Joinery questions,,, and MORE!

A couple of years ago I bought a HF service cart at an outdoor tent sale for what I felt was a good price. http://www.harborfreight.com/five-drawer-service-cart-95272.html
The only thing I don't like about it is it does not have nearly enough drawer space for my needs. The thing is actually over built structurally for the amount of 'stuff' it will hold.
I'm thinking of building at least 1 (maybe 2) of these end cabinets out of 3/4" ply or maybe even OSB, and hanging them off the sides via 2 French cleats each: http://www.harborfreight.com/7-drawer-red-end-cabinet-for-roller-tool-chest-68785.html
This is a picture of it attached to the tool cabinet it was designed for. http://tinyurl.com/799lhkn
I got a few questions concerning this endeavor.
What would be the best (strongest?) joint to use on the carcase? Box joint? Splined miter joint?
Is this even feasible? I mean, I would imagine there would be a lot of racking force with this thing hanging from its side loaded with tools. All the wood cabinets I've ever seen hung with cleats are attached to the back of the cabinet. Not the side. But I was thinking with strong joints on the top bottom and sides, a good thick back - rabbeted, glued and screwed, it just might work!
I've never fabricated a box joint jig but I've seen them constructed and used on NYWS, numerous Youtubes and magazines ;-) One thing they all have in common though, they're all small, and used to cut relatively small stock (compared to what I want to do) like jewelry boxes, small drawers and whatnot. Anyone here have experience cutting box joints in 34" X 20" X 3/4" or larger ply using a home built jig for table saw or maybe a router?
Thanks in advance for any help given to this rookie!
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Box joint. Actually dovetail but you didn't offer that.
I don't think you need the heaviest backing. A 1/2 backing would be more than enough.
Not sure I would french cleat it. I would just bolt it on. Keep it light but strong. Mass is not your friend in this usage. Once loaded it will have mass.
Use a face frame to enhance it's strength, but use either m&t or half lap on the joints, not screws.
On 3/30/2012 9:25 PM, Spalted Walt wrote:

http://www.harborfreight.com/7-drawer-red-end-cabinet-for-roller-tool-chest-68785.html
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On Sat, 31 Mar 2012 00:51:26 -0400, tiredofspam <nospam.nospam.com> wrote:

Yep, according to this test by the woodgear guy the dovetail is indeed a little stronger.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRPgCMmbeyQ


Thanks for your help on this. I googled "large box joint" till my eyes bled and finally stumbled on this nifty homemade jig that I might try.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHGuqXUI-eg

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Spalted Walt wrote:

http://www.harborfreight.com/7-drawer-red-end-cabinet-for-roller-tool-chest-68785.html
If it were me, I'd probably make it with 1/4" ply. Butt joints glued and screwed to 1 x 2 wood strips along the joints. The one exception would be the end where the French cleats go...I'd probably use 1/2" ply there for rigidity and a wood strip backing the French cleat.
Basically, you make each side by making the 1x2 frame - I butt the pieces, clamp them and then hold them together by drilling through the stiles into the rails and gluing in dowels; that then gets a cover of ply glued all around. Each of those then gets glued and screwed to its neighbors to make the box. One needs numerous clamps when gluing the ply...I made a bunch from 2" PVC pipe: cut into 1/2 - 3/4" rings, make a cut in each ring so it can be spread apart.
The ply will keep the web frame from racking...think "hollow core doors". In fact, I have a 72"x24"x36" cabinet on my screen porch built in that manner. It has no back and is suspended from the wall with 1x3 nailing strips across the back.
IMO, that would be a better way to build it - and worlds easier - than messing with box joints.
--

dadiOH
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