Fine Woodworking

Photos, except where noted: Michael Pekovich; this page: Scott Phillips

simplified, this approach puts things in familiar terms—everyone knows how to build a box. It becomes a question of how to build the better box.

Historically, sideboards were built using post-and-rail or frame-and-panel constmc-tion, but I prefer an alternative approach, in which the case is a dovetailed box turned on its side. My approach is less familiar, but when you start counting the joints necessaiy to build a frame-and-panel sideboard, you begin to understand the logic of a dovetailed design. With this method, there are fewer joints to cut, and the ones you do cut aren't seen, so there's no need to be overly meticulous.

This constaiction system is based on a few joineiy ailes: If a case part joins another at a corner, dovetail it; if one part meets along another's length, use multiple tenons. Dovetails and tenons are both strong joints that allow for wood movement and resist racking. Because all of the staictural parts of the case have grain ainning in the same direction, the case expands and contracts together Put simply, the case is still just a long dovetailed box with legs.

Sideboards built using this approach may vary in size, line, and style, but they retain a family resemblance based on the constmction system. The mocked-up sideboard shown on these pages is the most basic variation, but it lays a foundation that can be used on more complex designs. Once you understand the constmction system, you can focus on design and build in styles ranging from Federal to Aits and Crafts (see "Details for any style," p. 75).

Basic sideboard design

A sideboard is typically a case piece that's 40 in. tall or taller, a convenient working height for a standing person. The height makes anything displayed on its top more visible because it isn't overpowered by the forest of chairs surrounding a dining-room table. A sideboard is also strongly horizontal because its tall legs hold the mass of the case off the floor and because the case length exceeds the height. The open space below the case keeps the sideboard from

Top is screwed to case from underneath.

Drawer frames are set into, stopped dadoes.

Legs and case ends are made from a single piece of 8/4 stock.

Coarse dovetails hold case together.

Legs are dovetailed into top of case.

Thick case-ends provide a large glue surface for the legs.

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.

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