En­hance your projects with easy-to-carve ac­cents


Com­bine a full-size pat­tern, an in­ex­pen­sive chip-carv­ing knife [Sources], and a lit­tle pa­tience to give your project a cus­tom touch. When carv­ing hard­wood, sneak up to the pat­tern line, mak­ing re­peat cuts as shown. In soft­wood, make one cut to the pat­tern line on each side of cen­ter.

The 1∕8" groove, dado, and rab­bets in the rail (O) cre­ate the ap­pear­ance of drawer fronts.

Add the leg assem­bly

1 Cut parts O and P and form the mor­tises and tenons [Draw­ings 3 and 3a]. Rout the bead, groove, cen­tered dado [Photo B], and rab­bets in the rail, and drill the han­dle [Sources] holes.

2 Mark V-groove stop lines on the legs (P) [Drawing 3] and rout the grooves [Photo C]. 3 Fin­ish-sand the rail and legs and glue and clamp the assem­bly. Cut the plinths and cap­i­tals (Q) and rout the round-overs [Drawing 3]. If you wish, carve the cap­i­tals [Skill Builder, page 29]. Glue the plinths and cap­i­tals to the legs.

4 Cut the slide blocks (R) and leg blocks (S). Glue and screw the leg blocks to the slide blocks, and then glue and screw the leg blocks to the legs, flush at the top [Draw­ings 3 and 3b].

5 At­tach the ta­ble slides [Sources] to the case [Ex­ploded View, Photo D], and then to the leg assem­bly [Photo E].

6 Slide the leg assem­bly against the case face frame. Re­trieve the trim (K) and fit it be­tween the legs (P), trim­ming it to leave a 1∕16" gap at both ends. Glue the trim to the face frame [Ex­ploded View].

Build the doors and shelves

1 Cut door parts T–V. Groove the stiles (T) and groove and rab­bet the rails (U) [Drawing 4]. As­sem­ble the doors.

2 Screw each hinge [Sources] to the doors, align­ing the out­side point of the finial with the in­side edge of the rail. Drill holes and in­stall the knobs [Sources]. Mount the doors in the case with even gaps all around. Fas­ten the catches [Sources] to the catch blocks (N) and the strike plates to the doors. 3 Cut the shelves (W) and band­ing (X). Glue the band­ing to the shelves [Ex­ploded View]. Drill shelf-pin holes in the case sides [Drawing 1]. Drill holes in the same lo­ca­tions in the di­vider (F).

Tip! The leaf hinges may have slight in­con­sis­ten­cies. To en­sure suc­cess­ful re­assem­bly, la­bel the hinges with their lo­ca­tions when re­mov­ing them prior to ap­ply­ing fin­ish.

Top it off

1 Cut six 3∕4×12×361∕2" blanks for the fold­ing leaves (Y) and fixed leaves (Z). Ar­range them for best color and grain match. Keep­ing the leaves in order, cut them to fin­ished lengths and mark the lo­ca­tions on mask­ing tape af­fixed to the bot­tom faces.

2 Make the ta­ble-pin drilling jig [Drawing 5]. Drill both edges of the fold­ing leaves (Y) [Drawing 6, Photo F]. Use the same method to drill the in­side edge of each fixed leaf (Z). 3 Po­si­tion all the leaves up­side down on your work­bench. Mark their se­quence (1, 2, 3,…) and ori­en­ta­tion (left, right). At­tach the hinges [Drawing 6, Sources] to the fold­ing leaves (Y) [Photo G].

4 Glue ta­ble pins [Sources] into the holes in the fixed leaf that mounts onto the case. In­stall fig­ure-8 fas­ten­ers in the case coun­ter­bores, cen­ter the leaf on the case with the back edges flush, and fas­ten the leaf to the case [Ex­ploded View].

5 Slide the leg assem­bly against the case, and ap­ply dou­ble-faced tape to the tops of the ta­ble slides. Po­si­tion the re­main­ing fixed leaf against the case leaf, en­gag­ing the case­leaf pins. Firmly press the leaf onto the dou­ble-faced tape. Care­fully slide the leg assem­bly away from the case and screw the leg leaf to the slides.

6 Pull the leg assem­bly all the way out. Glue ta­ble pins into the holes in the front edges of the fold­ing leaves and fit them in place. Re­move any squeeze-out. Af­ter the glue dries, tightly clamp to­gether the leaves, sand the ends and tops flush, and rout the edge pro­file [Ex­ploded View, Drawing 6].

Fin­ish up

1 Re­move all hard­ware and the table­top slides. Mark the fold­ing leaf halves for re­assem­bly. In­spect all parts and as­sem­blies and fin­ish-sand where nec­es­sary. Ap­ply a fin­ish. (We used a wa­ter-based satin polyurethane.)

2 Re­assem­ble the buf­fet and fas­ten the back to the case. Rest the shelves on shelf pins [Sources]. Close the buf­fet and stow the folded leaves in­side the cabi­net. Re­move the old din­ing ta­ble and en­joy the ex­tra space!

side of cen­ter. Make mul­ti­ple con­cen­tric cuts, work­ing from the cen­ter of the carved el­e­ment to the pat­tern line, ro­tat­ing the work­piece as nec­es­sary.

Cross-grain el­e­ments Long-grain el­e­ments Cross-grain el­e­ments are eas­ier to carve cleanly than long-grain el­e­ments. To keep long­grain el­e­ments from splin­ter­ing along the edges, make more small cuts.

Use our pat­tern for a com­plete cus­tom look, or de­sign your own.

Trace the cut-out pat­tern onto the work­piece.

Ro­tate the work­piece and re­peat the cut on the other

Make a cut in­side and par­al­lel to the pat­tern line. Start shal­low, in­crease pres­sure to cut deeper in the mid­dle, and fin­ish shal­low.

Rout the leg grooves, start­ing at the bot­tom with the router against a start block and end­ing at the stop lines.

Rout the cen­ter dado with a 1∕8" straight bit, guid­ing the router with a straight­edge. Use the same setup to rout the end rab­bets and groove near the bot­tom edge.

Screw the ta­ble slides to the cleats (M) flush at the top, and with the slide ends against the back rail (L).

Fas­ten the ta­ble slides to the slide blocks (R) with a sin­gle screw at the top front. Make the space be­tween the stiles (H) and legs (P) equal at top and bot­tom, and drive the re­main­ing screws.

Align the edge of a 3"-wide spacer with the edges of the fold­ing leaves (Y). Po­si­tion the hinge against the spacer with the knuckle cen­tered on the joint be­tween the paired leaves. Screw the hinge in place.

Drill ta­ble-pin holes us­ing a brad-point bit and stop col­lar. Flip the jig to drill the mat­ing fold­ing leaf, al­ways clamp­ing the jig to the top face of the leaf and ori­ent­ing the out­side end of the jig with the out­side end of the leaf.

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