I was recently asked to build a bulletin board for my daughter’s first-grade classroom. She attends a Waldorf school, which places a high value on aesthetics, so I didn’t want to just make a rectangle with a mitered frame. The design I came up with is basically a rectangle with a curved top piece. The edges of the curve extend past the rails, so that the frame looks like a little house with a curved roof. (Please see attached sketch.) My question is this: What would be a good, strong way to join the uprights to the inside of the curved piece? The pieces are all 5/8-in. thick. Any suggestions? – Anna Green
Chris Marshall: Anna, you have a nice project in the works! I’ll make two suggestions. First, you could keep things simple and drive finish nails through the “roof” down into the upright pieces. Tap the heads below the surface with a nail set, add a little putty to cover the heads and call it good. (I would drill some tiny pilot holes for the nails first to prevent the wood from splitting.) If the project isn’t seen from above, no one but you will know you nailed them. And even if they do, there’s nothing wrong with nails. Woodworkers have used them for centuries. Here’s another option: You could install short dowels between these parts. Drill a straight 1/4-in.-diameter hole down into the uprights, and insert a metal dowel point into each one. If you aren’t familiar with what these are, click here. Then, set the roof on top of the uprights and push down to prick the corresponding centerpoints for the mating dowel holes in the roof piece. Drill stopped holes here, and install the dowels with a little glue in each of the holes. Since this is a bulletin board, if you are attaching the frame pieces to a backer board of some kind, you might even be able to just glue these joints between the uprights and the roof, but nails or dowels will certainly make them stronger. Hope this helps.