Recommended resources: Federal Side Table
Check out our collection of articles specifically picked to help with this project.
With its sweeping facade, this Federal sideboard is an ambitious project. The doors and drawers are curved and veneered with mahogany. The six legs—two rear corner, two front corner, and two front center—are all shaped to match the front so the serpentine curve is smooth and uninterrupted. The legs are adorned with one of the signature items of Federal-style furniture—bellflowers. Take the time to practice on each of these tricky parts and your final result will be well worth the effort.
Learn to set stringing into the face of a table leg using Steve Latta’s expertise as a guide. He demonstrates how to lay out the design on the leg, cut the grooves for the stringing, slice, cut, and thickness the stringing, and finally, glue it into the grooves. Included are two options for managing the intersections between pieces of stringing—the run-by joint and the miter joint.
Scratch stocks are small and simple tools but they can make a world of difference in your furniture. With just a shopmade scratch stock and a bit of ingenuity, you can add a custom edge detail to your furniture and go way beyond what is possible using router bits. There’s really no limit to the profiles you can create. The two Garrett Hack uses most often are for beading an edge and excavating for string inlay.