The ebony plugs that are used as accents for Greene & Greene style furniture projects aren’t hard to make, but they are small. So here we’re showing you some steps that let you make these parts quickly and safely. There's a simple jig that’s used to crown the plugs.
Steps 4 and 5 show you how to fit the plugs perfectly in the holes you’ve prepared for them. The back-bevel lets you fit the plug tightly in position.
Rip the sticks of ebony to size at the table saw. A push block is mandatory here. Using the jig shown below, you can crown the ends of the sticks.
Follow up the crowning by burnishing the ends on a buffing wheel. Slip the blank back into the jig and clamp it down to make a shallow kerf on all four sides of the stick.
Slide the stick forward and cut a slight back-bevel on each side with a chisel.
The pillowed ebony plugs add contrast and a visual pop to the stiles of the Greene & Greene frame. Use a small applicator to apply a dab of glue in the square hole. Don’t overdo it as the excess is tough to clean up. A scrap of wood with a shallow groove acts as a gauge for inserting the plugs to the proper depth.
As I mentioned earlier, making the plugs requires an assist from this jig. Used with a disc sander, the jig acts as a guide for holding an extra-long plug blank at the correct angle while one end is rotated against the sanding disc.
The goal is to slightly crown the ends of the blank before polishing the ends on a buffing wheel. The plugs are then back-beveled before they’re cut free of the blank and glued into a shallow mortise in the project.
QUICK BUILD. The plans are for a jig that fits my disc sander table, but it can easily be modified to fit other styles. The height of the riser can also be changed to give the plugs a more “faceted” appearance if you prefer.