Headboard – Grooving panels and fitting slats

The headboard is designed to have plywood panels set into grooves. So, I measured the panels and found them to be 3/16″ instead of the nominal 1/4″. Time to bust out my “new” grooving plane.

I gave the 3/16″ cutter a go on a test piece.

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It seemed to work out OK.

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I found though that it took some finessing to get the plane to work right. I think there is some set-up involved to get the fence aligned correctly.

I cut grooves in these slats on the table saw.

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I cut grooves to match on the cross-rails. I then cut stub tenons on the slats that hold in the plywood. They won’t have any load on them, so short tenons will be OK.

I did a dry fit for the slats

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And then a dry fit of the slats and plywood panels.

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The legs needed a groove to carry one side of a plywood panel. I don’t trust my routering skills to cut a groove like this, so I went with the plane.

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I had some chisel work to do on either end of this groove, but it went OK.

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And then I did a dry fit with all the panels installed.

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The upper slats each have a tenon on each end. This means a mortise for each one.

I drilled out the majority of these mortises with a Forstner bit on the drill press. I still had to chisel out each one to square them up and get them uniform.

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With all of them cut in, I dry fit the whole lot.

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Before I forgot, I sawed out an over-sized rabbet on the back of the bottom of the legs. This is so that the legs can fit over baseboard.

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With that done, I laid out the parts on the workbench to put some finish on them prior to glue-up. I taped up the large tenons to keep finish off them.

The parts are elevated off the bench-top with carpet strips. These have little tacks sticking up and the parts rest on the points.

I made up some wiping varnish by mixing polyurethane and mineral spirits roughly 50/50. This I wiped on with a rag. I wanted a finish on the parts prior to glue-up in case I dripped some glue on the raw wood in a place that was hard to scrape glue out of. Also, I wanted more control in putting on the finish rather than using a brush or the like as I wanted no finish to dribble down the mortises.

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