MAKE UP THE PIECES
1) Joint, plane and rip-cut stock to 1½ x 1½ in. square. Cross-cut the four legs to 28 in. long.
2) Chamfer the tops of the legs. We used a router table with a chamfering bit, but you could also use a stationary disc sander with a table, or even a small block plane. Set up your tool to cut a ¼-in. chamfer. If using a router table, position a fence with a bit relief cutout so its face is flush with the pilot bearing of the bit. To prevent tear out of the grain on the trailing edge of the cuts, back up each leg with a block of scrap wood as you feed the workpiece over the bit. We used a square push board to feed the workpieces and to provide a surface for keeping the backup block tight against the workpiece. Chamfer all four edges of each leg top.
3) From ¾-in. stock, rip-cut and cross-cut the four tray rails, the two bottom shelf rails, and the bot tom shelf to size, using the dimensions given in the Cutting list. Then cut the four top rails to size from 3/8-in. stock (either resaw or plane thicker stock to 3/8- in. thick). All 10 rails can be cross-cut together at the same setting (12 7/8- in. long). A power miter saw is a good tool for these crosscuts.
ASSEMBLE THE PIECES
4) Lay out and drill all the dowel holes to join the rails to the legs. There are two dowels per joint. Refer to the Illustration on page 121 for placement. A doweling jig like the one shown in Photo B will greatly simplify this work. The dowel joints for the tray rails and the bottom shelf rails are centered on the legs. They require 3/8-in. holes for 1½-in. long dowels, but the dowel holes are only drilled ½ in. deep into the legs. The ¼-in.-dia. dowel holes in the legs for the top rails are off-center. If you place a 3/8-in. thick spacer on the inside of the leg before clamping the doweling jig to the workpiece, this will shift the center points of the jig holes the correct amount off-center.
5) Drill the 3/8-in. dowel holes for attaching the bottom shelf to the bottom shelf rails. Use the same doweling jig to drill the holes into the ends of the shelf (three in each end). To bore the holes in the shelf rails, use a portable drill with a drill guide or a drill press with a brad-point bit. Drill only 1/2 in. dee p into the rails.
6) Assemble two sides of the plant stand separately. Glue, dowel and clamp the parts together. For each side assembly, attach one bottom shelf rail, one tray rail, and one top rail between two legs. Measure the diagonals from corner to corner to check for square and adjust the clamp pressure as needed until the diagonals am equal.
7) Glue the dowels into the joints and clam p up the two side assemblies and remaining rails to complete the plant stand framework. Be sure to glue and clamp the bottom shelf in place at the same time. This serves as a stretcher to tie the lower legs together, as well as a shelf.
8) Rip-cut a ¾ x ¾-in. strip to make the tray cleats, and cross-cut to 12 7/8 in. long. Due to the delicateness of parts this small size, the most effective tool to use is a sharp back saw in a miter box.
9) Drill countersunk screw holes for attaching the cleats to the inside faces of two opposing tray rails. Also drill two countersunk screw holes up through the bottom of each cleat for attaching the tray.
10) Apply glue to the tray cleats and use a spring clamp to hold them to the inside faces of tray rails on two opposite sides of the plant stand. The bottom edges of the cleats should show the countersunk ends of the screw holes and should be flush with the bottom edges of the tray rails. Drive #6 x 1¼-in. wood screws through the countersunk screw holes to attach the cleats to the tray rails.
ASSEMBLE THE TRAY
11) Cut the 1/2-in. plywood tray bottom to 2¼ x 12¼ in. We used birch plywood sanded on both sides.
12) Make up four tray sides from ¾-in.-thick stock. Rip them to 3/4 in. wide. This will limit the depth of the tray recess so the top surface of the tile will be slightly above the tray sides. Leave the strips over size in length.
13) Miter-cut the ends of the tray sides so they wrap around the tray bottom with their miters fitting together tightly. This can be done on a table saw with a miter gauge or on a chop saw.
14) Glue and clamp the tray sides to the tray bot tom. Apply glue to the miters and to the edges of the plywood. Use scrap wood cauls to distribute the clamping pressure and to protect the wood from the clamps. GJue-up the tray on a flat surface, making sure the bottom of the tray bottom and the tray sides are flush.
15) After the glue has dried, remove the clamps. Use a combination square to mark out 3/8 x 3/8-in. notches in the mitered corners of the assembled tray to fit around the inside corners of the legs.