Sometimes, we must let the wood speak. And I listen:
Trying out something new, and also wanting to get a feel for the spalted maple, I decided to try a classic lift-lid box similar to one crafted by Doug Stowe in 2008. The corners of the box are mitered, such that no joinery shows; instead, the corners are keyed, to reinforce the miter, usually believed to be (and it is) a weak joint. If you decide to make one of these boxes, let your imagination run free – and don’t be tied down to the free plans. Simply follow Stowe’s suggestions on resawing your lumber, and on layout of the boards, to get the grain to bend around all four corners.
For this box I did not glue the rabetted bottom in place. I simply wedged in a piece of leather on the bottom board, and pounded the bottom into the glued-up carcase. It held through all the pounding! Was it the glue? Or was it something else? The walnut keys are the likely reason the corner miters held so well; I was unable to destroy them. Maybe the leather just compressed enough to allow the corner miters to live.
— Al Navas