Before I can assemble the top, I had a couple of filler pieces that need to be made for the back side. I left them out so I could squeeze more out of my sheets of plywood. Basically I cut some 6″ wide scrap and 2-1/2″ wide scrap left over from my 3/4″ plywood to back-fill. It isn’t critical that you can see the plywood butting together because all of it will be getting covered with veneer or edging eventually.
After the filler pieces were located, I dug through my scrap pile for some oak to cut into ribs for a bit of internal structure. I also added a couple of cross pieces at the center of the top for the box that will house the relic.
I grabbed a thin piece of scrap oak to use as a glue spreader. I then spread glue on the pieces located beneath the top.
I used a few clamps to hold it as flush to the outer edge as possible and fastened it with
1-1/4″ 18ga. brads.
Next I glued up the two layers that make up the bottom half of the top and nailed them together as well. With both pieces assembled, I ran my router around them with a flush trim bit to line up the edges.
Before assembling these two pieces together, I glued and nailed the internal structure in place.
I drilled a 7/8″ hole in the center of the relic chamber through the top piece. I flipped the top right-side-up and used the flush trim bit to open up the entire hole.
Flipping the top back over, I laid the bottom half on and marked the locations of the internal structure.
I glued and nailed the bottom piece to the top, making sure to center the two pieces. Also, I cut out a 6″x6″ piece of scrap plywood to use as a door for the relic chamber, but I cannot attach that yet.
The altar top is done for now. I still need to acquire the wood for the veneer and edging before I can finish it completely. So while that was drying, I moved on to the top pieces for the tabernacle. I glued and nailed them together in a similar fashion to the altar top, except I didn’t bother with a hollow cavity in the middle. It was just as easy to fill it in completely.
I ran the flush trim router bit around this top as well then glued and nailed the two assemblies together.
Both tops are now ready for the next step, I should be getting the rest of my wood this week so I can start on the columns and paneled sides.