A little bit of work here, a little bit of work there. It is not fun woodworking outdoors in the cold. After a few days of scattered work, the crates are now assembled. I think the make-shift finger joints look quite nice.
Given my choice of material (SPF furring strips), and my low expectations for long-term survival, the crates are assembled with just screws (no glue). Each side of the crate has 6 screws and the hardboard panel is floating in the groove. My daughter had a blast being my assistant, handing me screws whenever I needed them.
Thankfully, the accelerated build schedule meant that most of the boards have stayed as flat as I got it (from skip planing and clamping during panel glue-up). In a few cases, my parallel clamps were put to work closing up the gaps before I pre-drilled and drove the screws. The inside faces are already sanded to 220 grit. Next up, flush trim the finger joints and sand the outside to 220 grit before stain and poly.
Speaking of finish, my wife gave me general guidance for the color she would like to see. I picked up some Rustoleum Ultimate Wood Stain a few days ago and stained one of the cutoffs. Two coats seems to do the trick.
PS: Yes I know that snipe looks horrible.