall tree.
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