Make the Handles

Both handles are routed and sawn from a large blank, because they're too darn small to safely machine individually (Photos 6 and 7).

You have to rout into the grain on the front side of each arch, so make light passes and go slowly to avoid tear-out. The routing sled is a big help, because it gives you such great control of the workpiece.

Sawing the narrow, rounded handles free from the blank is easy and safe when you use a simple plywood sled (Photo 7). Without the sled to stabilize the small off-cut handles, it's possible for them to spin back into the blade and kick back.

It's important to saw the handles accurately, 1/2-in. wide at the center. Sawing a bit wider makes them a lot longer; sawing a bit thinner makes them a lot shorter.

When you set the fence, remember that the handles are offcuts—you have to compensate for the saw kerf.

Attach the Handles to the Ends

Cut l-7/8-in.-wide spacer blocks to hold the 3/4-in.-thick handles at the right height for gluing (Photo 8). Mark centerlines on the handles. Apply a thin bead of glue and rub the handle back and forth against the end. Let the joint sit for a couple of minutes before clamping, so the pieces won't slide around when you apply pressure.

Rout the Arches and Handle Holes

Routing the arches is similar to routing the handles. Be careful on the front side of the arch and take advantage of the control the sled gives you (Photo 9).

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