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.

Quit Worshiping at the Church of Inside Corners

One of my stranger findings from years of working with clients to redesign their kitchens is that people will guard their cubic footage like an angry vulture with a road-killed skunk. Suggest that they leave some portion of the space unused and they break into a cold sweat. Don’t get me...

An Extra-Thin Frame and Panel Back

A current job called for a solid wood frame and panel back that would fit in a 5/16″ rabbet. That’s really thin for a frame-and-panel assembly, at least in my world. (Granted, for Bill Robertson, it’s positively gargantuan.) Ordinarily, I like such backs to be 1/2″ thick. One way I’ve dealt...

21st-century Gothic: Book giveaway!

Blame it on the martini I had the night before. Or maybe on the dribble of eleventh-hour requests for illustration proofing related to my forthcoming book on English Arts & Crafts furniture. Whatever the reason, while I was sanding the 2″-thick edges of a current commission one day last week, trying...

How to Create Precise Joints in Reclaimed Lumber

A board with a straight, flat face with one square edge is widely considered a fundamental requirement for precision work such as joinery. Given this basic condition, all good things are possible (at least, in principle): accurate measurements, square shoulders, straight tenons. But a current dining table commission challenged how I...

A Primer on Scribing: How to Scribe with a Shim

Scribing, like coping, is one of those seemingly magical techniques that allow you to make one piece fit another. Scribing has a variety of applications. It’s not only good for fitting trim to irregular walls, or cabinets to floors that are out of level; you can scribe almost any material –...

The Case of the Missing Hinge: Trouble Installing a Soss Hinge

The second article in my two-part series about hinges for Popular Woodworking Magazine was conceived as “5 Fussy Hinges.” Tricky, fussy…choose your adjective. I prefer “less commonly used,” with the disclaimer that one woodworker’s “less common” may be another’s “everyday”; Brendan Gaffney may be able to install knife hinges in his...