Discussion and Tutorials for Handcrafted Heirloom Furnishings by David Diaman


Finishing Up Part 2

I am going to pick up where we left off last week which will be installing the locks and hinges. The edge of the door lock is slightly angled. It is very subtle and it would not be hard to miss this and cut your door mortise wrong. This helps to allow for smaller clearance around the door. What this means is you will need to cut a slight bevel on one side of the door. I like to do this with a hand plane but it could be done on a tablesaw. Just remember if you trim too much off you can’t put it back on so be careful.




The lid lock will go in the same basic way. This lock is also angled.



To cut the holes for the keys use the escutcheon to outline the profile needed. Using a drill bit, chisels and carving tools clean out the waste.



Now onto dovetailing all the drawers. Since I have already gone over cutting dovetails I will not do that again but one major difference is the layout of the dovetails. The front gets half blind dovetails and the back gets through dovetails. One thing to make note of in the photos is that the drawer back stops 3/4” from the bottom of the drawer. This allows you to slide the drawer bottom in and allows for expansion and contraction.

Here is a shot of the drawer side for the bottom drawer. The dado is ¼ x ¼. Something else to remember is to clean up the insides of the drawers before you glue up.


Here is a shot of one of the gallery drawers. It is very difficult to see in the photos but the side actually extends about 1/16” below the drawer front. This gives you equal spacing all the way around the drawer front and keeps the front from catching on the lip when going in and out.



For the bottom drawer use a ½” thick panel and bevel the edges so it will slide into the ¼” dados. I like to use a panel raiser to do this but it can be done at the table saw too. Cut two ½” slots the width of your TS blade to drive the nails in. These slots allow the bottom to expand and contract and believe me they will move. When these are assembled glue the front of the drawer into the rabbet in the drawer front and nail the back. Two tips for the nail are to pre-drill and don’t sink the nail. You want the drawer bottom to be able to move.



For the gallery drawers I do not bother with the slot. The nail and drawer bottom are small enough that it will allow for enough movement.


Here is a detail you can add or not. For this I wanted to dress up the gallery a little so I added a 1/8” bead around the door and bottom drawers.



Here is the miter saw setup for cutting the bead if you chose to do it that way. A hand saw and shooting board work just as well.



The last thing you will need for the gallery is the box that goes behind the door and the secret drawers.

For the box build it to the exact size if not a little bigger than the opening. Once it is built use a hand plane to taper the sides front to back making the back smaller. You want this to slide in smoothly but for there to be no visible gap around the front when it is all the way in.


The back is just nailed in place. For the secret drawers they are just three dovetails boxes with the bottoms nailed on also.


Next time we will put everything together and start applying the finish


Back From The Dead


Hi everyone. Sorry I have been MIA for a little while. I can give you a million excuses but it just boils down to I have been too busy with commission work to spend any real time on the blog. I also had a computer issue but have that worked out now. I will once again be updating this regularly. I plan on wrapping up the W&M desk build in short order. I will give you a little teaser on the next project I will be posting. For this one I have 500-600 photos and will probably have at least 150-200 pages of text so you will need to settle in for the next one. I also had to change the security setting due to spam so anyone who wants to post a comment will have to register. If you want you can also feel free to email me at Diamanwoodcrafters@gmail.com





Finishing Up The Desk

Now we are getting close to the finish line so this is going to jump around pretty quick hitting on all the finishing touches. For starters let’s go ahead and get the hinges and locks mounted so the gallery can be glued up. There are several ways to mark the mortises for the hinges but I like to use double face tape or screw the hinge in place. I will mount it with screws for this demonstration. I start out by actually locating the spot for my hinge and surface mounting it. This way there is no chance of the hinge moving when you scribe around it with a knife. When I locate the hinge I use a self centering automatic punch to mark the location for my screw holes.



When you are mounting the hinges on the gallery divider (this is why it isn’t glued up yet) be very conscious of the thickness of the divider. The screws will need to be cut down so they don’t blow through the back of the board.



In this photo the gallery is glued up. I also added the runners for the top drawers. These were added before assembling the case using glue and very small headless brads.

Now back to the top drawers for a moment. As I said this will jump around a little so I hope I don’t lose anyone. These need to be fit tight. The object is for these not to look like drawers so the clearance you would normally see around a drawer will not be there on these. Once the sides are dovetailed in they will be trimmed with a hand plane to slide properly. In the photo the drawer fronts are just friction fit into the openings.



I am going to knock off here for now but will be updating regularly now.

