Step 10: Installing the Spindles

Installing the spindles is pretty quick - it kind of reminded me of weaving for some reason.  Anyway, the spindles are tilted into the dados and stood up (with a bit of effort) and the filler blocks are set between them in the top and bottom rails.  I placed all of the filler blocks on their sides at first because I wanted to get the spindles and filler blocks in place, then measure the slop at both ends so I could custom-cut filler blocks for the ends that would center all of the spindles in the frame.  Once I had the end blocks figured out, I glued in the filler blocks.  Again, I did my own thing with the filler blocks: first, I slightly tapered them so that they would "wedge" into the dados tightly and hold themselves in place while the glue dried (maybe 2 degrees of draft), secondly, I made them slightly taller than the depth of the dado so that they would sit up proud and form an additional shadow line.  I rounded the top edges of the stock pieces to give this a more finished look.

The one "trick" here is the installation of the last spindle in the row.  If you try to just install it as you have the others, you won't get them into the frame.  The way to do it is to install the last 5 spindles into the dado without spacers, slide them toward the inside, tilt in the last spindle, then slide the 5 spindles back apart and install their spacers.