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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’ve got little problem that’s really bugging me. I’m sure the solution is staring me in the face but, I can’t see it.
I’m building a series of boxes of 1/2” material. The dimensions are 5” high by 12” wide and 14” long.I want to router the inside edges of the top and bottom to receive 1/2” thick stock for the lid and bottom. I’m using a bit and bearing combo to get the rabbet size of 1 /4” in a Bosch Colt in their plunge base. My foreseen delimma is that I’m afraid that the router will tip during the cut. I’m maxed out on the depth with the Colt so, an auxiliary base plate to span the box isn’t possible. Short of switching to a bigger router with more range of depth, does anyone see a repeatable solution?
 

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Interesting. The following is the first thing that popped into my mind, and it's sticking, so looks like all I will be able to come up with.

Make a box, with a bottom, the same height as your box, but a bit narrower, and shorter, then shim it to fit your box. That will give room for your bit, and by putting the pressure on your router on the inner box top, the router shouldn't tip. In fact might not need to shim it, just move it a bit when you get to the side you are routing. When you get thru you've got another box you can use for something or other.
 

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For repeat operations, I would rabbet the inside of the piece first then cut to size to make the four sides. When you assemble the sides, the rabbet will already be there. Dry fit it together with tape and cut the lid off (mark the outside so you know where to cut into the rabbet). Make the rabbet wide enough so that you can band the inside to make a lip for the lid. This will keep the grain as close as possible to the original lines. I would use a bandsaw or scroll saw to cut the lid off to minimize the kerf.

You can fancy it up by using different wood for the lip...

For this first box I would clamp/tape a wider piece on the outside for router support like @Larry42 suggested.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks, guys.
I made a new base plate the same thickness as the stock one. And, wide and, long enough to span the box.
 

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Gene, I make boxes every week with lift off lids. If I understand what you are saying, you want a way to make a lip for the lid. My boxes I miter the corners (see photo) and cut the lid the correct size (same as the size of the box). I then use a router bit in a router mounted in a table to make several passes to cut the bottom side of the lid until it snugs onto the box.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you for all the suggestions.
These are box jointed containers. The top and bottoms are to be glued into place. The top will be cut off to make the hinged lid. Since the initial order is for 24, I need an efficient method for all of the steps of construction.
Right now, I'm prototyping a single BB plywood container. It seems that constructing the four sides first and routing for the top and bottom will be the most efficient method. And, using a hand held router fits the work flow better. Although, using the table router might be better. We'll see. But, that will be for the next batch....if there is a next batch.
Once again, I really appreciate all the input. You guys are great.
 

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I was going to suggest what Theo said but Harry’s suggestion is equally as workable and is simpler.
 
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Good solutions. I like the idea of a tight fitting top on a box. One method that appeals to me is putting a liner either in the top or bottom so there is an inside "lip" to hold the top in place. Something like an internal liner of a contrasting wood, maybe an eighth inch thick, placed in the complete but unfinished box. That means you can route the edges of a closed box so it's rigid. Then cut off the top and add the liner. Another option for a really flat box lid would be to just glue a small block the dimensions of the inside of the box to the underside of the lid. Just musing.

I just always prefer to move the piece against a fence on a stationary blade or bit, not the other way around.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I got it done! Using the wide/long base was the ticket. This prototype is all 1/2" BB scraps. The product itself will be Mesquite. The prototype's top and bottom are also 1/2" BB . It occurred to me as I was routing for them that the mesquite for the tops and bottoms could just as easily be planed to 3/8". That depth could be achieved without adjusting the router. Especially, with a larger router. My table router is a PC 7518. That may be the way to go. It would likely be faster in a run of 24.
Due to the box joints, cutting the recesses beforehand can't be done easily. I'm in to easy. And, since the final product will hold items of a specific size, inner panels wouldn't work without a redesign and that ain't happening. I'm also lazy.
Thanks again, for all your suggestions. They've made me think and rethink the process. A good thing as, my skill set doesn't include foresight.
 

