Author Archives: Nancy Hiller

About Nancy Hiller

Designer-builder of custom furniture and cabinetry, specializing in work for period interiors from the late-19th through mid-20th century.

3 Kinds of Furniture Drawer Slides: Pros and Cons

1. Wooden slides Traditionally, drawers have slid on wooden runners: strips of wood tenoned into horizontal rails at the face of a cabinet. In casework where a drawer will not be guided by the cabinet’s sides — for example, when the cabinet has a face frame that protrudes into the drawer opening — the...

Blum Tandem slides being installed with jig

How to Install Blum Tandem Slides with 2 Jigs

Blum Tandem slides are a fabulous innovation for built-in cabinetry with drawers and pantry pull-outs. They’re smooth, silent, invisible and they come with a little person inside who pulls the drawer shut for you. (OK, not really, but there might as well be someone in there considering how well they shut themselves.) As with...

Dutchman to the Rescue: How I Patch Wood

Every so often I do something dumb. A few weeks ago I was drilling 1/4″ holes to peg the tenons for a table’s apron. I started with a brad point bit but switched to a Forstner after finding that the first bit had torn the grain at the edge of the first two holes....

How to Attach a Table Top with Traditional Wooden Buttons

There’s more than one way to attach a solid wood table top. The most important requirements of any method are (1) to keep the top firmly in contact with the undercarriage, preventing it from warping more than minimally, and (2) to allow the top to move across its grain as the wood expands and...

Decorative Gouging: A Traditional English Arts & Crafts Technique

Many pieces of English Arts and Crafts furniture, especially those of the Cotswolds school, feature a cheerful detail known as decorative gouging. It’s a simple technique and amenable to endless variations depending on the combination of gouges used, the spacing and depth of elements, and so on. Here’s an introduction based on the legs...

Edge Banding Architectural Veneer in a Small Shop

Recently, a woodworker who’s about to start building a set of cabinets for her own kitchen asked me how I apply heat-sensitive edge banding to doors and drawer faces when working with architectural veneers. She’d done some similar work before but had problems with tear-out during trimming. Here’s my technique, a hybrid between the...

How I Made a Notched & Tenoned Joint for the First Time

As some readers will know, I’m working on a book about English Arts and Crafts furniture for the books division of Popular Woodworking. As the deadline gallops toward me, alternately provoking bouts of insomnia and hyperventilation, my work schedule has finally allowed me to start on the book’s final project, a hayrake table designed by...

Make a Traditional Rabbeted Door Frame

Today it’s easy to make glazed doors and mirror frames by using a router to rabbet a mortise-and-tenon frame after assembly: Cut your joints, glue the frame together, rout the inside edges on the back using a special rabbeting bit, then chop the corners square with a chisel and mallet. Before the invention of the...