I am really glad that I found the table saw the other day. That made cutting the boards for the back of the shadow box much easier. I started to set up the sides with a 1/4 inch dado to hold the slats that will make up the back. I used a marking gauge to cut a line on either side of the dado to ensure that I didn’t get any tear out when I used my Stanley router plane. The router plane worked really well for this task. I just took a small amount of material each time and lowered the blade about 1/32-1/16 inch after each pass.
With the grooves cut, it was time to move onto gluing the boards together. I was not really looking forward to this because I wasn’t sure of the best way to clamp the boards to ensure a good bond. At the end of the day I suppose it doesn’t have to be the strongest bond because the frame will hold it together. The thought of not gluing it at all and just letting the lap joints and frame hold the boards together crossed my mind, but in the end I decided to use a little glue as well. A nice piece of oak plywood would have been ideal, but I don’t have that option out here. I do like the way the boards look, it was just more work than I originally anticipated. I am open to suggestions on how to make the back panel for next time. The picture below shows the back panel installed. Now it is time to start sanding in preparation for the finish to go on.