Greene inspired Night Stand #13: Reversing course - a Design decision

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Blog entry by ChicoWoodnut posted 06-10-2008 04:12 AM 1895 reads 1 time favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 12: Dust panel solution Part 13 of Greene inspired Night Stand series Part 14: More on the fly design work. I'm happy - more pics too »

While making doors and sanding, I have been thinking about what to do with the bottoms of the legs for this project. I didn’t really think about it too much while I was doing the SU model. I thought I would leave that part of the detail to the building phase. Well, yesterday I thought I would try cutting an indent detail like on the Blacker Chair Legs. Here is an example of them in this beautiful execution by Darrell Peart. So I spent the better part of an hour making a jig yesterday evening and thinking about coming home and cutting them all day at work today (while the glue dried).

Well when I got home I went out to the shop and cut one in a piece of MDF scrap and set it up along side the leg.

Then I sat down fo a minute and looked at it and decided it just doesn’t look right. I don’t like the way the indent intrudes on the rails. They are just too low on this piece for that detail. I tried re-arranging the jig cutting the indent so it is closer to the floor. Still no go. There just isn’t enough room between the floor and the rails. So instead of trying to cram too many details into this piece, I think I’ll just round/taper the bottoms of the legs so they flow to an end and be satisfied with that.

Now I am beginning to wonder if ebony plugs will overwelm the design. If I do go ahead with them, they will definitely be very small and unobtrusive ~1/4”. I really like the lines of this piece and the mahogany grain is beautiful. I don’t want to ruin it with too much detail. There is already a lot going on with all the curves and offset panels.

Here is a shot with the doors sitting loosely in place. I only need to cut hinge mortices for the Brusso knife hinges and I will be ready for a glue up.

Off to the shop, I have some more sanding to do.

-- Scott - Chico California

13 comments so far

View Napaman's profile


5526 posts in 4104 days

#1 posted 06-10-2008 05:16 AM

wow…that chair on the link is insane!!! beautiful…I can see why the “indent” is attractive and something you would try…

before i read that you are thinkning of rounding/taper I was thinking slight taper…but once again i agree the leg is very short between the end of the case and the floor…thus its hard to do it…I think the idea of the test piece was a good idea…it really helps…to see…

this is my first look at your blog…IN TWO DAYS i will have a wee more time…and will try to check it out…this is a nice project so far…


-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View abie's profile


875 posts in 3798 days

#2 posted 06-10-2008 06:51 AM

I like the indents but would place them closer to the floor and also round the leg bottoms like darrel has done.
only my opinion
looks nice so far.

-- Bruce. a mind is like a book it is only useful when open.

View Topapilot's profile


172 posts in 3867 days

#3 posted 06-10-2008 07:00 AM

Your design choices have been spot on so far; trust yourself and move forward!

View Taigert's profile


593 posts in 3867 days

#4 posted 06-10-2008 01:19 PM

I think it looks great just the way it is, like you said there is already a lot going on, you don’t want to detract from what you already have, it’s beautiful as is.

-- Taigert - Milan, IN

View GMman's profile


3902 posts in 3724 days

#5 posted 06-10-2008 01:39 PM

If you have an idea or a choice you always go with your first choice and you cannot go wrong

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 3771 days

#6 posted 06-10-2008 01:59 PM

Very nice detail. Those are the things that make the difference. Looking forward to the completion. They’re coming along nicely.

View stanley2's profile


344 posts in 3822 days

#7 posted 06-10-2008 03:11 PM

Chico – I agree the indent is not quite right with the rails so low. How about the Stickley taper on the inside faces of the legs? They might not appear stubby if the angle is shallow. As for the ebony plugs, my feeling is that the Halls used too many, especially in the chairs. I might change my mind when I see them up close and personal this October when we attend the Craftsman weekend. I don’t think every tenon has to have an ebony plug. After all the Halls put them any where they wanted. Keep up the nice work,

-- Phil in British Columbia

View Mark Mazzo's profile

Mark Mazzo

352 posts in 3939 days

#8 posted 06-10-2008 07:48 PM


The design is looking very nice so far.

I too think that the indents may be better lower on the leg. Try cutting your MDF sample so that the indent starts 1/2” to 3/4” from the bottom of the leg and see what you think. When I see them on G&G pieces with longer legs they make it look like a tapered leg even though the leg may be square – very elegant. I’m sure you will know what you like when you see it!

As for the Ebony plugs, I think your approach to prototype the design elements before committing to them is the best approach. I would also do it for the plugs. Remember that the Hall Bro’s did not always use them structurally. They did them mainly for aestetics.

Nice work.

-- Mark, Webster New York, Visit my website at

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4126 days

#9 posted 06-10-2008 07:52 PM

It has been a lot of fun watching you work through the design and details of this project. Your work is nice and tight.

I plan on some Greene and Greene inspired pieces in the future. I love the style.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View Karson's profile


35125 posts in 4427 days

#10 posted 06-11-2008 01:39 AM

Great looking night stand. Looking forward to the completion.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View Dorje's profile


1763 posts in 4024 days

#11 posted 06-12-2008 01:14 AM

A feature like the indent detail can always be applied down the line in the future…

Your making good progress with this…great doors! I don’t recall seeing a post on the build of them! ;)

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

View ChicoWoodnut's profile


904 posts in 3842 days

#12 posted 06-12-2008 06:32 AM

Thanks for the interest guys. I really appreciate the feedback. I decided to make the indents and am blogging them in the next installment.

Dorje, Sorry I missed that one. They are really just panels on hinges you know ^O^. I do have some pictures and I’ll add them when I blog the knife hinge placement. I have never used knife hinges so it should be another adventure.

-- Scott - Chico California

View Dorje's profile


1763 posts in 4024 days

#13 posted 06-12-2008 07:33 PM

Sounds like a plan -

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

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