Step 2: Assemble the Boxes.

assembling the parts for a columned room divider
Photo: Ryan Benyi
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For each box, the top and bottom capture the sides. Lay the bottom piece on a workbench, run a bead of construction adhesive along the edge of one side piece, then clamp it upright to form an L with the bottom. Repeat on the other end. Tip the assembly so that you can countersink pilot holes for 1½-inch MDF screws through the bottom and into the edges of the sides. Drive the screws and remove the clamps. Set the assembly upright. Apply construction adhesive to the top edges of the sides, and set the top in place. Clamp it down at each side, countersink pilot holes, and screw it in place, as shown.
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    Tools List

    • 100-foot tape measure
      Tape measure
    • straightedge guide
      Straightedge
    • bar clamp
      Clamps
    • circular saw
      Circular saw
    • caulk gun
      Caulk gun
    • drill
      Drill/driver
    • Countersink bit
      Countersink bit
    • four-foot level
      4-foot level
    • pneumatic brad nailer
      Pneumatic brad nailer and air compressor
    • combination square
      Combination square
    • miter saw
      Miter saw

    Shopping List

    ¾-inch medium-density fiberboard (MDF)
    Get three 4-by-8-foot sheets for an 8½-foot ceiling.

    2x8 lumber to build the base

    Shims

    Solid crown molding to trim the capital and the cabinet top

    Baseboard molding

    ½-inch and ¾-inch quarter-round molding
    for the base cap and shoe molding

    1½-inch MDF screws to assemble the boxes

    2½-inch deck screws to install the base and the blocking

    1¼-inch brad nails

    Construction adhesive

    Wood filler and paintable caulk

    Primer and paint