Lid and bottom panel questions

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    Keith Walton

    I’ve been asked to build a hinged lid box that’s wider and larger than I’ve ever made before and am second guessing the groove for the top and bottom panels. I have 5/8” cherry for the box and 1/2” quarter sawn cherry for the lid and bottom panels.

    On smaller boxes I’ve gotten away with 3/16” grooves 3/16” deep, but this box is larger and may hold slightly heavier but not extremely heavy items.

    The panels will be about 10” wide, but are book matched qt sawn pieces around 5” wide each glued together

    My concerns are amount of possible shrinkage
    Hiding the grooves (3/16” is the easiest to hide with my layout)
    And strength – mostly concerned a 3/16 groove gives enough hold to not snap off the bottom of the box.

    Does increasing any of these to 1/4” thick or deep greatly improve strength? Would you expect the 10” cherry panel (qt sawn) to shrink and expand more than 1/8”?

    Sven-Olof Jansson

    Have several drawers of 900 by 550 mm (35″ by 21″) with ¼” plywood bottoms in grooves that are 3/16″ deep and 3/16″ up from the sides and fronts of the drawers. The carcass sags under the load of what’s in those drawers, but they and their bottoms hold fine.

    Sven-Olof Jansson
    London, UK; Boston, MA

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