As I got to the point of being ready for glue up on the box end panels, I started rummaging through the scrap box for material to make the temporary spacers like Paul used to insure the legs remain in alignment while the glue dries and I remembered the four offcuts from the upper portions of the legs. Mine were about 18″ x 2 1/8″ x 9/16″ and that worked out perfectly. I planed two of them down to fit snugly in the mortise holes and cut them in half making four pieces about 9″ in length. I cut the other two to appropriate length ( about 7 1/2″) and simply attached them to the tenons with a couple of dots of super glue. I wanted to use a dense wood for this anyway so that it wouldn’t compress too much in the mortise which would have defeated the purpose and since I’m using hard maple for my chest, that worked out quite well.
I ran into a minor issue that I’ll bring up and that was the shoulder lines on the legs. Be careful when sanding the leg assemblies not to round over the outside edge of the leg face where the rails meet the legs. I did that very slightly and it will make the shoulder line appear open. It really isn’t open, but since the outside shoulder of the rail meets the leg at a perfect corner, that edge has to be, well – perfect! All I did to correct it was to take a couple of swipes with the #4 along that leg surface and that brought the edges back to sharp, crisp lines. I just counted my plane strokes and made sure to do the same on each of the eight leg mortise faces.
I did a dry fit on the front and back this morning, and I’ve got a couple of minor shoulder issues to fix. Then I’ll be ready to finish the glue-up. So far at least, glue-up has been uneventful and thanks to Paul’s method I had plenty of time. Hopefully, the front and back panels will go as easily.