Greene inspired Night Stand #21: Ball Catches, Trim parts and making the top

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Blog entry by ChicoWoodnut posted 12-01-2008 05:39 AM 4752 reads 4 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 20: Setting Ebony Plugs Part 21 of Greene inspired Night Stand series Part 22: Top finished and Mounting Drawer Runners and Kickers »

Well this project is taking WAY longer than I had anticipated but I am still enjoying it.

I finished installing all 90 some odd plugs and installed some Brusso ball catches to the tops of the doors. This was making me nervous as I have not used them before. I bought brad point bits from LV so I could drill them accurately. That took two weeks of waiting. They turned out nicely though and I really like the way they click into place.

I made a decorative detail for the step downs on the back and sides. It carries the eye down to the panel. This was done by running a 1/8” roundover on the edge of a 1/2” board and then ripping the part off with a band saw. The back was then cleaned up with a hand plane to remove the saw marks and the part was trimmed carefuly with a chisel to fit the panel.

Here is one of the sides with the parts installed. I also applied them to the back.

Next I started making the top.

Here is a blowup of the top.

I jointed and glued up some 3/4” boards for the core. Then I milled some 2 1/2” wide stock for the breadboard ends. The breadboard ends step down 1/8” proud of the core on the ends and stand a little less than that thicker than the core. I used a 3/8” slot cutting bit to make a slot in the end of the core and in the breadboard end. All of the edges of the core and breadboard ends are rounded over with a 1/8” roundover bit except at the bottom where the core meets the breadboard. I also milled loose tenons for the slots. The grain on the tenons goes the same direction as the core for expansion.

I trimmed the tenons with my #4 for a nice slip fit.

And glued them into the core slot.

Here it is dry fit.

I used the hollow chisel mortiser and a 3/8” bit to cut the slots in the breadboard end for the plugs and screws.

And pre-drilled the holes for the screws with a 1/8” brad point bit.

Then I cauled and glued it all up. I only put glue on about 3” of the center so the core can expand.

I used the same slot cutting bit setup to cut the slot for the ebony spline. Since the breadboard ends are thicker than the core, the router needs to be registered on the bottom of the assembly.

Next I used a piece of MDF with the same stepdown as the top to make a cutout so I could get the shape for the ebony splines. I made a test piece from scrap.

Here it is in the slot.

I milled up some ebony for the splines and started shaping them. That’s all I could get done. I hope to complete the tops next weekend. After that there is only.

  1. Fastening the tops
  2. Making the handles for the doors and drawers
  3. Finishing

-- Scott - Chico California

17 comments so far

View Napaman's profile


5526 posts in 4250 days

#1 posted 12-01-2008 05:50 AM

your not done yet??? Just kidding…looking good…

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View Emeralds's profile


143 posts in 3736 days

#2 posted 12-01-2008 05:53 AM

G&G style pieces are always challenging, fun and rewarding when they’re done. The details are everything and you seem to have them well covered. Beautiful work, can’t wait to see the finished piece. Thanks for sharing.

-- JMP

View stanley2's profile


346 posts in 3969 days

#3 posted 12-01-2008 06:02 AM

Scott – good report. I’m doing the same drill but didn’t take photos – glad you did. I’m a little nervous about trimming the splines in place thanks to Darrell’s comment in his book about the end grain being exposed when trimming with the router.

-- Phil in British Columbia

View ChicoWoodnut's profile


904 posts in 3989 days

#4 posted 12-01-2008 06:12 AM

Matt – I can’t pay attention to shop work when those SN guys keep coming up with a new seasonal all the time.

JMP – Thanks for the encouragement. I can see the finish line.

Phil – I concur. What I didn’t say is that I stopped working in the shop today because I actually tried to template rout a spline using the test piece as the pattern. That was a big mistake! I use high quality Whiteside bits and it started chattering immediately. Then the ebony split and a piece went flying across the room. I never did find it. It pissed me off so much I decided to stop for the day ;) Now I’ll be thinking about what to try next. After that I am really nervous about routing those things in place too. No mistakes allowed after the glue sets up (although I suppose you could cut them out again with the slot cutter).

-- Scott - Chico California

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10299 posts in 4226 days

#5 posted 12-01-2008 06:37 AM

Scott, I sure like the way you work!

No RUSH, no pain!

It’s worth every bit of delay in order to think things out now & then. You do it SO WELL!

Thank you for your update!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View abie's profile


877 posts in 3944 days

#6 posted 12-01-2008 07:05 AM

Scott :
Nice work.. time and patience is a virtue and not to be squandered. I have still some ebony plugs to place in my desk and Gamble entry table..
Bruce.. ex from Chico

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

View gizmodyne's profile


1780 posts in 4263 days

#7 posted 12-01-2008 07:52 AM

Looking good. Are you following techniques from the Peart book?

-- -John "Do I have to keep typing a smiley? Just assume it's a joke."

View Grant Davis's profile

Grant Davis

786 posts in 4082 days

#8 posted 12-01-2008 03:17 PM

Scott, that is a very nice looking piece.

-- Grant...."GO BUCKEYES"

View Patrick Jaromin's profile

Patrick Jaromin

406 posts in 4006 days

#9 posted 12-01-2008 04:25 PM

Looking good…thanks for the detail pics.

-- Patrick, Chicago, IL

View bfd's profile


502 posts in 3980 days

#10 posted 12-01-2008 08:40 PM


Was just wondering the other day how you were coming on these. Looks likes patience is paying off. These night stands are just incredible. Your attention to detail is first rate and your craftmanship is effident everywhere you look in the details. Keep it up and cannot wait to see these when they are finished.

View blackcherry's profile


3338 posts in 3996 days

#11 posted 12-02-2008 04:18 PM

Scott thanks for the post and the inspiration to take on a Greene & Greene project in the near future. I also found in my studies of these piece a very orginal finish if your interested email me and I send it on….thank again Blkcherry

View danr's profile


154 posts in 3358 days

#12 posted 09-06-2009 05:12 AM


I just found your project and it is exactly what I have been looking for regarding the making of the top. I really appreciate it. I have one question on how you constructed the top. How did you attatch the ebony splines that go on the edge between the core and the the bread-board ends? I have never worked with ebony before.


View a1Jim's profile


117273 posts in 3750 days

#13 posted 09-06-2009 05:17 AM

Nice work enjoyed your blog.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Casper's profile


45 posts in 3403 days

#14 posted 09-18-2009 05:25 PM


Just fantastic… Question for you regarding your breadboard ends. How did you address wood movement with respect to your screw holes? Did you elongate them? And of course, do you have pics? I wanted to use breadboard ends in my next project and like your approach, I was just curious about the screw holes.

Thank you,

View ChicoWoodnut's profile


904 posts in 3989 days

#15 posted 09-19-2009 04:04 PM

Thanks Casper,

The holes are not elongated but they are oversized on the breadboard end. The screws have washers so they won’t pull through the oversized holes. Of course the spline has a gap where the screws pass through. I glued about three inches in the center and left the ends to float. That way the end will stay centered. These three items allow the field to move without issues while keeping the end centered.

BTW, I have made breadboard ends a couple of different ways. This is the first time I have used screws. the last time I pinned them through with dowels. That keeps the connector hidden if you arent using splines (as in a greene and greene detail).


-- Scott - Chico California

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