joined chest floor boards

Well, one more day out of the shop. Some kind of pinched nerve it felt like. Hurt like mad, but better now. So some stuff I shot last week on the joined chest I just finished. The floor & how it fits. I’ve covered this before; but as I have said, there’s new folks reading these days, so here it is again. Doesn’t hurt to review it anyway.


floor grooves in chest framing

Here are the grooves that I plowed into the front and side rails’ interior faces. At the back of the chest, the bottom rail is set in so its bottom edge is the same height as the top of this groove. Important.  So the rear bottom rail is bumped up a bit from the other bottom rails.

The floor boards (or bottom boards, they’re the same thing) are in this case white pine. Air-dried. I plane them to about 5/8” to ¾” thick. Beveled on the front end, where they fit into the groove in the front rail.

inserting floor boards

The boards that are at each end are also beveled on one long side, to fit into the grooves in the side rails. These boards are usually random widths; and often are not parallel edges. More on this in a moment.

tongue & groove


I cut tongue & groove joints in their edges; the groove just cut with a plow plane. The tongues are made with a rabbet plane on the top face; and just beveled from below until it tapers enough to fit the groove. Cut the grooves first, and take a piece of off-cut that has the groove in it to test the tongues. You can use dedicated tongue & groove planes too. This way is pretty quick & easy.


I start at each end, and fit the boards there. Then start filling in the middle. The final board that fits between those on the left & right is tapered in its width, to shove the floor side-to-side. Snugs things up a bit right at the end. So the pair to each side of this board are both grooved, and the tapered board has tongues on both long edges.

the tapered board

Then nail them up to the slightly higher rear rail & trim the protruding ones out back. Done.

nailed up to rear rail


There’s other ways to fit the floor. Beveled all around, so it’s like a panel. More complicated methods involve a rear rail lower than the others, that the floor sits on top of it…better, but tougher to do. I might have covered that before. Yup, a year & 1/2 ago, here it is:



5 thoughts on “joined chest floor boards

  1. Steve…you’re perfectly welcome. I am thrilled that so many enjoy reading my notes…I’ll be back at it after Xmas.

    enjoy the holidays all, whichever ones any of you indulge in…

  2. Awesome work Peter! I finished my first carved “box” yesterday. A present to our nanny. Ill send some pics. Counldnt have done it without your e-teaching.

    Merry Christmas everybody!

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