I'm making a rectangular box that will act as a floating step.

9" deep x 7" high.

The top will be hinged as there will be storage inside, so only one edge of the top will be glued to the box.

  • What joints will be best for the sides? Mitered edges with triangular blocks glued on the inside see easiest. Rabbets also seem easy. Will these be strong enough for use as a step? Or should I take the time to do a box joint?

  • Also, should I rabbet the bottom plate so that part of it is inset into the box? Or will simply screwing/glueing be strong enough?

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    I concur with @MartinBonner, butt joints for the corners are definitely easiest here as this is the simplest of all joints. But they lack strength so glue blocks would be a good idea as they add greatly to the strength. That strength may not be needed but it's better to err on the side of caution and add rigidity whenever possible for something that will take body weight. – Graphus Mar 14 '18 at 13:58
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    Re. the bottom, rebating it in may not be the best option although it looks neatest. A laid-on bottom (just glued and nailed/screwed straight on the bottom edge) could well be stronger and of course it's easier to do, plus it hides the fasteners if that matters. – Graphus Mar 14 '18 at 14:07

Easiest has to be plain butt-jointed; possibly reinforced with a few brads. There isn't going to be all that much stress on these joints - most of the load is going to be going straight down through the ply.

Rabbets (rebates to me) will look nicer - depending on how important the appearance is, that may or may not matter. I don't think rabbeting will make the joint stronger though.

Adding an internal fillet, or using a box-joint will be stronger (as would dowel/biscuit joints), but I don't think you need that strength.

  • Butt joint and glue blocks are spot on – Chuck S Mar 14 '18 at 13:50

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