Assembling your accessory trunk should begin with a solid and durable base; 3/4 inch is recommended. Since it is likely that this will be covered, we suggest cutting the bottom, sides and top so that the seams between them are less noticeable. The sides, top, back and even the front can be made from the 1/2 inch thick material to minimize the weight. Note where they will be fastened (using small head countersunk wood screws), include joining biscuits to keep the mating edges straight and tight. Titebond III exterior wood glue is used on all seams in addition to flat head wood screws. Carefully plan where and how the hinges and hardware will be attached. An example is strategically including thicker hardwood material under the hinges to ensure the hinges won't bend or bind over time (Photo 21). Use a biscuit grove cutter to place grooves into mating surfaces (Photos 22 & 23). Pre-fit pieces and check for square before gluing and assembling. Several bar clamps should be used during each step to keep the trunk's pieces tight and square as shown in Photo 24. Since each joint must be square, we suggest attaching hardwood pieces one set at a time. As shown in Photo 25, the side hardwood pieces may have had their biscuit grooves cut ahead of time, but the sides are attached after the front/rear set are glued and screwed. (Photos 27 & 28). Countersunk wood screws should be used and we recommend using square drive screws to achieve a strong joint between pieces (Photo 26). The countersunk screw heads are filled and sanded smooth. Kwik-Poly is a good choice for a filler as it absorbs well into the wood and the Durham's Wood Putty filler mentioned in the reference article sands easily. Refer to our article A Polyol Product used in Restoration: A Review of Kwik Poly
Photo 21 — We used 3/4 inch thick plywood for the base and 1/2 inch thick for all other surfaces. Shown is a hardwood strip glued in place on the rear edge. Note the extra hardwood under the clamp to prevent marring the wood surface. The hardwood strip will be used to secure the rear piano hinge.
Photo 22 — To minimize movement of the plywood on the hardwood pieces, biscuits are cut and glued in place. Here a biscuit cutter is aligned onto the hardwood.
Photo 23 — Close up view of a biscuit inserted into a groove.
Photo 24 — Long bar clamps are used during construction to firmly hold pieces together while the glue dries. Positioning of the front and rear hardwood pieces is critical since they will later be used to fasten the side hardwood pieces.
Photo 25 — Here biscuits are located on the edges of the lid.
Photo 26 — Small flat head screws are countersunk into wood surfaces. The use of square drive hardware ensures secure joints. They can be filled in later.