Tips & Tricks Issue 93: Self-Positioning Assembly Braces

Squaring braces can be very helpful for assembling cases and drawers. Expensive commercial versions are available, but simple plywood triangles with notches or holes serving for clamp purchase work pretty well. However, I decided to upgrade to the shop-made fenced versions shown for a recent large cabinet project. Unlike standard flat triangles, these braces can rest atop case or drawer side edges, holding the parts together while you set the clamps.

I recommend making large and small braces to accommodate different size cases. The dimensions aren’t critical, but the outermost corner must be an accurate right angle. Locate the fences about 1" out from the inside corner so that they don’t get in the way when positioning a divider or shelf in the middle of a case. These braces are designed for 3/4"-thick adjoining pieces. For thicker wood, or for assembling face frames or other projects, they can be clamped to the inside corners, like simpler fence-less braces.

—Joe Hurst-Wajszczuk, Birmingham, AL

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