Frame and panel toy chest. Bottom advice - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 07-15-2019, 10:10 PM Thread Starter
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I am in the process of building a frame and panel style toy chest for my children. I just got all the frame pieces glued up and started laying out my chest bottom when I realized I wasn't fully satisfied with my plans.

My bottom is plywood, so I have no movement concerns to worry about. I was planning to cut a groove in my bottom rails to hold the ply, but the depth of cut I had planned (1/4") would expose a significant portion of my mortise and tenon joints on my frame.

The two options I'm considering are going with a more shallow depth (1/8") or possibly cutting the bottom to size and attaching some cross supports to the underside to hold the bottom in.

I have concerns with both options. The 1/8" option may not be enough margin and seasonal movement might let the bottom fall out. Cutting to size may leave small gaps through which stuff could fall into which isn't desirable.

Any other ideas? I've attached a few photos for reference.

Frame is shown dry fit 'upside down' before I put in panels.

Frame and panel toy chest. Bottom advice-img_20190712_171422_1563242889969.jpg

Here's the panels in the glued up frames.

Frame and panel toy chest. Bottom advice-img_20190714_213856_1563242994152.jpg
Frame and panel toy chest. Bottom advice-img_20190715_203318_1563243006565.jpg

Solid cherry if anyone is wondering.
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post #2 of 7 Old 07-16-2019, 03:42 AM
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use glued on strips ...

Instead of making a groove or dado for the bottom which will remove material, just glue stop strips 3/4" X 3/4" all around the bottom. This will support the bottom which can be dropped in after the frame is assembled. It should be a minimum of 1/2" plywood and some cross braces which actually touch the floor are also needed. Kids will get in side, adding their own weight so support is needed. Do not put a latch on the top so they can always get out on their own. Some slow closing piston lid supports will help so that little fingers won't get pinched if the lid is accidentally dropped down.
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The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #3 of 7 Old 07-16-2019, 09:14 AM
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Rabbet or cleats.
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post #4 of 7 Old 07-16-2019, 10:58 AM
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Why not build a strong platform base to serve as the bottom?
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post #5 of 7 Old 07-16-2019, 11:51 AM
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Iíve made 3 similar chests for grandkids. I simply attached cleats to support the plywood bottom. Seasonal changes should not be an issue since the plywood is stable and any expansion/contraction of the frames will be minimal since it will be in the grain direction.
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post #6 of 7 Old 07-16-2019, 05:23 PM
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A lot depends on how you're going to join the sides and ends together. Pictures show a simple butt joint, is that accurate? Do you plan on screwing it together then plugging it or.......?

Were it me, I'd make a vertical rabbet on both vertical sides of each short end. About 1/2 " deep and as wide as your material is
( 3/4"?) So, long sides would fit into a corresponding rabbet on the ends. This would allow you to dado in for the bottom, as long as the dado was shy of 1/2"deep no gap will be seen. Also, it makes the corners look reasonable, in that the corners would look close to the same width from any direction, if you planned it well they would be identical on 4 sides.

Glue up is a bit difficult with this method, lots of clamps or a nail gun, but it does allow for a decent dado for a ply bottom. This is confusing for me just to write, hope you can make sense of it.

Good luck
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post #7 of 7 Old 08-01-2019, 12:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
Instead of making a groove or dado for the bottom which will remove material, just glue stop strips 3/4" X 3/4" all around the bottom. This will support the bottom which can be dropped in after the frame is assembled. It should be a minimum of 1/2" plywood and some cross braces which actually touch the floor are also needed. Kids will get in side, adding their own weight so support is needed. Do not put a latch on the top so they can always get out on their own. Some slow closing piston lid supports will help so that little fingers won't get pinched if the lid is accidentally dropped down.
^ what he said...

This is how I've done the ones I built...

And like was mentioned, the relief around the lid and the torsion hinges have saved many sore fingers.
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