Briefcase #2: Cutting, sanding, finishing and glueing

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Blog entry by Chris Wright posted 08-04-2009 09:38 PM 1654 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: The Idea Part 2 of Briefcase series no next part

So, now I’ve got the bulk of the work done on the case. Where I left off in my last blog I had cut the sides and glued the top together.

Now, I got the top down to the right size. This was a little tricky because I wanted to keep the joint pretty much right in the middle of the panel. Once it was to size it was time to route a cove along the edges so I could fit them into the slots I cut into the sides. I used a cove cutting bit that I filed the guide bearing post off of so I will get a “tongue” that is straight on the edge so it will fit into the sides before the cove starts.

Cove bit

So I wouldn’t have any tear out on the end grain edges I clamed a piece of scrap to the trailing edge of the top.

waste block

Everything went very smoothly with the router table. Here’s the result.

Lid with cove

I cut a piece of scrap quarter inch plywood to use as the bottom and stained it to match as close as possible to the sides. After the stain dried, I test fit the box to make sure the top, bottom and sides all fit nicely. Which they did, perfectly (not to boast).

Dry Fit
Now that I’m satisfied with the fit, the final step I do before I glue the box together, and I do this same thing whenever I make my small boxes as well, is to do whatever finishing needs to be done to the inside surfaces. So, I sand, and I sand, and I sand some more, then I spray my finish. In this case I used a water based spray lacquer. To keep the miters clean so the glue will stick, I used some masking tape.

Insides finished

After the insides have been sealed and finished, it’s time to break out the glue bottle. These are simple 45 degree miters, so I spread some glue, not too much because I didn’t want any seeping out of the joint into the interior or the box. It’s not too difficult to clean out if some does, but why make extra work for yourself if you don’t have too. I’m using Merle Adjustable Corner Clamps to hold the joints together ( ).

Glued up

So, next time, it’s back to the router table to cut the recesses for the splines.

See you then, and thanks for reading.

-- "At its best, life is completely unpredictable." - Christopher Walken

2 comments so far

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 4445 days

#1 posted 08-05-2009 12:08 AM

So far, so good. Looking forward to the next installment.

-- Working at Woodworking

View woodworm's profile


14475 posts in 4096 days

#2 posted 08-05-2009 01:07 PM

Hi buddy,
Looks like its going to be very nice briefcase. Great effort!
Hopefuly, the final assembly won’t be a problem – I’m watching ya!

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

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