Sliding Lid Movement

Help Support

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


Established Member
15 Oct 2023
Reaction score
Hi, all.

I want to knock together a quick and simple box with a sliding lid. I only have reclaimed pine to work with, so no chance of ply or MDF.

Looking at the rough design below, how can I secure the lid into the false-side (if that's a term?) If I glue the lid into the false-side/puller, will that stop the lid from moving and cause cracks?

I could maybe only glue it in 3/4s of the way, leaving the last 1/4 free to expand into a deeper cut grove in the back of the box, maybe.

I dunno. I has no brain to do the knowledges today.


You could make three oval holes in the lid and circular holes in the handle for dowels which would allow the lid to expand and contract. the danger of using a thin solid wood lid like this is warping - it is probably inevitable leading to a jammed lid. Using a quarter sawn piece for the lid ( if you can find it in pine ) would help.
Thanks, chaps.

I didn't think of that type of joint, never tried that before. I'll have a look into it.
A lap joint into a recess in the puller would be fine for anything small, once you go bigger you start to encounter challenges with movement in solid timber
Looks like a lot of bother with the lid "puller" thing. Why not just leave it off? Then make a notch in the lid to get a finger-nail in, or a round hole, or stick a little ball knob on top, or a block.
The lid isn't going to cause cracks - it's got to be a loose fit to start with or you won't be able to open it on a rainy day.
The usual thing with this sort of box lid is to make it thick enough to be stable and then plane off a bevel on three edges, to fit the slots.
While you are at it you could make the bottom of the box the same way but not openable of course. Bevel down so the bottom of the box is flat inside.
Or just glue/pin the bottom to the sides. Useful trick here is to pre-drill for the pins so that they don't go off at a skew and come out through the sides.
The secret with making everyday things like this is to have a close look at an existing example and if it works then copy it. No need to work it all out from scratch.
Basic rule of good design is copy, copy, copy. Keep your eyes open.:cool:
I've made a few boxes with sliding lids like this. I've fixed the 'puller' by making it a snug fit in the puller's groove and then using a small amount of glue just in the centre. That allows the lid to expand and contract across its width.


  • PXL_20230120_182354107.PORTRAIT.jpg
    3.5 MB · Views: 0
  • PXL_20230123_163308437.jpg
    1.6 MB · Views: 0
  • PXL_20230120_182403926.PORTRAIT.jpg
    3.5 MB · Views: 0

Thank you, forgot to say.

I watched it, and blimey, Imperial hurts my head. What is an 8th of an inch?

Anyway, that was interesting and provided food for thought. However, I'm still stuck on lid movement; you can make one grove deeper for the bottom to expand into, but you can't really do that with the lid, no?

That chap in the video didn't seem to make any allowances for lid movement, unless I'm missing the picture, which is possible.