Tuesday, November 13


I started the day by making up the upper side panels for all four trunks. The blanks for these had been milled out previously, I just needed to do the final shaping. As you can see, there is some interesting shaping to them. The bit groove down the middle is where the tray support ledge goes, as shown in the top piece.

Then I sand all the panel parts. That takes the rest of the morning. Once all the sanding is done I start test fitting the panels into the rail & post assemblies. I’m still not using any glue, not until I’m sure everything will fit as it should.

Once I’m sure, I break out the glue pot, remove just the posts from the assembled panels one at a time, put glue on the tenons of the rails and reassemble. During reassembly I must make sure that the groove in the bottom rail mates up perfectly with its counterpart in the corner post, and that the upper and lower rails match up with the top and bottom of the post, and that when it’s all assembled it is square. I check this by measuring across the diagonals. If they’re not right on, I adjust the clamps to pull it into square. They’re rarely off by more than a 16th of an inch.

This consumed the afternoon.

The evening session was spent making the floor panel for the maple trunk. Normally this would be plywood and would require only a couple of minutes to cut the piece, sand it and pop it into the grooves. But we avoid plywood when ever we can, and this is an instance when we can. Instead I cut a series of slats about 3½” wide that will run across the short distance of the trunk. Then I mill a 1/8” groove down the center of both long edges of all the slats. Then I put a small chamfer on both edges up the upper surfaces. Finally I cut some 1/8” splines, sand everything and assemble. No glue.

The slats are not glued together. The splines keep them aligned and will prevent gaps from opening up between them when the slats shrink because of reduced humidity. This makes for a pretty and sound bottom to the trunk. The bottom assembly will sit in the grooves in the lower rails, enclosed on all four sides, but will not be glued to anything.

And that does it for another day. Tomorrow I’ll glue the assemblies together into a completed carcass.

See you then!


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