Building an Arts and Crafts Sideboard, Part III
Ebony and carved yellow heart inlay: crowning touches for a handsome case
Synopsis: The third in a series on how to build a sideboard, this article focuses on details that make your furniture stand out. Gary Rogowski explains how to make the top, back rail, drawer pulls and door handles, and the inlay across the front. The top has breadboard ends so it stays flat but allows seasonal movement. A detailed project plan shows how the top and back rail fit onto the piece, and a side series of photos show how the top is pinned and plugged to the piece. Rogowski designed the handles after the piece was completed; another side explanation shows their dimensions and explains how to attach them. The inlay design was inspired by ginkgo leaves; Rogowski describes how he captured their movement to begin carving them. The recess was routed and refined with carving tools.
Details in a handmade piece of furniture are what make it sing, and where a furnituremaker can really have fun. In some ways, this mahogany sideboard looks as if it could have been designed by Charles and Henry Greene in the early 1900s. I relied on the inlay of ebony and carved yellow heart to make this design my own.
Articles in the last two issues of Fine Woodworking have covered construction of the carcase, the web frames, which support the drawers, and the doors. What’s left is the top, back rail, drawer pulls and door handles, and, finally, the inlay across the front of the case. Although each of these remaining parts gave me some chance to experiment with design, I especially looked forward to the carved inlay that would simulate ginkgo leaves blowing across the face of the finished sideboard.
A breadboard top stays flat but allows seasonal movement
To keep the top flat, I used breadboard ends, which…