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Sliding Dovetail Box Bottom?

by nashvillenative
posted 03-04-2021 03:31 PM


36 replies so far

View SMP's profile

SMP

3950 posts in 984 days


#1 posted 03-04-2021 04:07 PM

Maybe post some pics of it and what you are trying to do? I’ve mainly only seen boxes where the lid is a sliding DT

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

17542 posts in 2217 days


#2 posted 03-04-2021 04:17 PM

Yes, a picture or two would be very helpful. I can’t picture what you’re talking about. Where exactly is the sliding dovetail?

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

View nashvillenative's profile

nashvillenative

46 posts in 801 days


#3 posted 03-04-2021 04:28 PM

-- "any dog under 50 pounds is a cat, and cats are useless"

View Rich's profile

Rich

6818 posts in 1668 days


#4 posted 03-04-2021 04:31 PM

My guess is the sliding dovetails are the joints for the box, running vertically. If that’s the case, the only way I can think of to get the bottom in there is to slide it in before the final side is dropped down. Since the bottom would block the side, I suppose he could make the groove in the opposing side deeper and cut the bottom such that when fully inserted it is out of the way and then slide it back in place after the side is down.

You’d have to make the groove wide enough that the bottom can be slid over and find a way to pin it in place afterwards.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

17542 posts in 2217 days


#5 posted 03-04-2021 04:39 PM

Now I’m tracking. I’d make the dado on two of the sides a rabbet instead. Or, notch two of the vertical pieces at the bottom so they rest on top of the drawer bottom.

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

View Rich's profile

Rich

6818 posts in 1668 days


#6 posted 03-04-2021 04:52 PM

I posted my comment before seeing the photos. My suggestion won’t work due to the posts. You’ll have to modify it so the bottom can be dropped in from underneath. Cut some strips to trim it out.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View nashvillenative's profile

nashvillenative

46 posts in 801 days


#7 posted 03-04-2021 04:58 PM



I posted my comment before seeing the photos. My suggestion won t work due to the posts. You ll have to modify it so the bottom can be dropped in from underneath. Cut some strips to trim it out.

- Rich

Guess this is going to be my best option, I might need to trim to just above the dado to get rid of it. I was just in regular box mode and got to this part and was like, “well that’s not gonna work” thanks for the input guys

-- "any dog under 50 pounds is a cat, and cats are useless"

View Sylvain's profile

Sylvain

1246 posts in 3578 days


#8 posted 03-04-2021 05:05 PM

I would notch two of the vertical pieces;
slide the bottom in;
drop the last side;
patch the two notched vertical pieces if really necessary.

-- Sylvain, Brussels, Belgium, Europe - The more I learn, the more there is to learn

View SMP's profile

SMP

3950 posts in 984 days


#9 posted 03-04-2021 05:44 PM

Take 2 of the posts, chisel out that little square under the groove.(unless there is enough play to where you can “bend” those out pf the way. Make the bottom of the” front” a rabbet. Slide the bottom into the groove in the 3 sides, then slide the front and 2 posts down into place.

View Madmark2's profile

Madmark2

2643 posts in 1667 days


#10 posted 03-04-2021 05:59 PM

You don’t. Given the box size a butt joint will work. You’ll have the dado showing unless you want to cut the box down.

Tip: Design the entire project ahead of time instead of sitting down at the saw and noodling.

In the military they taught us the “six P’s” – Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance.

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

View Foghorn's profile

Foghorn

1191 posts in 465 days


#11 posted 03-04-2021 07:14 PM

Most of the comments are helpful and not made from a lofty position.

Just a little brainstorming but, maybe consider a 3 piece bottom, maybe with a contrasting middle piece. (That piece of walnut off to the side looks like a candidate). The two outer pieces could be slid in and the box assembled and the two outer pieces slid into place. The middle strip would not engage the grooves but be an exact inside fit. I can think of a few ways to be able to clamp the middle piece in. I’m assuming you’re using a solid wood bottom. Edge gluing the long grain edges together would be plenty strong.

-- Darrel

View nashvillenative's profile

nashvillenative

46 posts in 801 days


#12 posted 03-04-2021 07:31 PM


Tip: Design the entire project ahead of time instead of sitting down at the saw and noodling.

In the military they taught us the “six P s” – Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance.

- Madmark2

Creativity shouldn’t be planned in my opinion. I’m not putting ikea furniture together I’m building something from scratch. No instructions necessary. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

-- "any dog under 50 pounds is a cat, and cats are useless"

View Rich's profile

Rich

6818 posts in 1668 days


#13 posted 03-04-2021 08:03 PM


In the military they taught us the “six P s” – Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance.

