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  • Q: Strongest joints or a firewood storage box



    I'm a fairly new woodworking other than my high school days. I am making a firewood storage box for in the house. It will be roughly the size of the 3ft long x 2ft wide x 2ft high. The box will be a timber frame with panels for the bottom and sides.

    As the contents will be heavy and applying outward pressure, what you would recommend as the best or strongest joint to use? (I was going to use mortise and tenon joints or sliding dovetail.)

    Thanks Des

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    All Answers

    Bob Hoffmann writes:

    Hi Des,

    You description says that you are going to use panels for the sides and bottom ... I wonder if that is a good idea for the bottom?

    By panels I am understanding that they are like a cabinet door, with a frame and  a sliding sheet that sits in grooves in the frame -- and that is where I have an issue ... the panel is only held in with 1/3 of the wood of the frame. With the weight of the wood in the box -- it seems to me that a solid wood bottom made up of edge glued boards is a better approach. Attaching it to the sides has multiple options -- a dado has the came problem as a panel, but is has the option of 1/2 the wood and it can have more wood on the bottom.

    If I was building it, I think that I would put a 1x1 strip along the bottom and just have the bottom rest on it. The 1x1s can be glued / screwed to the sides. Be surre to take into account wood movement for the bottom -- which is why just letting it float on the 1x1s is what I would do.

    Good luck on your project.

    Eric Bosloor writes:

    Just sometime early this year I did a similar project but it was something simpler. We built a pine storage Sydney box for the living area with a glass panel as the cover. After which, we cut out a hole on the top edge and fixed a small light onto it. It made a great display set which we used to showcase some China cookware and other glass ornaments. After that first successful one, we made a few more similar boxes and fixed them with the first one with mouldings and cuttings that are used to slide into one another. 

    Leo Weisman writes:

    If it is going to be of solid would, finger joints provide for the most long grain gluing surface. It is done on a tablesaw with an easily made jig.

    Mortise and tenon would work great, paricularly if you have an urge to make some. It is the basis for a whole array of carcus work.