Top and bottom panel of box fit questions - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 4 Old 10-13-2016, 09:03 AM Thread Starter
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Top and bottom panel of box fit questions

I am new at this (tried searching but not sure if I was using the right terminology) and am trying something new on every project.

The box has ~1/2" walnut sides, 1/4" ply bottom and ~1/4" book matched maple top and is overall 12" x 12" x 6". The bottom panel is dadoed in and the top is rabbited to sit flush. My plan was to glue the top panel in and sand it flush, but after some reading here I am worried that it will bow up down the road. The maple is quite old and has been sitting around for a while and the walnut (bought at rockler in the spring) has been sitting for a few weeks following cutting, it did warp a bit while it sat this summer but was jointed and planed back to flat. The whole box in and out will be either polyed or laquered, not sure which yet. The top did bow a bit after gluing (should have used cauls) but was flattened out using some weight and time. Miter splines will be added to the box.

Here are my newb questions.

Should I trim the top panel back a bit and allow for room to expand and cover the joint with a walnut trim piece in case it moves? Or leave it as planned and put a cross brace underneath to hold it in place? Or just leave it as planned?

Should the bottom panel be tight and glued in or slightly loose and not glued in?

This picture shows the box overall during first fit up with all panels installed.
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This is a detail of the top joint, there is still some final fitting to be done.
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post #2 of 4 Old 10-13-2016, 11:58 AM
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I don't want to criticize your efforts, but it is best to use Plywood when wrapping inside mitered corners.
Solid wood when wrapped inside mitered corners will move enough to open the joints. This may take several years. It can happen very gradually or all at once.
The bottom can be loose fitted inside a dado allowing 1/8" movement from side to side. The bottom does not need any glue. Leave loose.
A solid top, if rabbeted into a mitered box like yours should have a 1/16" space on all 4 sides. This will allow for any movement. It should not be glued to to the sides.
That's why most tops are set on the top of the piece and not inside the piece.
I think you are too far along to change. You've worked hard for a good tight fit. If you glue the piece up as shown, it will be interesting to see how long it goes before you see a crack. It can wake you in the middle of the night, sounding like a gun shot or it can happen so slowly over time, you never detected the change. Good luck as you complete your project.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #3 of 4 Old 10-13-2016, 12:57 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you Toolman! Nothing as of yet is glued so I think what I will do is make the top piece a lift off lid instead. Defiantly need to do some more research on box design.
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post #4 of 4 Old 10-13-2016, 06:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ggt1_02 View Post
Thank you Toolman! Nothing as of yet is glued so I think what I will do is make the top piece a lift off lid instead. Defiantly need to do some more research on box design.
Very glad to hear you are still in the assembly stage with nothing glued just yet.
You have chosen nice wood for the project.
If you decide to make the lid removable or even hinged, you will be fine.
You plans to add miter splines will add strength to the box.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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