W&M Desk Gallery

Now it is time to get started on the gallery. This is a very simple gallery to build in terms of slant front desk galleries. Once again we start out with a basic dovetailed box. The top and bottom of the box will be hidden by drawers so I laminated figured cherry to a secondary wood for these. The box is assembled using through dovetails.

Start by milling all the material to ½” thick and cutting it to size.

Cut all the through dovetails in the same manner covered earlier in the tutorial and assemble the box.

Now you need to have a full size layout of your gallery. This can be accomplished by scaling a photo or obviously working from a plan. Using the full size pattern layout for all the dados that the dividers will slide into. Also notice that the center dividers that will hold the door are thicker than the surrounding dividers with a rabbet cut on the front edge. This is to allow for clearance so the secret compartment can slide out without hitting the hinges. The rabbet is cut such that the dividers look the same thickness as the surrounding dividers.

If you use a dado blade to cut the dados you will want to use a router plane to flatten out the bottom of the dados so gaps are not visible.

I have also cut the drawer fronts in this photo.

The dividers will need to be shaped before they are glued in.

Runners for the top drawers will also need to be attached. It is easiest to do this before the dividers are glued in place also.

Now onto the top drawers. These can be done entirely by hand tool if you prefer but I opted for a little faster way. You can see the sequence of how I did this in the photos.

Start by transferring the pattern to a board large enough to get all 4 drawer fronts out of with some extra room.

Cut the profile out and clean it up with a rasp and chisels.

Here I made a pattern the size of the arch on the drawer fronts. I then used a 1” guide bushing and a ½” straight bit to remove the waste.

After that step use the same guide bushing but change the router bit to a 1” core box bit and follow the pattern again.

Clean everything up with a small scraper or sand paper.

When you cut the drawer fronts out cut them oversized and fit them to each opening. Be sure to number them so you know which opening each drawer front goes with.

Next is the prospect door. Start by cutting out all the parts and shaping the top rail.

Once the top rail is shaped route a 3/16 bead on all the rails and stiles.

Using a slot cutter at the router table route the slot that will house the panel and cut the tenons on the rails.

Set up at the tablesaw and cut 45 deg angles where the rails and stiles intersect.

After the panel is cut and a panel raiser is used to create the profile the inside corners of the top profile will need to be cut in with a chisel.

Sorry about the blurry photo.

Next will be the hardware and drawers.

Upper Section (William and Mary Desk)

Now it is time to get started on the upper portion of the desk. The gallery on this desk is a little different than most of the slant front desks I have seen. The gallery is basically built inside a box as a separate piece and then put in the desk. Based on the photos I had this appeared how it was made anyway. There was also no effort made to hide the dados that the dividers went into which is different from what I am used to seeing. At any rate this makes the gallery considerably easier to build.

For the upper portion we start by making another basic dovetailed box. The bottom is through dovetails and the top is half blind dovetails. From the photos I had it looked like the top could have been through dovetails too but since the photos were unclear I went with what is typical. In the photo you can see the layout for the dovetails. There is also a 1/8” deep dado cut for the writing surface to slide into and a ½” x ½”rabbet cut on the back edge for the back boards to slide into.

After all the joinery is cut the waste on the front (the slant) will need to be cut away. The best way I have found to do this is to put both pieces together with some double sided tape and cut both sides at once with a circular saw or at the bandsaw. Once it is cut while still leaving the two pieces together clamp it up and clean the surface up with a hand plane.

There will also need to be a dovetail socket cut into the front edge of the desk for the writing surface to slide into. For this I use a router jig I made that captures the router bit by using a ¾” bushing and a ¾” dovetail bit. This will keep the router from walking on the cut. The zero clearance fence along the front also keeps blowout to a minimum.

There also needs to be a dovetail cut on both ends the writing surface that will slide into the dovetail socket in the front of the case. Since the dovetail socket is only about 2 ½” long the dovetails on the ends of the writing surface will need to be trimmed also.

At this point dry assemble the case and mark the top of the desk to be cut. The top gets two miters. One matches the angle of the sides and the second angle is 90 deg to the sides. This is the surface that will get the strike plate for the lid lock.

Once the top is cut the case can be partially glued up. Glue the base and the writing surface to the sides. Leave the top dry fit. Leaving this dry fit will allow you to cut the mortise for the lock pin and make putting the gallery in much easier.

Now the filler strip that goes between the writing surface and the bottom of the case can be glued in. This area also houses the supports for the lid.

