Set the seat face-up on a work surface, then spread glue on the ends of the spindles and in the holes in the seat and the crest rail. Fit the spindles into the seat, tapping each one into final position with a dead-blow hammer (above). Once all the spindles are in place, fit the rail on top and tap it into position. For additional reinforcement, you can peg the joints between the spindle and the seat and rail at each end of the bench. Drill the peg holes into the spindles through the back edge of the seat and the outside face of the rail, following the procedure explained on page 110.
Tapering the crest rail on a planer
If you wish to taper the crest rail of the bench so the top edge is narrower than the bottom, use a thickness pianerand a shop-made jig. For the jig, tack two wood strips to a board that is longer and wider than the rail. One of the strips should be twice as thick as the other, and the gap between them should be about 1 inch less than the width of the rail. Clamp the jig to the planer table so the board and the strips extend from each side of the machine by several inches. Now turn on the planer and make a pass through the machine with the bottom edge of the rail flush against the thicker strip and the top edge propped up on the thinner strip. Make as many passes as necessary to achieve the desired taper. Then turn the rail over and repeat the process, this time with the rail's bottom edge butted against the thinner strip, as shown above.
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