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Hello all.

I have been building the same repetitive pocket hole blanket chest for a few years now. I’m honestly getting tired of using pocket hole screws and have been switching to halflap joints a lot lately. I find them to be as fast if not faster to cut and construct compared to a pocket hole joint. They are also proven to be one of the strongest joints. So here’s what I have been doing previously:


It’s a pocket hole skeleton with 1/4” ply glued to the insides and a 3/4” plywood base secured with pocket holes. To cover the exposed plywood end grain on top there is a lid base (thats what I call it anyway) which is where the hinges are actually secured to.

My goal is to make a complete halflap and dado blanket chest with the only metal being the lid hinge. Here’s what I have so far. The skeleton is complete 1-1/2”x2-1/2” stock joined with halflap joints and the side assemblies join to the front and back by a 3/4” deep by 1-1/2” dado. During assembly I will insert a 3/4” floating panel into a dado on all pieces to form the floor.




I am a bit undecided on how to form the panels. I could do the same 1/4” ply glued to the inside but then I would have to add the lid base as before to hide the plywood edges. I want to try something a bit different though.


I thought about making a dado with a slot cutter on all the pieces to hold floating panels but that sounded like a nightmare for assembly combined with the halflap joints. Or would it be easy?

Another thought is to simply use a rabbeting bit and glue in panels from the inside like a picture into a frame. I understand your not supposed to glue panels in because of wood expansion and contraction but before I learned this I glued a few projects this way and they are 100% fine a few years later. This option would keep The halflap joinery completely exposed visually, which I like.


I know the simple route would just do a tongue and groove construction with floating panels and call it a day but I want to experiment a bit. I like the exposed look of halflap joints and I like the idea of shifting away from mechanical fasteners and more to wood joints. I also believe a complete halflap chest with everything glued into place will be stronger than a T&G floating panel construction. Have any thoughts or opinions?
 
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