Building an Arts and Crafts-style Sideboard, Part I
Start with a solid, carefully constructed carcase
Synopsis: This is the first of three articles in which Gary Rogowski builds an Arts-and-Crafts sideboard. Rogowski designed the piece to look like a Greene and Greene piece, but with a more contemporary and less ornate feel. This challenging sideboard has many pieces, joints, and cuts, so the key to successful completion is breaking the project into manageable sections, then splicing them together. Rogowski explains how planning, drawings, and design are important to do first, and then he talks about how to mill your stock. Then construction starts. You begin with the ends, connect them with the rails and stretchers, and divide the carcase for doors and drawers. Then you make and fit the back. Multiple detailed project plans, step-by-step photographs, and side explanations accompany the article. And Rogowski includes information on making a jig for centering grooves and dovetails.
When I was asked to build a sideboard that had a Greene and Greene feel to it, I decided to use an original piece as a springboard for my own interpretation. But I wanted to do more than just copy something designed in the early 1900s by these famous brothers.
I tried to soak up as much visual information on the style as I could. I pored over designs of the Greene brothers and their contemporaries. Then I closed all the books and sat down at the drawing board. What I came up with is more contemporary and less ornate than the Greenes’ work (see the photo above). This sideboard, made of Honduras mahogany, had to work as a backdrop for my inlay work as well as have the overall grace of a Greene and Greene piece. I didn’t want it to dominate a room.
It’s mind-boggling how many pieces, joints and cuts are in this sideboard. The key…