I am starting up on items for Christmas in an effort to be prepared ahead of time. I managed to pull this off last year for the first time and it made those last hours before rushing off to a party so much more relaxed.
I generally make 3 or 4 items and then LOML talk them over, pick 1 or 2 and I knock out a bunch. First off is a small slide top box which leads me to the "sac-fence on the sled as a box-joint-jig" routine.
Setup your dado stack and make an initial notch in the sac fence. I used to use the stack at a "close enough" setting and then hand plane a key to fit. This time I set the stack more precisely and found yet another use for setup blocks.
Use another setup block to position the fence at a precise offset.
Clamp down the sac-fence and you're ready to cut.
The material positioning steps have been discussed many times so yada-yada-yada = test fit.
I used some scrap ash for the sides and the floating bottom panel (which is overly decorative; just goofin' with it). This is right off the saw / router table with no sanding or scraping so it is real rough.
I dressed it up with a scroll worked, sliding maple top.
Here's a little better shot if the scrollwork.