I've been messing around with making paper trays/in-out bins as a way to practice jointery, planing technique, etc. I've been using dove-tail joints to add a little character to the trays. The first one I made I simply glued the bottom (1/8 oak ply) directly to the edges of the sides, and as you can imagine, it's not particularly aesthetically pleasing. I'm working on another one now and decided to insert the bottom in a dado 1/8 inch up from the bottom. However, I made the dovetails so that they are on the front and back of the box so they can be seen, but this posed problems for cutting the dado without cutting all the way through the dovetail and exposing the dado.
What other ways do you adhere bottoms/backs to your boxes (especially ones in which the back can be seen from the profile)? I was thinking of rabbeting in a ledge and setting the bottom in, but that seemed like it might be weak because there wouldn't be much contact area for gluing.
Any tips for setting up the processes involved, etc., would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
I seem to recall that backs may not glued on (no idea where I read this) but are screwed on so the bottom can be removed and replaced. In that case I'd think I'd rabbet the back to the same depth as the bottom dado slot (don't worry about having to make blind dados on the back) then slip on the bottom and screw the back on.
Of course, that doesn't help the front. I assume you're making half-blind dovetails?
With through dovetails I just use the router table for cutting the groove for the bottom. Start and stop the groove in the dovetail at either end. You can get plenty of room for the bottom panel and the groove is totally hidden whent he dovetail is assembled.