Author Archives: zdillinger


About zdillinger

A 29 year old Michigander, Zach is happily married to a librarian who constantly brings him wonderful books to read. Zach makes period reproduction furniture entirely with hand tools. You can see more of his work at

Mannerist dresser

Period-accurate Joinery: Three Ways to Cut Rabbet Joints

While rabbet joints are used commonly to attach case fronts and backs in period work, they show up in other places too. In pieces from the 17th century and earlier, such as the Mannerist dresser shown above, drawer fronts often are rabbeted and the drawer sides simply nailed into that rabbet....

Don’t Miss the SAPFM Exhibition in Detroit, March 16 & 17

I’m thrilled to be a part of the Society of American Period Furniture Makers’s (SAPFM) event at the Detroit Institute of Arts. It is this weekend, March 16th and 17th. Hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday; 12-4 p.m. on Sunday. I will be there demonstrating how to cut dovetails by hand,...

What I learned at the Design Build Show

After spending a week at the Design Build Show in Boston with some of the region’s most talented furniture makers, it is safe to say I learned a few things… Here are the top 10, in no particular order. 1) Yes, Phil Lowe really is that good. Enough said. 2) Tommy...

secret dovetail, miter dovetail

Secret Dovetails for the Rest of Us

I hate end grain. In my work, I take great pains to hide every square inch of it. This often means cutting joinery that is more involved. For example, on my spice chest, I could simply have used through-dovetails to join the top to the sides of the case. Like the...

spice chest, walnut, William and Mary

Why Build a Spice Chest?

Editor’s note: We’re inviting our contributing editors and authors to write blog entries for us on all things woodworking – particularly related to articles they’re writing for the magazine. (We’re developing a new blog, the Popular Woodworking Contributors’ Blog, for that purpose, but for now, you’ll find these entries on the...