Well, I finally got the other three corners done.
All in all, the rest of the joints turned out well. A few small gaps, but on the whole, I’ve made a lot of progress. There was one tiny bit of splitting, so I had to go back and pare that half pin down just a bit. Should be fine.
Referring back to the original plan, it’s now time to start prepping the middle divider / handle piece.
My plan was to just run a 3/16″ deep groove down each of the sides for the handle to slide into. A cross-grain groove like that is known as a dado or a housing dado. If this tote was going to be used for anything heavy, I’d use something stronger, but for pencils and scissors, etc. I think this will be just fine.
First step is to mark out the dado. I made a knife wall on one side of each dado, and a pencil wall on the opposite side as a guide.
Next, I need to mark the depth of each dado. I do that with a marking gauge. Set it to 3/16″ and scribe a line on each side. This shows me exactly how deep to cut that groove.
Next up is going to be a bunch more chisel work, so I sharpen those babies up.
Then, using that knife wall, I start alternately chiseling down and paring away, until I get down to depth on one side.
With one side chiseled down, I put an actual piece of wood in there and mark the other side with the knife. Then do the same thing on that side. Now I have a groove with a big hump in the center.
So next up is to reduce that hump a bit with a chisel and get it semi-flat.
Then I clean it up with a router plane. This is like a short chisel bent 90 degrees stuck in a metal plate. I set it to 3/16″ and use it to completely clean up the bottom of that dado.
With that done, those dadoes are perfectly flat and square, and exactly the right size to fit that center piece. These came out perfect.
Now I need to make and fit that center piece. It’s got to be taller than the rest of the box, so I had to edge glue a couple of pieces. These are gluing up now, so that finished up my work for today.
Onto Part 4!