Need some advice

Wreckers,
I'm working on a (two-piece) hutch for SWMBO, and I've been considering the options for joining the bottom/frame to the top unit. (Note: I'm not talking about attaching the flat surface to the base unit; that's something I always do with glue-blocks.)
I DAGS and found the usual options. Use a connector on the back (figure-eight or the "stacking connector" like LV carries), use a dowel-pin and let gravity do its job, or use a cleat or fastener to attach from the inside. I had also considered cutting mortise into the top of the base unit and tenoning the frame members of the top to fit, but that seems like a lot of work for very little advantage to be gained.
So, do any of youse have actual experience with the various methods? Would you care to point out some gotchas to be aware of or simply suggest your favorite options?
At this point I'm leaning a bit towards the connector method, and maybe cutting some molding to dress up (i.e., *cover* up) where the two units meet. But I'm struggling a bit with it because I tend to be a traditionalist (read: Neanderthal) and use metal fasteners only as a last resort.
Any suggestions are appreciated.
Chuck Vance
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"Conan The Librarian" wrote in message

The "traditional" method, at least what I see most of around here, is to simply let gravity/friction do the job with two piece furniture like hutches. AAMOF, we have two hutches in the house, factory made and not inexpensive, and both went with this philosophy, with nothing but gravity and friction to "join" them..
That said, I used trim along the sides of the piece, attached to the bottom unit only, on my last similar two piece project ... mainly to help keep alignment, as it had drawers and there was a tendency to move backward with the closing of the drawers.
My preference is that if there is no need for joining the pieces, as above, I go with the simplest (read gravity) method consistent with the design of the piece.
Just my tuppence ...
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Swingman wrote: [snip]
AAMOF, we have two hutches in the house, factory made and not

Unless you live in earthquake country, then plate steel and screws make practical sense. Not only does one join the two pieces together but it is also fastened to the wall. DAMHIKT.     mahalo,     jo4hn
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"jo4hn" wrote in message

You're right of course and the correction is duly noted .. we do not take that into account around here, but I sure would were I somehow living voluntarily on a fault zone. :)
AAMOF, the last earthquake we had here in Houston was when Betty Sue and Billy Bob tried to steal a tire from Leon about twenty years ago.
;>)
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Dear Cro-Magnon person:
I have a workbench with a 1 3/4" maple top joined to the botom by gravity and located by dowels. For everything except the most vigorous hand planing it's just fine, and then it just walks a little but doesn't separate. A hutch is subject to rather less force, so why not let nature rule? I'm also building a two-piece unit, in this case a stereo cabinet. I plan to let Mr. Einstein's gravity do the work here as well. What could be more natural?
Disclaimer: I have used tailed tools in the commission of this project. Will a security guard come and kneel on my chest?
Bob

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I like the dowel or figure 8 fasteners.
Dave
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As refined and improved by 'ol Albert, the Master.
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calmly ranted:

Yeah, the discoverer of fig bars also discovered gravity and Uncle Al thought up all sorts of new things to do with it, and electrons, and light, and energy. Cool dude, too.
See the movie I.Q. for the details. (Matthau, Ryan, Robbins)
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On Wed, 18 Aug 2004 12:54:37 -0700, Larry Jaques
|calmly ranted: | |>
|>> > I plan to let Mr. Einstein's gravity do the work here as well. |>> Newton?|> |>As refined and improved by 'ol Albert, the Master.| |Yeah, the discoverer of fig bars also discovered gravity
And all along I thought Lucy discovered gravity about 3.5 million years ago when she fell out of a tree. Go figure.
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Stephen Hawking? The modern day scientific iconoclast.
Dave

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Naah--strictly establishment. ;-) The latest Discover magazine is devoted exclusively to Einstein, and it's a winner.
Bob
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On 18 Aug 2004 06:39:44 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@txstate.edu (Conan The Librarian) wrote:

I'm working on a similar piece. I was figuring on using screws from beneath.
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snipped-for-privacy@txstate.edu (Conan The Librarian) wrote:

Chuck
I've done 4 or 5 two piece cabinets for clients. Although gravity is probably sufficient, I never want to have a client phone me up to say that someone has knocked the top piece off. So, I use threaded inserts in the bottom of the top cabinet. I use knock-down bolts (the ones with a thin head that use an allen key) that go through the bottom cabinet. The boltheads sit in holes countersunk into the inside surface of the bottom cabinet's top. I've found this to be an easy to do and very strong way to connect two part cabinets.
dp
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I tend to just use gravity unless there is a push/pull force, from use, on the upper section. If needed, one dowel at each end or one screw up through the top of the bottom section is ample to hold things in place.
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Alan Bierbaum

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Thanks to all who responded with their good ideas (and you too, Lar). :-) I definitely want to be able to easily separate the top, but don't want to run the risk of it moving around on its own. With that in mind, I'm leaning towards using the dowel-pin locator approach, and adding some molding which is fixed to the base.
I've looked at the various mechanical fasteners, and figure I can always add them after the fact if I'm not pleased with how things turn out. (Sort of a belt-and-suspenders approach.)
Chuck Vance
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