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The Woodwright's Workbook: Further Exploration in Traditional Woodcraft By Roy Underhill
Skirt and Bottoms
When you have the four boards dovetailed into a box sitting before you, most of the work is done. While you have the tools out, though, make the skirt around the bottom because it is dovetailed too. For extra strength, run the skirt joints die opposite way from the box joints: if the short sides of the box got the tails, give the short sides of the skirt pins. The top edge of the dovetails will look best with a mitered dovetail. If you wish, the skirt can add considerable depth to the chest. My wheeled chest has side boards only 11 inches wide, but the skirt extends the depth another 3 inches. I joined the skirt and sides with long interlocking grooves plowed along their edges. It will be a long time before they come apart.
The bottom can be set within the rectangle of the side boards, or you can gain anodier inch of depth by matching it to the outside dimension of the box and then letting the skirt slip down around it. Glue and nails will hold the bottom in, but the strongest bottoms are inset, somewhat like panels in a door. If you do this, be sure to modify the dovetails to accommodate the groove plowed through them.
"The Woodwright's Workbook: Further Exploration in Traditional Woodcraft" By Roy Underhill
© 2012 The University of North Carolina Press