MAHOGANY FEDERAL SIDEBOARD
An up-close look at many of the processes required to create this masterpiece.
SHOP OWNER: Thomas S. Stockton
LOCATION: Montgonery Creek, CA
This project was initiated when a couple from the Washington, DC area saw my work at Dovetail Collection in Healdsburg, CA. They liked a similar piece in the gallery that wasn't the correct size for the room in which it was to go. The gallery owner then showed the clients my portfolio and they saw a similar piece I had previously built. I worked with the gallery to modify the size and detailing from the original. The clients also wanted a piece that had beautiful figure but didn't want veneer that was too overpowering. The overall goal of the project was to make a piece of furniture of the highest quality that would be in the family for many generations to come.
Here you see the backside of the doors and drawer fronts laid-up and taped on the front side. These are ready to be glued down. The inlay is added later, after veneering.
The curved drawer fronts are in the vacuum press. The door fronts are done in the same manner. Making the door and drawer fronts are a multi-step process. First the core is made and pressed out of bending ply, and the edge banding is the applied and trimmed. The parts then go back in the press to have the veneers glued on. The next step is to test fit the door to the cabinet opening and get it fairly close. I then rout the groove for the inlay. Since the inlay on the doors sits proud of the surface, the front side needs to be finish sanded before the inlay is glued in.
This shot shows the edge banding being glued on two drawer fronts.
The top is another multi-step item. First the core is made, and then the veneers are cut and trimmed to fit the shape. Everything then goes in the press to be glued down. After it leaves the press, everything is trimmed and vertical veneer is applied to the edge. After this, the groove for the inlay is routed and the inlay is set in the groove and the top is sanded.
In this shot, all the fronts are being test fitted after coming out of the press. The grooves for the inlay havenít been cut yet.
This detail shot shows the bracelets around the feet of the buffet.
Dry fitting ensures everything fits the way it should.
Doors, drawers, and top ready for finish.
The materials I used on this sideboard are African and Honduras mahogany, both solid wood and veneers, and wenge. The finish is a wiped on varnish - oil mixture.
This is the finished product ready to be shipped cross-country. My photographer, Stephen Kirkish, took the fine finished shots of this project for me.
. . . Thomas Stockton