Limbert 305 1/2

Sometimes I think CAD should stand for “Computer Aided Distraction”, but I suspect the real flaw lies somewhere deep in my psyche.

This weekend I hope to crank on the stained glass for the door in the cabinet I’m making, but I’m already thinking ahead to the next project.  I want to make a clone of the Limbert 355 or 356 bookcase.  They are the same except one is wider by the addition of a second door, which is probably the version I’d make as we always need more storage space for books.  I think the 355 single door version is a little more elegant though.

Limbert 356 Bookcase

Limbert 356 Bookcase

Well, one thing leads to another, as it often does, and I bought a reprint of the 1903 Limbert catalog hoping to find more information on this bookcase.  Turns out it doesn’t show up until the 1904 catalog.  But…there was this interesting “cabinet” in the 1903 catalog.

I’m not sure whether it’s a table, a stand or a cabinet, but the catalog calls it a cabinet so I’ll do the same.  Here is what it says:

No. 305 1/2. Cabinet. 12″ deep, 16″ wide, 41″ high, oak, opalescent art leaded glass in upper panel of door, finished in any color.  Price, $17,00.

It struck me as an odd piece, and since the catalog only shows a simple line drawing I was curious.  I googled for extant example, but came up empty.  So I decided to model it in CAD to see what it might look like.

Limbert 305 1/2 from the 1903 catalog

Limbert 305 1/2 from the 1903 catalog

Starting from the overall dimensions I started setting the sizes for various parts by eye.  I think I’m pretty close, although line drawings like this are inherently inaccurate.  Think about building something from an Escher drawing.

Before I actually model it in 3D I need to think about material thicknesses, joinery and setbacks.

Rough dimensions for the front

Rough dimensions for the front

Rough dimensions for the side

Rough dimensions for the side

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , | 6 Comments

Post navigation

6 thoughts on “Limbert 305 1/2

  1. So are you leaning towards building the 305 next or the 356? Both look interesting.

    • Actually when I wrote this I forgot that I want to make a pair of those sconces I designed — that’s probably the next project in the shop. I have everything I need to make them, I found a source for some nice cast brass lamp sockets with a threaded shoulder.

      I think I’ll spend a little more time on the CAD model of the 305 1/2 just to see what it would look like. It’s an unusual piece. I could imagine it with leather on the top (and/or the sub top), that might be pretty cool. Not sure about the design in the glass though, that’s a little odd.

  2. Sylvain

    To me the 305 looks like a bed side table (the lower storage space behind the door being used for a pot in those times).

    • There’s something I hadn’t considered…

      I think it’s too tall though, at 41″. Seems like more of a plant stand/cabinet.

  3. Sylvain

    Beds were much higher at that time. Is there any cabinet advertised as bed side table in the catalog for comparison?
    But it could be a plant stand.

    • There aren’t any beds or bedside tables in the 1903 catalog. No bedroom furniture at all. My suspicion is that bedroom furniture was not something most people spent much money on in the early 1900s. Buying any furniture was a significant expense for folks.

      We have an older mission style bed in the guest room, it’s about 35″ with the mattress and box springs. I made a side table for it maybe 10 years ago in my previous woodworking phase that is about 29″ tall. I’m sure there were taller beds, but 41″ is pretty tall — you would need a stool to get into bed at night.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: