Joined to the side rails with sliding dovetails, the cross rail adds strength to the table structure and also anchors the comer strips that hold the drawer supports. With the ends of the side rails aligned, mark a cutting line across the middle of the inside faces of both rails. Cut the dovetail sockets with a router in two steps. Start by installing a '/«-inch straight bit in the tool and setting the cutting depth to reach your final depth—14 inch—in two or more passes. Set one of the side rails inside-face up on a work surface, align the bit with your cutting line, and clamp a T square jig— an edge guide with a fence fixed to it at 90° —against the router's base plate so the jig fence butts against the edge of the rail. Rout the slot, then increase the cutting depth and make another pass. Switch to a J^-inch dovetail bit, set the depth at lh inch, and make a last cut (left). Repeat on the other side rail, making sure to press the router base plate against the edge guide for each pass.
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