This section is from the book "Spons' Mechanics' Own Book: A Manual For Handicraftsmen And Amateurs", by Edward Spon. Also available from Amazon: Spons' Mechanics' Own Book.
For mating joints in 1/4-in. to 1/2-in. stuff, the material is cut to size, trimmed clean, and arranged in sets, with the joints numbered. The edges are planed off with a sharp trying-plane on a shooting-board. To make tongued joints, the joints are shot, then grooved and tongued with a pair of piecing-planes, to match the thickness of the stuff, always keeping the fence of the plane to the face of the work. For glueing, the tongue must be slack to allow for swelling when the hot glue is put in. (J. Cowan.) The lighter and smaller the work, the greater is the difficulty of securing accurate joints, because defects in squaring-up are not obvious on very thin wood. In the case of a small box with a deep cover, it is easiest to make box and cover all in one piece, and afterwards saw them apart. A neat and strong joint, allowing the corners to be rounded, is shown in plan in Fig. 517: the end pieces of the box are rebated like a, and the front and back pieces are grooved like b.