I have not discussed how to get the beveled sides of a large panel in the absence of a sliding table on the table saw. Paul in California caught this, and asked me how I did it. I can summarize it as follows: I cut close to the layout lines on the band saw, and sneaked up on the final dimensions using hand tools — rasps and a float — prior to cutting the dovetail joinery.
You don’t have a large band saw? No problem! Use a jig saw.
No jig saw? Use a hand saw.
Just do it.
The hand tools accomplished what no other tool in the shop could do for me. The rasps and the float allowed me to sneak up on the final panel dimensions prior to cutting the dovetail joinery. In this first photo I am using a rasp to get one of the angled and straight edges not only perfectly flat, but also exactly to the layout lines (that is not rust on the rasp, but fine black walnut dust):
I used the rounded part of the rasp to shape the curves on the sides of the cradle:
Although the rasps leave a smooth surface, it is not good enough. I used a float to leave a finished surface on the edges:
This is what the float looks like – it cuts very thin shavings, and behaves very much like a hand plane set for an extra light cut:
In this final photo I show one of the straight panel edges just about ready for the joinery — the surface is smooth in all but a few areas, and a few more passes with the float are all that is needed to call this part of the job done:
It helps to have some hand tools to do a job when do don’t have a suitable power tool in the shop. Over the years I have gathered a basic set of these, to help me out in a pinch. And the price was right, as I have found them in garage sales and auctions. I know you can find them, too; then you will be prepared to do a job you did not suspect you could!