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What is the best way to put a top on a box?

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Forum topic by Jerry posted 02-27-2015 04:12 PM 771 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jerry

1766 posts in 1109 days


02-27-2015 04:12 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question joining

Okay, I know it might seem a little strange for me to be asking this question after I’ve made so many boxes. Every time I make a box I wonder, is this really the best way to put a top on the box? When I did my first boxes I just glued the top onto the box, later I started putting in captive bottoms on the boxes, but I knew that would look silly if I tried to do that for the top so I just kept gluing the tops on. I briefly considered doing a rabbet joint for the top, but I realized that I was not gaining anything by doing that and was actually adding more complexity to the work. So my question is what is your opinion? What is the best way to put a top on the box? Thanks in advance for your help.

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be. http://geraldlhunsucker.com/


9 replies so far

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pintodeluxe

4853 posts in 2274 days


#1 posted 02-27-2015 04:18 PM

For boxes with glued on tops I rabbet the top to nest inside the rim of the box. It works fine, but there are certainly other ways to do it. I guess what I like about that technique, is you can make the top look thinner. A 3/4” or 1/2” top could be thinned down to a 1/4” lip.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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Richard

1898 posts in 2152 days


#2 posted 02-27-2015 04:19 PM

I am looking forward to responses to this question as I have the same question. And I have a few boxes on the list to do.

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jumbojack

1667 posts in 2085 days


#3 posted 02-27-2015 09:48 PM

99% of my boxes have a captured top and bottom then cut the top off at the TS or BS. If you want a flush top run a rabbet around the top material that will be captured so it sits on top flush. Most of my floating box tops are veneered ply.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

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gfadvm

14940 posts in 2151 days


#4 posted 02-28-2015 02:06 AM

Not sure there is a “best” way. I think it depends on the design of the box. Fitting the top into dados like the bottom and then cutting the top off gives a more “formal” look (to me). I have done tops about every way they can be done and don’t really have a “favorite”.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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Jerry

1766 posts in 1109 days


#5 posted 02-28-2015 03:18 AM



For boxes with glued on tops I rabbet the top to nest inside the rim of the box. It works fine, but there are certainly other ways to do it. I guess what I like about that technique, is you can make the top look thinner. A 3/4” or 1/2” top could be thinned down to a 1/4” lip.

- pintodeluxe

I liked the idea of thinning out the look of the top, so I did one today. My main problem was that I had made the top a little oversize, and I forgot that I had done that when I cut my rabbets, so there was a small gap on the inside of the box because I neglected to take that into account. Other than that, it has a nice clean look.

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be. http://geraldlhunsucker.com/

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Jerry

1766 posts in 1109 days


#6 posted 02-28-2015 03:22 AM



Not sure there is a “best” way. I think it depends on the design of the box. Fitting the top into dados like the bottom and then cutting the top off gives a more “formal” look (to me). I have done tops about every way they can be done and don t really have a “favorite”.

- gfadvm

I hadn’t thought of that, I think JumboJock is saying that as well, but I’m not sure ( I don’t know what TS and BS mean ).

At any rate, this seems like a really good idea. A person could run some inlay around where the seam shows.

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be. http://geraldlhunsucker.com/

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jumbojack

1667 posts in 2085 days


#7 posted 02-28-2015 03:33 AM

TS = table saw
BS= bandsaw and of course the rather crud

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

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Jerry

1766 posts in 1109 days


#8 posted 02-28-2015 03:43 AM


TS = table saw
BS= bandsaw and of course the rather crud

- jumbojack

“the rather crud” !!??

JumboJock, you have your own language don’t you :-)

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be. http://geraldlhunsucker.com/

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jumbojack

1667 posts in 2085 days


#9 posted 02-28-2015 02:03 PM

Rather crude bull$@#!.was what I tried to type, but as I was typing the wife exclaimed the wash sink was over flowing. Water went almost everywhere. All the areas with open floor were dry. The water missed the stack of cherry boards but did manage to find, you guessed it, the 1/4 & 1/8 sheets of MDF. The edges are now crap. While I rarely use even 1/8 sheets why the water only flowed to the worst possible spot is BS.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

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