Designed as a coffee table, it's also sturdy enough to sit on or use as a TV stand, and can store books, magazines or cushions.
Step 1: Cut the Boards
Step 2: Add the Biscuits
Step 3: Join the Boards
Step 4: Cut the Side Panel Miters
Step 5: Cut the Miter Grooves
Step 6: Assemble the Box
Step 7: Make the Bottom
Step 8: Miter the Base Moldings
Step 9: Fit Front and Side Moldings
Step 10: Fit Back Molding
Step 11: Make Beading Panels
Step 12: Cleat the Lid
Step 13: Attach the Hinge
Step 14: Rebate the Hinge
Step 15: Finish the Box
Using a miter saw, cut boards 2-in. longer than the finished length. Arrange three for each side panel and five for the lid, squaring a line across the face 4-in. in from the ends and at the center. Use a biscuit machine to make three grooves in joining edges.
Position two bar clamps on the bench and stand the boards on edge within the clamps. Apply adhesive to edges and in the grooves, tap a biscuit into each groove on one side of each board except the first. Position the boards with ends flush in the clamps.
Clamp boards without distorting the panel, then release the pressure to wipe adhesive from between clamps and panels. Reapply pressure, adding more clamps over the top to prevent bowing. Check with a straight edge, wipe clean and leave to dry.
Sand surfaces with a belt sander. Secure a side panel to the bench with a second panel squarely on top and crosscut ends with a circular saw set at 45°. Measure the length of each panel from the long edge of miters and cut with miters facing the correct way.
Use a router to make a 1/8-in.-wide groove in the miterd end. Adjust depth to 1/4-in. and set the guide fence to the center to machine groove across each end. Cut four 1/8-in. x 3/8-in-wide splines. Check the fit and adjust splines if required.
Apply adhesive in each groove. Insert a spline at each corner, pushing to the bottom of the groove. Coat the corresponding miter in adhesive and assemble the carcass, holding with sash clamps. Wipe away excess adhesive. Sand when dry.
Cut eight tongue-and-groove boards, removing one tongue for the starter board. Drill two clearance holes in each end of boards, and two in the clean edge of the starter. Drill 3/32-in. pilot holes and fasten to the box with #8 x 1 1/4-in. screws. Cut last board flush.
Cut the side and front base boards oversize, shaping the top edges with a router and chamfering bit (or use a hand plane or round over with abrasive paper). Miter both ends of the front board and one end of each side board with a miter saw.
Draw a line around the box, 2 1/2-in. up from base. Drill two clearance holes at each corner and one in the center. Fasten the front base molding from inside with #8 x 1 1/4-in. screws. Position side moldings with overhang at back, glue and screw from inside.
Cut the back base molding square to fit between the overhanging side molding and fasten with screws from inside. Square a pencil line across the top edge and down the outside face of the overhanging skirting and cut with a handsaw. Sand smooth.
Measure the beading for the two panels and cut using a miter box and tenon saw. Position the beading on the front of the box, 2-in. in from all edges, with a 2-in. gap between, and attach with adhesive and 1-in. brads.
Cut the lid with 1 1/4-in. overhang at front and sides. On cleats, mark two screw points 3/4-in. from each end and three intermediate points. Drill and countersink clearance holes. Secure cleats 2 3/4-in. from each end of the lid, 2-in. from the front edge
Cut the hinge to length with a hacksaw and file smooth. Position it on the inside back edge of the lid, with the knuckle overhanging the back by 1/16-in. Mark the position of the screw holes, drill 1/16-in. pilot holes and fasten with #4 x 1/2-in. screws.
Scribe along the top edge of the box, from the back across the width of the hinge less 1/16-in. Rout a rebate a scant 1/32-in. less than the thickness of the hinge knuckle. Fasten the hinge through the outside holes, align and add remaining screws.
Use a router to chamfer along the front edge and the ends of the top. Fill holes with putty and sand smooth with 120-grit sandpaper. Apply stain and two coats of polyurethane, lightly sanding between each with 240-grit sandpaper.
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