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I've rabbeted completed cabinets by clamping a support to the outside of the cabinet as suggested, works well, and you just have to cut a matching radius on the corners of the back panel. For a small box, either a large router base or, as Harry suggested, turn the box upside down and cut it on the router table. Or, you could build that sled you always wanted..............

As shown in the photo, I took a piece of 2x4, squared up adjacent faces and clamped to the outside of the cabinet. This is a little fiddly, as you need 3 hands to get it clamped. I've thought that I would join two strips of plywood into an angle, cut some access holes in the top and initially clamps with springs clamps before clamping with bar clamps. Maybe for the next project............
 

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Gene; Glad you found a solution for your run of boxes.

I came across this thread searching for the best looking way to add the bottom and top piece to a box jointed box.
Like your boxes mine is all 1/2". My original thought was on the table saw put a rabbet on the inside edge of the top and bottom and add them while gluing up the sides. Then later cut off the top for a hinged lid. However if the rabbet is all the way from end to end won't that leave a gap on the outside? Can't the rabbet be added on the inside edges on the router table but stopping before the end of each piece? Will the corners of the top and bottom be rounded?

If Gene or anyone has the best visual way to add the top and bottom of the box I would greatly appreciate it. I just can't visualize the outcome. Below is a picture of the dry fitted box with its gap at the same joint in the same point all around the box. I haven't been able to fix the gouged PC Through Dovetail/Box Joint Template # 4213 .:frown: Looks like that will be the place to cut off the top. :smile: If anyone has a PC Template they want to get rid of/re-gift/throw away,.... I know a guy!
 

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I've never done this and don't know your skill level, but imagine this initial image for starters then how it can be modified to work: First, imagine if the top was just a flat square piece of wood that sat inside the box sides (no rabbet edge) and was pin-nailed from through the sides... but instead of that, the top was actually cut a little larger and stub tennons were "cut" using a router and/or tablesaw, and the wide but thin stub tennons inserted into grooves in the inside edge of the box sides. This groove could be cut on a router table with stops to prevent cutting all the way through to the ends leaving the visible gap you rightly envisioned. Because the slot is recessed from the top/bottom surfaces of the box and cannot be seen, it's not going to matter that a "round" router bit doesn't cut a square when it stops. The drawbacks would be with such a small box and thin sides (1/2") and shallow depth this may not be real practical because the top or bottom would need to be thick enough to strongly accommodate the thickness of a 1/8"(?) stub tennon for example (that would leave 3/16" above and below the stub tennon as part of the top). Edit: I guess what I'm describing is similar to a tongue and groove, except they're not full length. Also both top and sides ould have stopped grooves and a wood spline could hold them together.

Another thought, top and bottom sit inside the box sides (no rabbeted edge to sides) and are held in place with tiny countersunk screws from the sides (like 3 on the long side, and 1, 2, or none on the short side.) Then hardwood dowels could fill the holes and be cut off on a bandsaw and sanded flush. This might actually look kind of neat.

Last idea, top sits inside and flush to sides like first description, and instead of stopped stub tennon top into stopped tennon pockets on sides, just have small shallow holes drilled into edges of top and sides of inside side, and dowel them together with tiny dowels (that do not protrude to the outside of the box). The holes could be precisely drilled with a fixture on the drill press.

Gene; Glad you found a solution for your run of boxes.

I came across this thread searching for the best looking way to add the bottom and top piece to a box jointed box.
Like your boxes mine is all 1/2". My original thought was on the table saw put a rabbet on the inside edge of the top and bottom and add them while gluing up the sides. Then later cut off the top for a hinged lid. However if the rabbet is all the way from end to end won't that leave a gap on the outside? Can't the rabbet be added on the inside edges on the router table but stopping before the end of each piece? Will the corners of the top and bottom be rounded?

