Spline

at the same time. (It's the same length.) Then you can set this rail aside while you work on the curves and add the molding to the top rail.

CUTTING CURVES. The curved shape of the top rail and molding isn't all that difficult to create. The first thing youll need is a full-sized half-pattern (page 7). You can either draw one yourself, as I did on page 23, or you can purchase one from the Online Extras section on our web site. I formed the curve on the bottom edge of the rail, using a band saw, drum sander, and a file, as described in the box on page 16.

Once you've cut the lower curve on the rail, the next step is to rout grooves for the splines that hold the frame together. I did this with a slot cutter bit in a hand-held router, as in Fig. 6. This way, the base of the router will follow the board even if there's some bowing, so the groove ends up a consistent width.

As you're routing the grooves, there are three things to remember. First, the grooves on the rail's ends are stopped so the splines won't end up visible on top of the rail.

Second, the width of the grooves should match the grooves on the posts. To help with this, I made a test spline that fit the post grooves.

The last thing to note is that these grooves are centered on the edge of the rail. I did this like I would a

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