Step 1: Assemble and glue
Step 2: Mass production
Finally I used a chop saw to separate the individual cleats.
Step 3: Finishing
At this point I have about ten minutes of actual elapsed time invested. Wood was scrap and the glue is minimal. Finishing is where the time is spent. I am not a perfectionist, but these steps can only be done once. Take your time and do it right! I sanded each of the cut edges. I used a belt sander sitting upside down, like a bench sander. Each edge was relieved to give it a rounded edge. Any stray splinters were sanded and/or removed. Final sanding is by hand. Make sure everything is smooth to the touch. A little extra time here is warranted. It will save your lines (ropes) later. I got a gallon of wood sealer at Habitat for Humanity years ago for $3. I use it liberally before painting or varnishing. It is thin and really soaks into the wood. This will make parts like these last much longer. (The picture is before sanding). I have applied one coat now. A light sanding and another coat before spar varnish is applied.
Step 4: Attachment
I am not sure exactly where the cleats are going yet. They will probably be screwed in from the underside. Drill a hole through the deck larger than the threads of a stainless steel screw. Drill a hole the size of the body of the screw (i.e. not including threads) into the cleat. That way the screw doesn't distort the deck, but does bite into the cleat. An alternative is a screw through the top of the cleat. Here the cleat hole is large and the deck hole is small. In this case I would drill a final 3/8 " hole in the top of the cleat to recess the screw. Fill this hole with a decorative plug glued in place. Use sealer on the cleat before gluing the plug. This will keep glue from staining the cleat. Cut the plug flush, sand, seal. A little time in finish work will give you a result that will make you proud. I hate it when I have to say "That was a rush job, I should have ...".
I made a few larger ones that will be used on my skinny boat (see that instructable). This time I drilled a hole through the top and through the leg when I glued them up. A carriage bolt in each one functioned as a clamp while the glue dried. It will be part of the mounting when they are attached to the boat.