My wife kept reminding me that I'd promised to build her a blanket chest
- she claims 20 years ago :-). So I've started on one. I didn't want to
spend a lot of design/rejected/design time so I picked a plan out of a
Wood magazine and she approved it.
It's a frame and panel with the legs serving as frame edges. It uses
stub tenons (3/8" thick, 3/8" deep, 2.5" and 4" wide). After I got
everything all cut it occurred to me that they were using the plywood
panels as structural members. Well, I'm not using plywood so my oak
panels are free floating.
So now I'm worrying if the stub tenons are strong enough. I've thought
of a few possible fixes. I could glue the edge of the panels that go
into the legs along the edge and across the 1st inch of the top and
bottom. That would add some strength.
I could add a couple of dowels to the rail/leg joints but they'd have to
be offset because the grooves in the legs almost meet now. For that
reason there's no room for floating tenons.
There's also a 2" wide ledge glued to the top edges of the rails and legs
so that does add a little strength.
Or I could admit defeat and go buy some oak plywood and save all my
nicely resawn quartersawn 3/8" panels for some future projects.
Am I being overly cautious? I don't expect the chest to take a lot of
racking or rough handling. Maybe it'd be fine just the way it is.
Intelligence is an experiment that failed - G. B. Shaw