- Madmark2

Creativity shouldn t be planned in my opinion. I m not putting ikea furniture together I m building something from scratch. No instructions necessary. I ll let you know how it turns out.

- nashvillenative

For sure. Calling your performance piss poor is pretty rude. We’ve all designed ourselves into a corner at one time or another. Caca pasa.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View 1thumb's profile

1thumb

376 posts in 3235 days


#14 posted 03-04-2021 08:18 PM

Dado inside of all 4 verticals, assemble all, inc bottom, at once

or

nip height of verticals, glue, screw, micronail bottom onto nubbed verts

-- I actually have two thumbs and they oppose.

View Madmark2's profile

Madmark2

2643 posts in 1667 days


#15 posted 03-04-2021 10:58 PM

Creativity starts on PAPER. If you just go sawing away randomly looking for inspiration you’ll wind up with sawdust and kindling.

The design decision to use sliding dovetails instead of straight tenons makes the bottom impossible to insert into the dados.

The only solution is to change the (faulty) design.

You can’t cut the bottom off one end as the corner posts will block it from siding.

You can toss the dovetails and make a conventional tenoned box.

You can butt joint the bottom but this leave the extra dado showing on the inside. Or you can use a thicker butt joint bottom to cover the extra dado. Or you can shorten the box to eliminate the dado.

If you clear cut the insides of two of the posts so they end in a rabbet instead of a dado you might be able to cobble it together. But the errors will show.

As a design engineer the creativity happens on paper. If you have to pay for labor and spoiled materials you do not just try to unthinkingly cobble designs.

Everything should be drawn (back of envelope is ok) before you start to:
  • Prevent errors like this
  • Establish design copyright
  • Document the design in case it sells and you need to make more than one
  • Accurately estimate materials and process flow

You skip these steps at your own peril. Again the 6P’s apply.

First: THINK

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

View nashvillenative's profile

nashvillenative

46 posts in 801 days


#16 posted 03-04-2021 11:23 PM



Creativity starts on PAPER.

Yeah, I’m sure Michelangelo had a bunch of espresso stained napkins with “prototypes” of the Sistine Chapel.


As a design engineer the creativity happens on paper. If you have to pay for labor and spoiled materials you do not just try to unthinkingly cobble designs.

I don’t pay for labor, I’m not a design engineer, the materials were offcuts from other projects I had laying around and this is a practice box.


Everything should be drawn (back of envelope is ok) before you start to: Prevent errors like this Establish design copyright Document the design in case it sells and you need to make more than one Accurately estimate materials and process flow

First: THINK

- Madmark2

Thank god, I’ll go back draw this on an envelope, and make sure I NEVER make this same mistake twice. And if this does sell, I’m DEFINITELY going to go through the process of copywriting the envelope drawing so no one tries to steal it unless I get compensated. That’s for sure.

C’mon man, I asked for suggestions with an issue that happened, not a discourse on how much of an idiot I am for not following YOUR process and that I should scrap the “design” because it’s faulty. If I was looking for that type of “advice” I would have called my dad.

That being said. Thanks for your input, which I will most assuredly NOT use. Ill probably just tape it together and hit it with the brad nailer.

As I said previously, I’ll let you know how it turns out.

-- "any dog under 50 pounds is a cat, and cats are useless"

View 1thumb's profile

1thumb

376 posts in 3235 days


#17 posted 03-04-2021 11:26 PM


If I was looking for that type of “advice” I would have called my dad.

- nashvillenative

Son?

-- I actually have two thumbs and they oppose.

View Foghorn's profile

Foghorn

1191 posts in 465 days


#18 posted 03-04-2021 11:42 PM

Creativity starts on PAPER.

Yeah, I m sure Michelangelo had a bunch of espresso stained napkins with “prototypes” of the Sistine Chapel.

As a design engineer the creativity happens on paper. If you have to pay for labor and spoiled materials you do not just try to unthinkingly cobble designs.

I don t pay for labor, I m not a design engineer, the materials were offcuts from other projects I had laying around and this is a practice box.

Everything should be drawn (back of envelope is ok) before you start to:
  • Prevent errors like this
  • Establish design copyright
  • Document the design in case it sells and you need to make more than one
  • Accurately estimate materials and process flow

First: THINK

- Madmark2

Thank god, I ll go back draw this on an envelope, and make sure I NEVER make this same mistake twice. And if this does sell, I m DEFINITELY going to go through the process of copywriting the envelope drawing so no one tries to steal it unless I get compensated. That s for sure.

