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your inlay design.

the knife marks freehand using a Dremel Moto-tool fitted with a router base and a small bit. A small router or a small chisel will work. too.

1 make the cut slightly shallower than the thickness of the inlay, which should be around lu, in. thick. Then I clean up any remaining waste to the incised lines with small chisels and caning t<x)ls.

To make the inlay, I first use rub ber cement to glue the inlay material between layers of thin model-maker's plywood (available at craft stores). This "sandwich" gives the inlay stability for cutting to shape. Then, with a soft pencil on thin tracing paper, I make a paper rubbing of the cavities that I've cut. I glue this paper to the top of the "sandwich" with white glue, and to keep the stack from creeping, I bind the outer edges with veneer tape.

1 use a jeweler's saw (a coping saw will work, too) and a shop-made "bird's mouth" to cut out the design. (See photo.) Alter I cut out the design. I use files and emery boards to bevel the edges slightly. Then I carefully remove the plywood with a thin palette knife (available at art supply-stores) dipped in acetone.

To install the inlay, I spread glue into the cavity and clamp the inlay into place using waxed paper and wood cauls. When the glue has dried, I level the design with a scraper and light sanding.—CIA

a block plane to fit the grooves in the cabinet. I planed it for a slightly loose fit in the grooves—any binding would make it difficult to access the secret drawer.

Next, I made the sliding dovetail key (see Fig. 1) from a scrap of walnut. 1 fit the key to the dovetailed recess in the cabinet's bottom, and then I used a gouge to carve a depression for a finger pull in the key's top surface. With the back in place, I marked the mortise location for the key, and then 1 chiseled the mortise in the back, being carcful not to go through the poplar.

With the major construction complete, I was ready to install the hardware. (See Sources.) I hand-planed the door to fit the opening in the cabinet, chiseled mortises for the hinges and lock, installed the lock and hung the door. Then I cut the mortise in the side for the lock and drilled for the escutcheon pins and the drawer knobs.

The knobs arc graduated in size to give a balanced look to the bank of drawers. When buying your knobs, make sure they don't project more than \ in. or they'll interfere with the door as it closes.

The pull for the secret drawer is a simple loop of leather lacing pulled through a carved hole in the drawer front and knotted in the back.

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