The next step is to make the lid. This is constructed in much the same manner with breadboard ends is constructed.

Start by milling the lid and the pieces that will be the breadboard ends to the same thickness.

The next step is to cut the mortises into the breadboard ends. Start by cutting a ½” deep dado at the table saw. The best way to do this is to set the tablesaw fence to ¼” and cut a kerf with first one side of the board against the fence then cut another kerf with the other side of the board against. This ensures that the dado is centered on the piece.

Next layout and cut three equally sized mortises on the breadboard ends. Be sure to keep the mortise at least 1” away from the ends of the piece. You don’t want to run the chance of cutting into one of your mortises when you cut the rabbet on the lid. These mortises will need to be about 1 ¼” deep.

Next using your breadboard ends as a guide for thickness cut a 1” long tenon on each end of the writing surface. Once this is cut the areas between each of the deeper mortises will need to be trimmed down to ½”. I find this is easily accomplished with a coping saw and some chisels.

Assemble the lid and drill holes for pins that will hold the breadboard ends on. I like to drill my holes about 5/8” deep and prefer to not have them go all the way through the lid.

Use a mortise chisel or a bench chisel and chop the holes out square. Before you disassemble the lid be sure to mark the breadboard ends and lid so you know how to reassemble the breadboard ends. It may seem trivial but it is very easy to mix them up.

After disassembling the lid the holes one the outside edges of the lid will need to be elongated a little to allow for wood movement.

Now reassemble and add the pegs to hold everything together. Only the middle 5” or so gets glued. The outside edges are held in place by the pins. A little tip to make the pins go in easier is to sharpen a small are on one end with a pencil sharpener.

Trim the Breadboard ends flush and route a 3/16” bead around the surface of the lid that will be visible when the desk is closed.

There also needs to be a rabbet cut on the sides and top of the lid. This is the area that will rest on the sides and top of the desk when in the closed position. I like to cut this at the tablesaw using a dado blade. You will also want to use a plane to clean up all the saw kerf marks left by the dado blade.

Next time I will go over the lock and hinge mounting and get started on the gallery.

Finishing Up The Base

Hi everyone. Sorry it has taken so long for the update. I am finally able to get a little time out of the shop after the furniture show last week. My updates will be a little more timely now.

We will wrap up the base of the desk now. The first thing that I will cover is the beading around the drawers. This is an applied bead so it is probably a lot simpler than most people think. Start by cutting the bead using a 7/16” full bead bit in the router table.

Once that is complete move to the tablesaw and rip the bead off so it is a little over ¼” thick.

For attaching the bead you can either glue and clamp it or you can use some headless cut nails if you want to be period correct. For cutting it there are two ways I have found that work well. One is to set up an auxiliary zero clearance fence on your miter saw. I can post some photos of this method if anyone wants to see it. The other way is to cut a 7/16” x ¼” dado through a block of wood and cut the ends of the block to a 45 deg angle. You cut the molding close by hand and then using the block slip the molding into the dado and use a chisel to trim it until it fits. A shooting board will also work. Here is all the molding in place.

Next the glue blocks go in. These are the blocks that the legs will slide into. The blocks will need to be glued in place and then drilled. Don’t be shy with the glue here. You DO NOT want this glue joint to fail. You can use a block you drilled at the drill press as a guide to keep your mortise from veering to the side.

Now it is time to cut the beaded blocks that will go between the case and the leg. This is done using a ¼” full bead bit. After the bead is cut I use a special push block to trim the bead off at the tablesaw.

These all get a hole drilled in the middle for the tenon to go through. They will also probably need a little clean up with a hand plane too.


Now it is time to make the stretchers. For laying the out flip the case upside down and work off the hole pattern on the case to confirm your spacing for the holes the tenons will pass through. If you are using a template it should be relatively easy. If you are working from scratch this will take a little patience it get it right. Once the spacing and shaping is done on the stretches a half lap needs to be added to the center where the pieces cross. For this I position the pieces and mark them with a marking knife. After they are marked I hog out the bulk of the waste with a router and clean everything up with a chisel.

A hole for the finial will also need to be added at the center and the edges will need to be softened. For this I used a 1/8” radius round over bit and cleaned up all the inside corners with rasps and files.

 The final thing will be the waist molding the goes between the lower case and the top of the desk. This gets a M&T joint in the back and splines in the front. You could also use biscuits if you want a quick solution but I have found they just don’t line up as well as a spline cut with a ¼” slot cutter on a router. I threw a few biscuits in the photo to illistrate.

