Suggestion on Types of Joints??

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Expert at Jibber-Jabber
20 Aug 2019
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Hi All

I am attempting a Novelty project as an Xmas present for my wife.
It is basically a 250 x 250mm box, which is about 70mm deep. It will be wall hung (imagine a deep boxy photo frame, if you will) with a glass (or perspex) front and a hard back (hardboard or thinner MDF)

It will be painted in dark or navy blue.

My question is how to get the glass / prespex secured on the front side?
The following options I have thought so far are:
1. Groove the two sides and the bottom panels and slide the glass from the top
2. Recess the finished frame front with a router and then place the glass and make a face frame to cover up the edges

I would prefer if the screws didn't show anywhere - planning to do it with just glue at the moment.

I would like to have the option of replacing the glass in the future, just in case.

Problems I see with option 1 is the dust and dirt will come through the opening at the top through which the glass is slid in. And sliding the glass through one of the sides shows the opening.

With option 2, I can't glue the face frame to the rest of the box. as it won't be removable, using fasteners will result in them being visible, which wouldn't be preferable.

Any suggestions on how I can solve this? or are there any special techniques I am unaware of that I should consider?

My skill level is basic beginner and the tools I have are a table saw, router, drill press and hand tools.

Thanks in advance :)
make the main frame in an "L" shape. the glass goes in first and rests against the L.
Make another much thinner frame to slide inside the main as a friction fit, So that when installed it is the same internal as the main frame ,with mitred corners. DONT glue this in.
Add the picture, suitably secured to the backing board and fix the backing board with very small pins or picture framers pegs.
bp122":1nuddks1 said:
It will be wall hung (imagine a deep boxy photo frame, if you will) with a glass front and a back
The description of what you want appears to be very similar to an ordinary picture frame - so you can model the solution on something similar? Look at a picture frame in a shop and see how it's put together. The glass is held in by a frame that has space for the picture, a back and some method of holding the back on. The corners are mitred and the whole frame has only the corner joints until you turn it over, where there is also a fixing for hanging it on the wall. Most of the construction is in the shape of the moulding - something you can replicate with your table saw?

With your table saw you can cut the sides of a picture frame including a single rebate for both the glass, a spacer (the open part of the box) and a back. I suggest using wood that's more than twice the 70mm depth and cutting a rebate on the top and bottom towards the middle, on one side before finally cutting it in half to create an L shaped "frame". This gives you something to hold on to and keeps your fingers away from the saw blade during preparation. You might want to consider skipping on "mitre joints" and use something like a "lap joint" to keep the construction complexity down. Finally to space the back from the front glass you might use the table saw to create spacers that fit between the front and the back e.g. two horizontals separated by two vertical spacers and are held apart with a friction fit. if there is a shelf, cut slots in the vertical spacers which will also hold them in place and these will also hold the horizontal spacers apart.

Most picture frames leave a gap between the back and the back edge of the frame so that the fixings are contained within the space e.g. small screws and so don't show. Finish the frame and assemble with glass to complete the project. The back can be removed to allow the contents to be changed or for the glass to be replaced at a later time. If it works for a picture frame, it will work as a box too.
Thank you, Simon and Sunnybob, for your suggestions.

When I was brainstorming, one of the ideas I had was similar to what you said but not as well thought out. I thought of using lap joints to finish the four sides of the box and then make a face frame to form the ledge upon which the glass rested and then use four corner blocks to space the glass away from the back. - Obviously, your suggestions are clearer and simpler than my convoluted one!

I particularly like the self serving spacer idea with the grooves for the horizontal ones.

Just to throw a bit of clarity, although this is in effect a picture frame, it actually is a box to fill up with metal bottlecaps - as in the computer video game 'Fallout ' where the bottlecaps are the currency in the post nuclear apocalyptic world. It will also have a slot to drop the caps into the box, as in a regular piggy bank. My wife is a huge fan of the game and I had seen something like this done by a fan on pinterest. Hence the idea.

Once again, thank you both.
bp122":3ht8zetf said:
a box to fill up with metal bottle caps - as in the computer video game 'Fallout '. It will also have a slot to drop the caps into the box, as in a regular piggy bank
Another way to think about it is as two "open" boxes - one slides inside the other box.

The first is the back and sides (inside spacer) - with a back rebated slightly to allow the boxes to be screwed together and the second is the glass and sides (outside) and completely encloses the first box and glass - the rebate for the glass should be wide enough to also hide the inside spacer.