If Gene or anyone has the best visual way to add the top and bottom of the box I would greatly appreciate it. I just can't visualize the outcome. Below is a picture of the dry fitted box with its gap at the same joint in the same point all around the box. I haven't been able to fix the gouged PC Through Dovetail/Box Joint Template # 4213 .:) Looks like that will be the place to cut off the top. :) If anyone has a PC Template they want to get rid of/re-gift/throw away,.... I know a guy!
 

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Box Joints are problematic for lift off lids. You could put a put stopped dados on 2 sides and then chisel the corners after cutting off the lid. For a one-off project, it's not too bad. For a "production" run, bad idea.

My solution is a liner that stands proud of the lip by a small amount - see this post for some examples. If the inside and outside dimensions are fixed, just reduce the material thickness of the outer box by the thickness of the liner. 3/8" wood isn't appreciably weaker than 1/2". Though, I'd probably go to 3/8 box joints.

Another approach is insert a similar liner in the lid which might not require redesign or thinner material.

Yet another approach is to make a solid wood top and route a rabbet around the outside that fits the opening. I'm not a fan of that because it takes some care to get a good fit and then, as humidity/temperature varies, the cross grain dimension will change more than the other and either be too tight or loose.
 

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For a production run of 24, I'd have to make enough parts to make at least 30 because the slightest tipping of the router will mess up the box. Don't know about you, but there's no way I could NOT tip the router.

I'd also go with the liner, which does not have to be the full depth of the box, in fact, it could go inside the lid. That would also put your liner long grain edge to edge so expansion and contraction will be negligable. Using a liner this way means you could simply make a closed box, then cut off one end on a table saw, put the liner in and you're done. I'd miter the corners of the liner.

You could do this quantity far faster on the table saw. If you're going to do box joints, the IBox jig will make it much easier to do. Here's a video of the jig. https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=Jhl9ZOcDrSk

The ibox jig is about $190 on Amazon, but you could search for a lower price. The best thing about that jig is you can stack 3/8ths total sawblades together and the jig will adjust to that, or any width. You can use the ijig on the router table. https://www.amazon.com/INCRA-I-BOX-...r_1_2?keywords=ibox+jig&qid=1576739688&sr=8-2

One issue you may find is that cutting multiple parts in advance means it will be extremely easy to cut or box joint some wrong, so you'll want to mark every piece with top, bottom, inside, outside, and number the sides of each set (1 1, 2 2, 3 3, 4 4. You mark corner to corner piece one to piece two, chalking in numbers as you go. 24 boxes is 96 sides, 48 tops and bottoms, plus any liner pieces should you decide to go that way.

If you are thinking of chiseling out four rabbeted corners on 24 boxes, you're more of a glutton for punishment that I am. And you're going to have a lot of fun sanding off 192 corners worth of slightly proud box joints--hope you have a good 12 inch disk sander. :wink:
 

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I’ve got little problem that’s really bugging me. I’m sure the solution is staring me in the face but, I can’t see it.
I’m building a series of boxes of 1/2” material. The dimensions are 5” high by 12” wide and 14” long.I want to router the inside edges of the top and bottom to receive 1/2” thick stock for the lid and bottom. I’m using a bit and bearing combo to get the rabbet size of 1 /4” in a Bosch Colt in their plunge base. My foreseen delimma is that I’m afraid that the router will tip during the cut. I’m maxed out on the depth with the Colt so, an auxiliary base plate to span the box isn’t possible. Short of switching to a bigger router with more range of depth, does anyone see a repeatable solution?
use your router table...
the real deal or throw something together...
deeper cut rabbet bit...
and a corner chisel...

.
 

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I do like the last picture above and use a regular chisel and square up the corner. But I don't like the edge grain showing on the top,so for the top I cut it net to the sides and ends and glue it down flat, then run it through the table saw to cut it off
Herb
 
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