For our little recipe box, I’m going to start by dovetailing the box sides. I got this finished right as the sun was setting, bathing the woodshop in golden hues.
Then I had to groove the top and the bottom since we’re going to put panels in both. While the bottom edge should be true (since that’s our reference edge), double-check that the top edge is true before you start. Since the plane fence is going to register against it, you can very quickly end up with an out-of-place groove, and then you’ll be quite irritated.
Once the grooves are done, then fit the panels in. There’s not really a quick way to do this. It’s a lot of fiddling. But it is what it is. Make sure that you don’t mix up your panels. They should be interchangeable, but there’s no reason to take the risk.
Make sure to clean up the inside surfaces of your box before you glue it together. Then, use every clamp in the shop to hold it together while the glue cures. You can never have enough clamps…