When planning a project what are some of the general guidelines for types of joinery and construction designs?
When does one choose to use frame and panel construction vs laminated boards for sides, bottoms, tops of a say a toolbox/cabinet. When doing a frame panel how do you join the corners of a side panel to a back panel?
I know Paul mentions that the bottom of the dovetail box can simply be glued because wood movement is not an issue for a small box like this. But when does wood movement become an issue? And what is the best way to ensure stability?
The simplest approach toward determining suitable methods of fitting slipped box bases can be found around the home if you study drawer construction. Much depends upon utility and whether a piece may require adjustment later in it’s lifetime and without the need to sweat glue joints.
The best way to ensure structural stability is to allow materials to acclimatise and reach equilibrium with it’s surroundings before moving on to crafting pieces from them. This is because expansion and contraction play a massive part in how pieces react to their environment and buying from a good source can pay dividends in terms of how well season and store materials.
Rough mill stock to nominal dimensions (Marginally over-size) and allow to stand overnight before finally sizing to working dimensions. This helps avoid/reduce shifts in timber as internal stress is allowed to relieve overnight (Timber by nature is under stress). Cupping and warpage can therefore be kept to a minimum and is typically removed during final build stages (Thicknessing and jointing) prior to assembly and finishing.
The choice regarding whether or not to opt for laminate over solid timbers depends on utility and use. Portable tool boxes IMHO are often best made using laminates, whilst static boxes function perfectly well when made using solid timbers. 🙂