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On my finest work, I would like the underside of my undertaking to look nearly as good as the highest. That’s once I make an old style set of wood tabletop fasteners, or “buttons,” slightly than use the trendy stamped-steel sort.

A button permits a solid-wood prime to broaden and contract by means of the seasons. When the highest’s grain runs parallel to the rail, the button slides out and in of the slot as the highest slowly strikes. When the grain runs at proper angles to the rail, the button slides aspect to aspect.

To make the buttons, lower dadoes in a protracted block. Drill and countersink holes for screws, then chamfer the lengthy edges. Saw aside the blocks and chamfer the ends with a file or disc sander.—Tom Caspar

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