Category Archives: Science


Once again, its been a while since I have posted.

A lot has changed recently, not the least of which is that I have changed jobs.  I am now the Executive Director of a new research center called CenSCIR at Carnegie Mellon University.  This has been a great change for me, and I am really enjoying the University atmosphere and the increased exposure to fellow tinkerers.  Although, I have to admit that they are all at a significantly higher level of "tinkering" than I am!   Enough about that, this blog is not about work!

The new job has kept me out of the workshop a bit more than usual (plus it has been to sunny in Pittsburgh to spend time inside), but I’m getting the itch to get back to my projects.

I did spend some time trying to cut the decorative ebony plugs for the Greene & Greene desks.  I am trying to use a method that was explained in a recent issue of Fine Woodworking Magazine.  This method allows you drill traditional round holes into the mahogany and then insert square ebony pegs with short round dowels attached to the backs into the round holes.  Thereby reducing some of the gaps that may show in a traditional "mortised"peg hole (at least when done by an amateur like me).

On paper, this method looks good, but I am breaking about 50% of the ebony pegs during the final steps of making them, and this is just too much breakage (I need to make about 28 of these plugs).  I need to work on this method a bit more.