If you can make a picture frame, you can make this!
Mitered maple frame accented with walnut keys and LED strip lighting with remote control. Sure it's a little modern, but you can change it easily to suit your needs.
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Step 1: Design
Sit down with yourself and come up with a design you like. Argue if you must...
Step 2: Milling Stock
The material I started with was a 4/4 piece of maple that was 52 inches in length. I ripped it on the table saw down to 3inches wide.
After ripping the board to width, you simply need to cut the 45* angles. There are may tools in the workshop to accomplish this but I'm comfortable making these cuts on the table saw, with my 45* sled.
Besides the angle of the miter, the only other crucial part of this joint is the length of the stock.
Obviously a square requires 4 equal sides, but honestly as long as the 2 opposite sides are equal the eye will not be able to tell the difference. That is to say, if you cut one short, no need to fix all three. Just adjust one and go from there.
Step 4: Glue Up
If you've got equal lengths and 45* miters this should go together well. If not, recheck your setup, and fix the trouble sides. There is a reason miters make people crazy. They can be a little fussy...
Step 5: Splines or Dowel Pins
This joint is probably strong enough, given it's use, but adding splined keys or dowels to the corners will not only add strength but an interesting look as well.
I use a spline cutting jig for this, that just rides on the table saw fence.
Step 6: Mistakes
If you want to see a grown man cry then you should have stopped by when I realized after the glue up that I forgot to cut a 1/2 groove for my LED strip light. DO NOT DO THIS. It was a dumb idea, and I ended up not hurting myself....
Step 7: The LED Circut
I love LED strips. You measure to length, cut with scissors and attach the 12v power clip.
I added a $5 remote and horsed around with it for 20 minutes...
If you want a complete list off all the bit I used here is my Amazon Affiliate link: http://astore.amazon.com/shotim0a-20
Step 8: Together
I painted the inside of my frame Cotton Fluff. You can pick any color you like, as long as it sounds better than mine... Then simply drill a hole for the power plug, removed the paper from the LED self adhering strip and press it into the groove. Test with remote and waste another 20 minutes...
Step 9: Finish
I added two coats of wipe on poly and called it complete. It is now in my house lighting up my beside...