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I just got a commission to build a contemporary bedroom set. Ladies and gents dressers, nightstands and bedframe. The main wood is red oak. The sides are joined directly to the top, so I was thinking of rabbeting the the side into a dado in the top. Wood thickness will be around 13/16 after planing. My concern was whether after plowing the dado in the top there isn't much wood left on the outside of the dado, what do you think?I am not going to do a miter with a spline. THanks
How did you price it without knowing how it was built?
Why join the top to the sides?
Corner gussets morticed in with counterbored slots and pan or truss head screws is another option.
As Jim mentioned, whatever you do allow for movement front to back (assuming typical grain orientation).
Most likely your sides and top will have the grain direction the same so movement shouldn't be much of a concern. People will pick the case up by the top so the connection should be pretty solid. Dados are nice for locating but don't offer much strength. If you are using traditional drawer frames be sure to make them float, fasten at the front and leave a little clearance in the back. Sliding dovetails work well. Simple to make.