All that is let is to attach the waist molding with some screws and route a profile on it. All the grain directions are the same so wood movement isn’t an issue here You can also take go ahead and attach the legs and stretches. I have the drawer in this piece also but I will cover how to make and fit that in a future update.

Next time we will get started on the upper portion of the desk and the gallery.

Building the lower case

I want to start by saying I am going to work out a few bugs in the blog. I want to eventually have it set up so each previous segment gets archived so you can just click on a segment instead of scrolling. As soon as I have time I will work these bugs out.

It is time to get started on the next installment of the desk build. Once all the legs are finished up it is time to move onto the lower case. You will notice that this piece has exposed through dovetails in the front. This was a very unique feature that immediately caught my eye. The case is also assembled using half blind dovetails in the back. We will get started by dovetailing the case.

For starters I will touch on the tools needed to cut your dovetails by hand. You will need a dovetail or Japanese saw, a marking gauge (I prefer a wheel style), a ½” and a ¼” chisel, a bevel gauge and a sharp pencil.  One other item that will come in handy is a fret saw.

We will start by doing the layout for all the dovetails. I typically don’t layout dovetails but for this piece with the dovetails being a very prominent feature on the exterior of the piece it is important that they are symmetric and flawless so I lay everything out for these.

As I said before the back gets half blind dovetails and the front gets through dovetails. I like to make my pins taper down very small usually being less than 1/8”. This leaves no question as to if they were hand cut or not 

Use your marking gauge to define your depth of cut and your bevel gauge to lay out the dovetails.

For the half blind dovetails I over cut all my tail sockets to make for easier clean up. This is something that you will see on almost all antiques you look at

Once everything is cut with the dovetail saw I move to the drill press and hog out the bulk of the waste with a forstner bit. This step will save you a ton of time cleaning the tail sockets out.

After you hog the bulk of the waste out use your chisels to clean up down to your scribe line.

Once everything is cleaned out use your pin board to make the pattern for your tails as seen in the photo below. The photo below is from a different project and is to just show you the method.

Now we will move onto the through dovetails. As I said before these dovetails need to be perfect so this is a good place to take a little extra time. Another thing to remember is when you are scribing your base line be mindful of where it stops so it isn’t running all the way up the side of the case. 

I don’t normally use a fret saw for my dovetails but due to the location of these this time I did. You can see here the dovetails have been cut and the bulk of the waste has been cut out using a fret saw.

Clean op the tail sockets and transfer your pins to your apron then cut and remove the waste. Notice the size of the pins in the photo. They are about the width of a saw kerf at the small end.


The only thing left to get the case assembled is to add the drawer top rail.


Now that you have all your dovetails cut you can go ahead and cut the profiles on your apron and sides. After going to the bandsaw and roughing everything out you can either use your pattern bit or a few rasps and chisels to clean everything up.

Now you can dry fit everything together and start cutting the runners and kickers for the drawer. For this I like to use a mortise and tenon frame. I glue an extension strip onto the front apron to get the mortises for the drawer runners. This is a lot easier than trying to cut mortises in the apron.

After the mortises are cut glue the extension strip onto the apron and get the measurements for the runners and kickers.

 I like to cut my tenons of the table saw using a dado blade. For this piece since I was only cutting a few small tenons I just used a standard blade and tool a few passes.

 Once all the M&T joints are cut it is time to glue up the lower case. To secure the back rail for the drawer runners I use a few slotted steel screws to keep with the period look.

The last thing needed for the drawer is the kicker on the top. This is attached by cutting a small rabbet on the top center on the front and back of the case.

Here is a picture a little farther along in the build to show how the kicker attaches.

That is all for right now. In the next installment I will cover all the finishing touches for the lower case along with the drawer and possibly attaching the legs.

Building a William and Mary Desk

Ok guys, as promised it is time to get into the meat of this blog. I want to start off by saying I am self taught so some of my methods may be a little unorthodox but they are what has worked for me. The best way I can describe my method of work is hybrid. I do use a lot of hand tools but I am equally as comfortable using power tools as long as they do not compromise the authenticity of the finished piece. I try my best to keep my work as authentic as possible so you will notice I use things like cut nails and slotted screws. Obviously these things can be substituted for more modern materials if that is what you are comfortable with

For this desk I will be going through the whole build step by step in grueling detail. I’m sure there are going to be questions so ask away if something I am describing is unclear. This is going to take me a week or two to get everything posted for this build since it is probably the equivalent of about a 200 page book so keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle and hold on. Here we go. 

