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I pinned the four morrise-and-tenon joints at each end of the top with short sec-t ions of -in.-dia ion el. dm me then home with a piece of brass rod see the center photo on p. 90 . Then I tapered one end of each of the .-in.-sq. ebony plugs to ease their entry into the squared holes m the breadboard ends. I hammered these home, stopping when 1 could hear that thev were fully seated see the far right photo on p. 90 .

This sideboard called for a soft, rounded look. so I domed the plugs using a chisel and sandpaper. A scrap of plastic laminate proven led damage to the breadboard ends as I pared down rbe ebony plugs to within in. of the surface. I finished doming the plugs with 180-grit sandpaper, stopping when 1 could run mv finger over a plug without catching an edge.

I attached the top to the carcase with 20 figure-eight clips. I used a -rn.-dia. straight bit in a plunge router to cut the recesses in the top rails for the clips. Because the figure-eights can pivot, the top is free to expand and contract.

A low back rail doesn t overwhelm the case I had originally design» d thi back rail as a 5-in.-high plate rail with cutouts simi-I ir to those in tli. sirctchi something told me that such a tall back rail wasn't quite right. So I started mocking up

! possibilities tin cardboard ising a m nk< ■ to indu ite inlai I an t a rail just I : in. high i d ml ud \ ■ ips of ebonv. The effect is lighter and more graceful than what 1 had intended.

I routed -in.-wide grooves in the back rail tor the inl.n. using support pieces on either side of the rail to keep the router base steady. To fit the inlay, I planed the ebony to thickness, sanded one end round to fit and then cut the other end close to length. I snuck up on a lit In sanding a little off the other end, checking and repeating until it just fit the groove. Once I'd glued the ebonv in place. I domed its top t mitch the plugs in the top and elsewhere on the sideboard.

To attach the back rail. 1 glued, screwed and plugged brackets to it from behind, n >ichine m to lit wound ioverh uig ■ the top see the drawing on p. 89 . The brackets are screwed to the back of the carcase. To ensure accuracy, I attached the brackets with the back rail in place.

Handles Are Designed after the piece is built

I never design handles for a piece of fiarni-ture until it's built. It's impossible to know what will look right until then. I started

Pinned joints

GLUE ONLY THE CENTER. The center two mortise-and-tenon joints are glued. The other two are pinned through elongated holes but assemble-without glue so the top can move with seasonal changes in humidity.

JOINTS ARE PINNED AND THEN PLUGGED. Tenons in the ends of the top are pinned in place with short sections of #*-in.-dia. dowel. The author uses a piece of brass rod to set the pins before adding the ebony plugs.

Sideboard Pulls and Handles

Both pulls and handles are made of mahogany with ebony inlay. The ebony is pared down and gently rounded until it pr( of the mahogany.

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