This folding room divider not only hides the mess and divides up space—but displays your photos as well.
Step 1: Build the Two Outer Frames
Step 2: Mark the Rails, Test Fit the Pieces
Step 3: Mark the Dowel Positions
Step 4: Assemble the Rails and Mullions
Step 5: Install the Stiles
Step 6: Build the Center Frame
Step 7: Taper the Stiles
Step 8: Sand the Frames
Step 9: Stain and Apply Finish
Step 10: Attach the Hinges
Clamp the four outer frame stiles (the long vertical pieces) together with the face edges up. Make sure the ends are flush. Mark out the rail positions (see diagram below). Square the lines across all four edges. Mark the rail positions with a large "X" to avoid confusion.
Clamp eight rails (the horizontal pieces) together and mark the center position of the short 1 3/4-in. mullions that run down the center of each screen. Mark both edges of the rails. Make sure all the pieces are flat on the bench during the marking process. Set all of the pieces of each screen on a flat surface in the exact position they'll be when the frame is finished. Lightly number the members of each joint.
Make pairs of short lines across each joint to indicate the position of each pair of dowels. Label all the joints and their exact position before marking the dowel positions. Mark the rails and mullions so each dowel is positioned 3/8-in. in from the edge. Drill 7/8-in.-deep holes using your jig and brad point bit. Keep your drill bit perfectly square to the face of the board as you drill.
Set the vertical stiles aside. Apply glue to the dowels, dowel holes, rails and mullions, then tap the pieces together so all eight rails and seven mullions are joined to one another. Use a long bar clamp to snug the pieces tightly to one another, then let the assembly dry for one hour.
Apply glue to the dowels and ends of the rails, then carefully position the long stiles on each side. Use several clamps to snug everything together. Set each completed frame aside so the glue can dry overnight.
Build the center frame using the same steps used to build the outer frames.
Mark the tapered bottoms of the stiles. Measure 10 in. up from the bottom and 1 3/4-in. in from each outer edge. Connect these marks, then use a circular saw or jigsaw to cut the taper. Smooth your cut using a belt sander.
Use a finish sander or random orbital sander to smooth both sides of all three frames. Remove any pencil marks or glue at the same time. Start with 80-grit paper and finish up using 150-grit paper
Apply stain to the edges and one face of each frame, let it dry, then flip it over and apply stain to the other side. Once the stain has dried (read the directions on the label) apply a clear finish of your choice.
Attach two 1 1/2-in. brass butt hinges to the adjoining frames. The hinges should be arranged in opposite directions to allow folding.
If the screen will be used for photos, use a router and 3/8-in. rabbeting bit to cut insets on the back of each opening. Secure each photo in place using 1/8-in.-thick plywood for backing and picture framing tape.
© 2012 Reiman Media Group, LLC.