One of the most distinguishing features of William & Mary furniture is the legs. This particular desk is based on a photograph I seen in a book and the only info in the caption said it was a Wallace Nutting reproduction. Most of the examples of W&M desks I have found have a much more spindly. In my search for a similar original I came to the conclusion that the piece isn’t a true reproduction which wasn’t uncommon with Nutting furniture. None the less I really liked the piece and took it and added my own little spin to it. I though the original piece was nice but I really though it could use some refining. The photo had no dimensions on it but you will notice for my version I widened it a little and slimed the legs out some so it didn’t look quite a bulky in the bottom. For the internal components I just worked off of known pieces from the same period and kept with those methods for that construction. Now let’s start making some sawdust.

Here is the Nutting piece

And here is mine

 We will start with what may be one of the most intimidating parts of this piece for most woodworkers which is the legs. This is basic spindle turning and is not difficult at all. For this layout is everything. I started the process by making full sized patterns of the upper leg, foot and finial. The leg needs to be two pieces because the stretchers fit between the upper leg and foot.These patterns are used to create a story stick you will use to mark your spindles. For this piece the upper leg will have a tenon on the top and bottom and the foot will have a mortise to mate to the leg tenon. In most drawings I have seen the foot has the tenon but you will see my reasoning for doing it this way farther along in the build.


For my Story stick I simply tape my full size pattern onto a piece of scrap and extend a line from all the major changes in diameter to the edge of the stick. I then take a file and create a notch in the edge of my story stick on the center of each line. This little notch gives the tip of your pencil a place to ride in when you mark your spindle. This insures you are marking in the same place every time. In the photo above you will notice the notches. 

I start by milling my leg stock to size and turning it round on the lathe. I left about ½” on either end so I didn’t hit my head or tail stock when I was cutting the tenons. Once everything is round the next step is to use your story stick and mark your stock to be turned setting the pencil in the notches and pressing it against the spinning material.



Now that all the lines are on the stock it is time to start turning the major diameters. This is done by using a pair of calipers and a parting tool. One tip is to make sure the ends on your calipers are nice and round so they don’t bite into the spinning stock. Take a measurement using your calipers off of your full sized pattern. Now comes a little bit of a tricky part which just takes a little practice and a sharp tool. What you want to do is hold the parting tool and cut with one hand while using the other hand to hold your calipers on the back side of the spindle in the grove your tool is creating. You simply keep cutting until your calipers drop over the piece. You continue doing this until all the major diameters are defined. This is something that is much easier to do if you see it done. I am going to try to get some video of it and post it here.


The next step it to actually start turning the leg shape. I have found the best place to start is in the middle. If you start on the ends and work in you may find you have some lash in the middle since there isn’t enough support material close to your head and tail stock. By starting in the middle you get the bulk of the leg turned while you still have the meat close to the ends to add support. When you are turning the ends support isn’t such a big issue since you are so close to the head and tail stock.

I start this process by turning the trumpet portion of the leg using a ¾” spindle gouge.


Next I start to move my way out. I rough the bulk of the material away with the spindle gouge and then clean up with a skew and a small spindle gouge. I like to use a gouge for all my concave curves and a skew for all my convex curves and beads. If you have not used a skew a lot I would recommend getting some practice on a piece of scrap first. It can be a little tricky to get the hang of. You may also need to scrape in some areas where you are basically turning end grain.


Once you get to the point that you are ready to turn the tenons on each end I have found the best gauge in the world is a wrench that corresponds to the sized tenon you need.


Once the tenons are done sand the leg and move onto the next one. Try not to go too crazy sanding the legs. Remember if you go too nuts it will not take finish the same way the rest of the piece does. I have found also that it is good practice to take your measurements off the first leg you create for your additional legs. Also make sure you use the same leg the whole time for your measurements to keep uniformity. 

Work your way through all the upper legs, then the feet and finally the finial. After you finish the feet you will need to add the mortise to them. For that I just take them to the drill press and drill the mortise with a brad point or forstner bit using the center hole your tail stock created on the lathe as the center starting point. I find this is much easier than trying to cut a mortise in the bottom of the upper leg.

That is it for today guys. Fell free ta ask all the questions you want and next we will move onto the construction of the lower case section.

