Bottom Of Groove

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Check the length of the end piece. Hold it against the groove's bottom and make sure the miters line up exactly with the panel's corners.

14. Make the splines (D). Their exact thickness is very important. Too tight, and you won't be able to slide them in the grooves after you add glue. Too loose, and they won't align the frame pieces. The spline's width should be

Glue the frame pieces in stages. Glue the short pieces first, right to the panel, putting glue only in the middle two inches of the groove.Then add the long pieces, one at a time. Here, glue only goes on the miters, not in the panel's grooves. The panel is then free to expand and contract, just like a raised-panel door.

nGlue the base. Thin pieces can be difficult to clamp, so I borrowed a jig that musical instrument makers use. Clamping pressure is applied by sliding together two opposed wedges (carpenter's shims). Use the same jig for gluing the sides of the trays to 1/4-in. plywood.

Crosscut the trays after gluing on their long sides. The tray's corners are simply butt joints, so this cut ensures the tray's bottom and sides are perfectly flush. Use backing boards behind both side pieces to eliminate any chance of chip-out.

1/64 in. less than both grooves' combined depth.

15. Glue the short frame pieces first. Be fussy about aligning their miters with the panel's corners. Let the glue dry overnight. Then add the long frame pieces, one at a time (Photo 10). Align the miters first; then push in the spline from the joints' ends.

16. After the glue is dry, use a handsaw to trim the protruding splines. Even the frame joints with 150-grit or finer sandpaper. Finish sanding to 220 grit.

1 Q Drill holes for the hinges. Use a drill press and a fence lOwith this tiny 1/16-in. bit. Mark each hole with an awl before you drill to keep the bit from wandering.

Make the Base

17. Make the base parts (M, N) from one or two long pieces of molding. First, chamfer the outside edge on the router table (Fig. I), page 66). Second, cut the rabbet on the router table or tablesaw. The rabbet's depth should match the thickness of the plywood bottom (P). Cut the pieces to length.

IK. Glue the base together with an opposed-wedge jig (Photo 11). To apply clamping pressure, use carpenter's shims—you'll find them ready-made at hardware stores.

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