C mon man, I asked for suggestions with an issue that happened, not a discourse on how much of an idiot I am for not following YOUR process and that I should scrap the “design” because it s faulty. If I was looking for that type of “advice” I would have called my dad.

That being said. Thanks for your input, which I will most assuredly NOT use. Ill probably just tape it together and hit it with the brad nailer.

As I said previously, I ll let you know how it turns out.

- nashvillenative


I wouldn’t sweat the advice from this poster much. He is occasionally very helpful but goes off on tangents from time to time. He went off on me when I was a new member regarding some advice on hole saws. Claimed I had never used one. Turned out I was correct and he was wrong. End of his contribution to that thread. Ha! I wish him well and that he can cure his issues, which to an extent, many of us have.

-- Darrel

View SMP's profile

SMP

3950 posts in 984 days


#19 posted 03-05-2021 12:00 AM

Just ignore the mad guy. If you watch this video, they basically do what Rich said, glue some cleats underneath and fit the bottom to slide right in:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mhdb959W4p8

View nashvillenative's profile

nashvillenative

46 posts in 801 days


#20 posted 03-05-2021 12:15 AM



Just ignore the mad guy. If you watch this video, they basically do what Rich said, glue some cleats underneath and fit the bottom to slide right in:
- SMP

Awesome! Thanks man!

-- "any dog under 50 pounds is a cat, and cats are useless"

View Rich's profile

Rich

6818 posts in 1668 days


#21 posted 03-05-2021 12:17 AM


Just ignore the mad guy.

- SMP

Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

17542 posts in 2217 days


#22 posted 03-05-2021 12:26 AM

I’m reminded of something I read recently:

Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach. And those who can’t teach, like to tell other people how to do it on the internet.

I am a design engineer and can tell you that I’ve never had a single project, at home or at work, come off without at least a small hiccup like this. It’s not a big deal and you’ve been offered several good ideas on how to remedy it with no loss. Helpfulness wins this one :-)

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

View Rich's profile

Rich

6818 posts in 1668 days


#23 posted 03-05-2021 12:30 AM


I’m reminded of something I read recently:

Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach. And those who can’t teach, like to tell other people how to do it on the internet.

- HokieKen

Ha! Good one. Back in my days as an engineer I used to say those who can, do; those who can’t, teach; and those who can’t teach work in QA. But that was then and yours is far more relevant today.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View corelz125's profile

corelz125

2779 posts in 2055 days


#24 posted 03-05-2021 01:14 AM

I ran into the same problem with a piano bench I made. Sliding dovetails seemed like a good idea but made it difficult.

View nashvillenative's profile

nashvillenative

46 posts in 801 days


#25 posted 03-05-2021 01:21 AM



I’m reminded of something I read recently:

Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach. And those who can’t teach, like to tell other people how to do it on the internet.

I am a design engineer and can tell you that I’ve never had a single project, at home or at work, come off without at least a small hiccup like this. It’s not a big deal and you’ve been offered several good ideas on how to remedy it with no loss. Helpfulness wins this one :-)

- HokieKen

LOTS of great advice, which is what I’ve come to expect from this forum. Thanks to everyone!

-- "any dog under 50 pounds is a cat, and cats are useless"

View bilyo's profile

bilyo

1363 posts in 2181 days


#26 posted 03-05-2021 02:17 AM



My guess is the sliding dovetails are the joints for the box, running vertically. If that s the case, the only way I can think of to get the bottom in there is to slide it in before the final side is dropped down. Since the bottom would block the side, I suppose he could make the groove in the opposing side deeper and cut the bottom such that when fully inserted it is out of the way and then slide it back in place after the side is down.

You d have to make the groove wide enough that the bottom can be slid over and find a way to pin it in place afterwards.

- Rich


That’s a good idea.
My thought was to cut a rabbet in the 4th side rather than a groove. Then, after the bottom is slid in, the 4th side can be slid down. After everything is in place, glue or tack on a trim piece if needed to hold the bottom on the 4th side.

View Rich's profile

Rich

6818 posts in 1668 days


#27 posted 03-05-2021 02:34 AM


That s a good idea.

- bilyo

Keep reading. I posted that before seeing the photos so it was of no use to the OP.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View Jimarco's profile

Jimarco

48 posts in 2186 days


#28 posted 03-05-2021 02:43 AM

Whew!
First off the box looks good and it seems you have the answer to adding the bottom.

I am glad to read the courteous responses and that everyone on here is not a “Professional” who belittles the efforts of hobbyists. With that being said I proudly scribble a design on paper before I start a project and then every time amaze myself at how many changes and corrections (Mistakes) are made before it is completed to somewhat resemble the picture on the paper.

