So once the rasp work is done, we can finish everything up. Go ahead and glue the carcase together, again being cautious around the short grain in the sides. Check for square, and put in an extra clamp across the diagonals if need be. Be easy on the clamps! These boards are only 3/8″ thick, and you can easily bend them out of alignment if you crank on them.
Let the glue dry overnight, then we can plane the outside of the carcase to make sure our dovetails are flush, and fit in a bottom board. I’ve sized this tray so that we can get a bottom from a single piece of 1x 12. We’re just going to nail in the board from the sides, so we want it to move as little as possible. A dry, quartersawn softwood board, especially in the size we’re working with, isn’t going to move much, if at all. And the nails will let it flex a little. Don’t glue it, just a few nails. We’ll go into a little more detail on how I nail in on a future project. But for now, know that the bottom is a half-inch thick, and that we’re nailing mostly from the long sides, so that our nails go into edge grain as much as possible. A couple nails on the short ends to keep any bowing down is a good idea, though.
Go ahead and sand your tray with 150 and 240. This is just to even everything out a little. We’re not trying to sand it to death. It will help give the paint we’re using a good surface to grab on to as well. For this particular project, I used acrylic latex paint. It was to match the wall colour in the client’s house. But you can use whatever you want.
And that’s it for this project! Hopefully it was enjoyable to make, and remember that this, along with every day, can be a learning experience, but only if you let it. Be open to the lessons around you, and every piece you make can teach something.