Turn a Nice Piece into a Masterpiece

I want to kick this blog off with a topic I think is all too often overlooked in woodworking. This is a lesson I learned early on and I think it has helped me tremendously over the last few years. One of the most common comments I have about my pieces is how spectacular the wood is and how it seems to just flow together perfectly with the piece. This brings me to the topic. I know we are all trying to be as frugal as possible when we are woodworking since for the vast majority it is a hobby. The wood however is the last place you want to pinch pennies. The wood you use for a piece can make the difference between a mediocre piece and a piece people stop and stare at and say, “wow.”  If you want to build furniture that is going to be around for generations my guess is you will want to build something that is going to get a wow when people see it.

 If you really think you are saving money I will break down the real savings for you. For this example I will use cherry. I will give the figures for common cherry which will average around $3 a BF, FAS cherry which will average around $5 a BF and premium figured cherry at about $8 a BF. For this example we will say you are building a small chest of drawers that requires 30BF of primary wood. If you buy common cherry you will need to get a minimum of 60 BF because you will have a great deal of waste due to defects. You will also need to consider the time you spend trying to work around those defects. Personally I would rather be building furniture than fighting with the lumber. So 60BF at $3 is roughly $180. Now we will move to the same piece with FAS cherry. If you are using FAS material and you plan well, you can probably get away with about 40 BF which is about 30% more than the project calls for. For FAS lumber the same piece will cost you about $200 in materials. Now we will take it to the other end of the spectrum. We will consider the same piece built in premium figured cherry. Taking our earlier amount of 40BF of FAS the same piece will cost you $320 in materials. Granted the difference in figured and common material is significant, but is the $20 difference between bargain lumber and nice FAS lumber really worth all the trouble?  Also think about the difference of $120 between the figured cherry and the FAS cherry. If this is a piece that will be around for generations is it worth the extra $120 to really make it something special.

Now that I have that off my chest I will move on to how to buy and store lumber when you have it. When working with some woods there is a huge range of colors and figure when you are selecting it. This is something you should really pay attention to. The best option is to buy a flitch which I will cover a little later. Since a lot of mills do not sell in flitch form I will give you a few pointers on selecting material from a bin. A few of the tools you will want to take along are a small block plane you don’t mind getting dirty and a bottle of denatured alcohol. These are used to clean an area of the wood and test the color. You will also want to pay close attention to the width and length of the boards. By matching boards of similar width and length you can in many cases pull material from the same tree. Another thing to look for are common defects such as knots or splits in the same place. The ends of the boards being cut at a similar angle or the ends being painted the same color are a few more indicators of same tree material. Below are two pieces of wood I pulled out of a pile. You can see that they have similar lengths and angles cut on their ends. The two pieces ended up being a great book match that will make an excellent top for a piece.

As I previously stated buying in flitch form is the best way to buy lumber especially if you are buying figured material. When you are using figured material the look of the wood can vary tremendously from tree to tree as you can see in the photos below. All three of these pieces are figured cherry but all look very different. 

It is safe to say that if you mixed the wood from these three pieces it would probably not look very appealing. Not only will the figure not match but the color would likely be very different causing a great deal of trouble when finishing the piece.

Buying a flitch will also give you the ability to book match for your wider panels which really adds to the overall look of a piece. Horizon Wood Products is an excellent source for flitch sawn material and they have excellent prices. These guys are my go to suppliers for figured cherry. You can check out their online inventory at http://www.horizonevolutions.com/

Now that you have spent all this time selecting your material for a project the last thing you want to do is just go to your shop and throw it into a lumber rack with all your other lumber. It is important that you keep all this material together. The best way I have found to do this is by color coding all my material. As soon as I have a set of material I take a can of spray paint and spray the ends a uniform color. If you go into my wood storage area you will notice it looks like a bunch of cans of paint exploded all over my lumber. This is because every set of material has its own unique color. Notice in the photo everything is labled in some manner. Some are spray painted, some are marked using florescent crayons and othesr are marked using a lettering system I use to sort my mahogany. The only thing not marked is the poplar and the one of a kind boards between the two racks.

It will not require a whole lot of paint because the chances of mixing up my maple and cherry are slim but sets of cherry can be easily mixed by accident. A really good way to get paint is to keep an eye on the “oops” paint rack at your local big box store. You can usually get a quart of paint for $1. To increase the number of colors you have try mixing paints together or adding black to a color to change it. Bargain cans of spray paint are usually available for around $1 each also.

Just remember the next time you start planning a project don’t make the wood an afterthought. Remember spending a little extra time and money on the lumber you use may very well make the difference between a nice piece of furniture and a masterpiece.

Well, this is all for now guys. I am working on getting everything ready for posting the William and Mary desk I just finished up so keep an eye out.