View bilyo's profile

bilyo

1363 posts in 2181 days


#29 posted 03-05-2021 04:22 AM


That s a good idea.

- bilyo

Keep reading. I posted that before seeing the photos so it was of no use to the OP.

- Rich


It will still work. The OP just needs to cut the little square off of the two corner pieces at the upper edge of the groove, slide the corner pieces up until the bottom is in, then do as you said.

View Wood_Scraps's profile

Wood_Scraps

127 posts in 97 days


#30 posted 03-05-2021 04:39 AM

Creativity starts on PAPER.

Yeah, I m sure Michelangelo had a bunch of espresso stained napkins with “prototypes” of the Sistine Chapel.

As a design engineer the creativity happens on paper. If you have to pay for labor and spoiled materials you do not just try to unthinkingly cobble designs.

I don t pay for labor, I m not a design engineer, the materials were offcuts from other projects I had laying around and this is a practice box.

Everything should be drawn (back of envelope is ok) before you start to:
  • Prevent errors like this
  • Establish design copyright
  • Document the design in case it sells and you need to make more than one
  • Accurately estimate materials and process flow

First: THINK

- Madmark2

Thank god, I ll go back draw this on an envelope, and make sure I NEVER make this same mistake twice. And if this does sell, I m DEFINITELY going to go through the process of copywriting the envelope drawing so no one tries to steal it unless I get compensated. That s for sure.

C mon man, I asked for suggestions with an issue that happened, not a discourse on how much of an idiot I am for not following YOUR process and that I should scrap the “design” because it s faulty. If I was looking for that type of “advice” I would have called my dad.

That being said. Thanks for your input, which I will most assuredly NOT use. Ill probably just tape it together and hit it with the brad nailer.

As I said previously, I ll let you know how it turns out.

- nashvillenative

I wouldn’t sweat the advice from this poster much. He is occasionally very helpful but goes off on tangents from time to time.

He went off on me when I was a new member regarding some advice on hole saws. Claimed I had never used one. Turned out I was correct and he was wrong. End of his contribution to that thread. Ha! I wish him well and that he can cure his issues, which to an extent, many of us have.

- Foghorn

Agreed.

I do find it funny how the guy bloviating literally just posted a project where the box was too big for the statue going inside.

A less consequential error. But, maybe would have been avoided had he heeded his own advice. Then again, perhaps there was a plan drawn up? And the sizing issue was simply overlooked when reviewed for approval?

Since we may never know, I’ve commissioned an artist’s rendering of what that plan might have looked like…

View nashvillenative's profile

nashvillenative

46 posts in 801 days


#31 posted 03-05-2021 04:48 AM


I do find it funny how the guy bloviating literally just posted a project where the box was too big for the statue going inside.

A less consequential error. But, maybe would have been avoided had he heeded his own advice. Then again, perhaps there was a plan drawn up? And the sizing issue was simply overlooked when reviewed for approval?

Since we may never know, I’ve commissioned an artist’s rendering of what that plan might have looked like…

- Wood_Scraps

Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha that’s great.

Y’all are great!

-- "any dog under 50 pounds is a cat, and cats are useless"

View nashvillenative's profile

nashvillenative

46 posts in 801 days


#32 posted 03-07-2021 12:08 AM

Update on progress. I routed a rabbet in the end piece for the mahogany bottom after I put a 35°(I think) radius on the edges. It’s solid, it’s discreet and it’s functional. The book matched mahogany top is in clamps right now.

-- "any dog under 50 pounds is a cat, and cats are useless"

View Rich's profile

Rich

6818 posts in 1668 days


#33 posted 03-07-2021 12:24 AM

Looks good.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View Wood_Scraps's profile

Wood_Scraps

127 posts in 97 days


#34 posted 03-07-2021 05:30 AM

Nicely done!

View budglo's profile

budglo

1 post in 1729 days


#35 posted 03-07-2021 07:20 PM

Madmark2,
I like your 6 Ps.
I’m a retired military pilot. The one I always heard was the 5 Ps:
“PANICKY PRESENT is the PRODUCT of a PLANLESS PAST.”
Either one will keep us out of trouble. :-)

Jerry

View nashvillenative's profile

nashvillenative

46 posts in 801 days


#36 posted 03-07-2021 07:38 PM



Madmark2,
I like your 6 Ps.
I m a retired military pilot. The one I always heard was the 5 Ps:
“PANICKY PRESENT is the PRODUCT of a PLANLESS PAST.”
Either one will keep us out of trouble. :-)

At no point did I panic.

I came to an impasse and figured it out with the help of others, yourself excluded.

-- "any dog under 50 pounds is a cat, and cats are useless"

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