As the suspense builds, let’s discuss joinery

Hi all!

I am right in the middle of some really good stuff but before I reveal my findings, to lay the ground work, I think we need to talk about the joinery associated with our little boxes.

In the upcoming posts I anticipate discussing the joints/joinery used at the corners of the boxes I will be comparing.  By the way, the tops and bottoms on all boxes (Lane or otherwise) are just glued onto the top and bottom with no joinery to speak of.

Although I have never seen a box attributed to Lane with box joints (which are sometimes referred to finger joints) I would like to at least show it here.  My pet peeve, as a woodworker, is when this joint is referred to as a dove tail joint —- but I digress.  Here is an example of box/finger joinery…


Again, not a Lane box…just for future reference.

I am going to separate our boxes into two major categories for the first time – right here, right now.  I will refer to Large Hasp with feet (LHF), Tall Hasp with feet (THF) and Tall Hasp Bun Foot/Feet (THBF) as EARLY ERA.  I will refer to Tall (T), Tall Fluted with Feet (TFF), Tall Narrow (TN) and all Short versions, (SR), (SB), (S) as MODERN ERA.  Let’s make this easier… Early Era have hasps and Modern Era have lock sets and escutcheons. Easy enough?  The latest I have an Early Era box dated (and likely distributed) is 1935. The earliest I have a Modern Era box dated is 1936.  So, this is the dividing line between Early and Modern Era.

Here is another major difference between Early and Modern Era boxes.

ALL Early Era boxes have what is commonly referred to as a Rabbet and Dado joint on their corners. They look like this…


This is a photo (above) of a box with the lid open and toward the top.  Here is a description of the joint…


ALL Modern Era boxes (except the front joints of (TFF) – see below) have what is commonly referred to as a locking rabbet joint that looks like this…


This is a more detailed and elegant joint providing more gluing surface.  The added gluing surface and the locking feature make this joint stronger than the Early Era joinery. Here’s my drawing of this joint…


Back to my (TFF) exception.  The front joints on the (TFF) are dado and rabbet and the joint holding the back on are locking rabbet joints.  Given the small amount of wood to work with on the fluted corners, locking joints would be difficult to pull off in the manufacturing process.

OK, that’s all you get for now.  Like I said earlier, just laying the ground work for some really good stuff in the next week or so.

Stayed tuned!


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