I finished fine tuning and fitting all the slats for the sides this morning. Its funny, I spent all that time fitting them in nice and snug and then lining them all up to get the sides dry fit and assembled and now I have to take it all apart to finish sanding, roundover, and possibly finish the slats. I haven't decided on what, if any, parts I'm going to prefinish before assembly. For that matter I haven't even decided what I'm going to use for a finish. Maybe a couple thinned coats of shellac and then varnish? This will be my first project in cherry so I'm open to suggestions.
Once I got both sides fit together I couldn't resist putting them in place. Nothing is fastened yet, it's just held with a couple of clamps but it was still exciting to see. My wife was ecstatic to see some progress that moved towards finished form.
I also spent some time working on the mortises on the legs that will fit into the feet. I realized I should have cut them to thickness before I cut the curves because now I don't have a square surface to register on the miter fence. It's not a really big deal, just going to take a little more setup to get things squared up and held tight. Some of the next steps on the basket assembly will include fine tuning the joinery and trimming any proud ends, putting a radius on the corners of the end panel frames, fastening the sides to the ends, and putting a slight roundover on all the edges. I'll also need to get the legs and feet put together and build the lower stretcher. A couple more good sessions on this baby and I'll be on to finish sanding.