Shining showcase
Bring your special glassware, chma figures, or other prized collectibles out of the closet and into the light. This easy-to-build project showcases their beauty and your craftsmanship.
Here's a visually high-impact piece of furniture that you can build for only a moderate investment of time and materials. Its three glass-insert shelves let light from a concealed halogen fixture stream from top to bottom.
To discover how to beef up frame corners on this project and others, see the mitered half-lap joinery article on page 16. This joint hides the frames' exposed end grain within the project's legs.
 

Laminate four legs
1 Cut eight 3/4 x l 5/8 x 55" blanks for laminating the legs (A). To form a channel to conceal the light fixture's cord, install a dado blade in your tablesaw, and plow a centered 1/2" groove 1/4" deep in two of the pieces, where shown on Drawing 1a.
2 Glue and clamp four pairs of laminations, keeping the ends and edges flush. The grooved pair forms the right rear leg. Remove any excess glue, and joint 1/16" off one edge of each lamination. Plane the opposite edges to form four 1 1/2 x1 1/2" legs. Trim the legs to the length listed in the Materials List.
Ç Ìàrê the tops of the legs with their final orientations. Indicate the face to be drilled for shelf supports. Position the leg with the centered cord channel at the right rear, where shown on Drawing 2. Referring to Drawing 1, lay out the shelf-support hole centers on the right rear leg.
4 To drill the legs' shelf-support holes, chuck a ]A" bit in your drill press. Attach a 5'-long fence 3A" back from the bit's center, with about à of the fence extending to the right of the bit. Drill the ys"-deep holes, as shown in Photo A.
5 Adjust your biscuit joiner's fence to center a slot 1/2" from the legs' outside faces, and cut slots for #20 biscuits, where dimensioned on Drawing 1.
6 To provide electric cord access to the hole in the right rear leg, make a V-block from 2x4 scrap. With a 1/2" straight bit in your table-mounted router,
and a stopblock clamped to the fence, form a 1/2"-long notch in the leg's top and bottom inside corners, where shown on Drawings 1 and 1a and as shown in Photo B. Cut the notches in steps, first positioning the bit to cut 1/8" into the leg's corner, and then raising the bit in 1/8" increments until the notches are complete.
7 Mark the bottom tapers on each leg's two inside faces, where shown on Drawing 1b. Bandsaw and sand to the lines. To ensure uniform tapers, see the Shop Tip at right. Sand the legs to 220 grit.
 

 

Mark the right-rear leg shelf-support hole centers on masking tape. Align each mark with the bit, and position a stopblock. Drill all four legs at each stopblock position. With the right rear leg cradled in a V-block, rout the top and bottom 1/2"-long notches in progressive 1/8" increments. Clamp a stop-block to the fence to control the depth.

 

Shop tip

To sand uniform tapers on all four legs (A), tack together the scrapwood jig shown in the drawing, below. Leave the nailheads protruding so you can easily disassemble the jig and return the parts to your scrap bin. Clamp the jig to your disc- or belt-sander table 1/8" from the face of the sanding disc. Slide each leg along the fence, as shown in the photo, right, until its end contacts the stop.

Form the rails and caps
1 Cut the rails (B, D) and caps (C, E) to size. To ensure that the rails and caps are identical lengths, use a stopblock clamped to an auxiliary miter-gauge extension.
2 Adjust your biscuit joiner to center a slot in the thickness of the rails. Then plunge slots for #20 biscuits in the rail ends, centered in their width.
3 Using a fairing stick, draw arcs on the rails (B, D), where shown on Drawing 2. Saw and sand them to shape.
4 Cut 1/8" grooves 1/4" deep for the tabletop fasteners in the side caps (E), where shown on Drawing 2. Note: Before cutting the grooves, check the offset of your tabletop fasteners. It may be different from the 7/16" dimension shown on the drawing.
5 Finish-sand the rails and caps. Mark the locations of the top edges of the rails (B, D) on the legs (A), where shown on Drawing 2. Glue, biscuit, and
clamp the front and back rails (B) between the front and back legs. Then join the front and back leg/rail assemblies (A/B) together by gluing and clamping the side rails (D) in place. Glue and clamp the rail caps (, ) to the rails. The caps' front edges are flush with the legs' outside faces. Finally, ease the corners of the completed assembly with a sanding block.
 
Disconnect the cord from the internal wiring by removing the wire nuts. Mark the wires for proper reassembly.
 
Grasp and squeeze the cord grommet with pliers to release the cord from the housing. Pull the cord out of the housing, and remove the grommet.