So the columns, the panels and the base frame are done. I needed something in the middle of the base though, and since these were scraps the frame was an arbitrary thickness, something like .584547666832243 inches I think. Roughly. Regardless, there is no sheet material known to man that thickness, whatever it is.
I had some 3/16 luan around, which would do fine once I put some support under it. New workbench tool, for those times when you need perfectly flat: 1/4" thick pane of tempered glass, complete with rounded sanded edges. I bought an old stereo cabinet (circa 1986) off of Craigslist for $5, took out this top piece and the door pane (twice that long) and threw the rest away.
Used the frame to mark the luan and got a press fit. Not bad on the first try.
Once it was in place I cut some more oak strips to the thickness I needed to bring the luan flush with the top edge of the base frame (or so I thought) and glued them into a rabbet I cut around the inside.
OOPS! Yes, again. Turns out they were a hair too thin and the luan sat 1/16 or so below the edge of the frame. Yay, fix it time again. I had a roll of self-adhesive oak veneer banding in one of my drawers from a previous project so I got to use a tool seldom used in modding:
I cut strips of the banding for each support I had made and glued them in place with the iron, then put the luan back. Perfect fit!
I don't have any clamps big enough for that job so I used a gravity clamp (also known as putting something heavy on it).
So the base is done. I also got the top done, in a more traditional method. When I made the four frame pieces I cut a groove on the inside for the luan and glued it all in place at once. Beveled the top and bottom edges plus the corners so it matched the base frame:
Top done. Almost. I'd been trying to figure out how to attach the top to the box in the most attractive way. I didn't want any fasteners breaking up the look of the wood. Magnets to the rescue again. Bigger ones.
Drilled a flat-bottom hole in each corner of the underside of the top and another in the top of each column and glued some 1/2" magnets in place. Wow, it worked better than I could have thought. I could probably toss the lid onto it from five feet away and it would end up perfectly in place. I can pick up the whole box holding just the edges of the top.
And here it all is together (minus the panel I'm waiting for the acrylic to fix, pay no attention to that please).
Coming together!! I have a new CPU cooler on order, my Thor's Hammer is very cool but not pretty enough for this since it will be wide out in the open. Also got some individually-sleeved power extensions for the motherboard and VGA power (since they will also be wide out in the open) and some black 90-degree SATA cables.
Still have to cut the front panel for the DVD and the rear panel for the PSU, cut the hole in the top for air flow and power cords, mount the motherboard standoffs, sand and stain, and build the expansion card support and DVD cover.
'I will accept any rules that you feel necessary to your freedom. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.' - Robert Heinlein