Greene & Greene Cabinet

Months ago (!) I started making this Greene & Greene style cabinet, inspired by a cabinet in the Thorsen house.  I got sidetracked on a number of other projects including making a side table to match it.  I’m back on this project and hope to get it wrapped up, uhhhmmm, soon.

"Thorsen House Cabinet"

“Thorsen House Cabinet”

This project is mostly done from a woodworking perspective.  All of the parts are made, fit and nearly final prep’d for finish.

I have to make the stained glass panels for the door, and do a couple of final operations on the door itself.  First, I need to add the dozen or so ebony pegs required to finish it, and do some final sanding.  There is the handle to be mounted too.  The the whole cabinet gets a once over to chaco for shop dings and some touch up sanding.

For the stained glass I wanted to make a framework to solder the glass panels into.  The first furniture projects with stained glass that I did I installed the glass just like you would in a window – the raw edge of the glass against the rebate.  Then I realized that most stained glass windows show a soldered edge (or metal) around the perimeter.  I’ve seen several different ways to do this, and I wanted to try an idea I had.

My thought was to build a metal frame that was maybe 1/16″ to 3/32″ smaller on the opening than the opening in the door itself – so the just a little of the metal showed.  If the frame fit the door then it’s easier to make the glass fit the frame than making the glass and having to calculate the dimensions for the frame that would be added around the periphery.  I hope that makes sense.

I decided to make the frame out of copper because I could TIG weld it.  It would have been slightly easier to do it in brass (which isn’t weldable) as it comes in more widths and I wouldn’t have had to rip narrow strips of 1/8″ thick copper on the bandsaw.  As it turned out, when I went to weld it I discovered a leak in the water cooler for the torch, so I ended up soldering it anyway.  A new return hose for the welder is on order and I should have my TIG welder back up soon.

The approach was to fit slightly wider strips into the rebate, tape them in place, then scribe the shape of the door opening.  Then I cut the copper strips to shape, sanded the cuts smooth, and soldered them together.  Fairly simple.

Copper bars are fit into the glass rebate on the back of the door.  The opposite side has been painted with blue "Dykem" layout fluid.

Copper bars are fit into the glass rebate on the back of the door. The opposite side has been painted with blue “Dykem” layout fluid.  The long thin strips have already been “ripped” to width before fitting the horizontal bars.

The copper strips are taped in place, then shims added to support the copper when the door is flipped over.

The copper strips are taped in place, then shims added to support the copper when the door is flipped over.

The opening is scribed onto  the copper using a transfer punch (to get a 3/32" offset from the edge of the wood).  Then the whole assembly is taken apart, the copper sawn to the layout line and sanded smooth.

The opening is scribed onto the copper using a transfer punch (to get a 3/32″ offset from the edge of the wood). Then the whole assembly is taken apart, the copper sawn to the layout line and sanded smooth.

After sawing the pieces to the shape of the inside opening I reassembled them into the glass rebate.  The fit of the copper into the rebate is tight, I actually spring the copper crossbars into place so they stay put while I’m soldering.  I lightly grind the outside after soldering so there is a tiny gap between the outside of the copper frame and the glass rebate after I solder then together.

Add a small bit of flux (the spots on the wood are hide glue I haven't cleaned up yet, not flux!)

Add a small bit of flux (the spots on the wood are hide glue I haven’t cleaned up yet, not flux!)

...and solder the joints.

…and solder the joints.

I only solder the joints on one side for now, if I try to solder the other side they will most likely come apart!  Once I have the glass in and tack solder the glass to the surround everything will stay together nicely.

Side frame soldered

Side frame soldered

Main frame soldered

Main frame soldered

Both frames soldered -- face side up, in the orientation as seen from the front of the door

Both frames soldered — face side up, in the orientation as seen from the front of the door.  The solder on this side “bled through” from soldering the back side.

With the door

With the door

The glass should be delivered today, so I should get the door prep’d, install the ebony pegs and start thinking about finishing the wood.

 

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2 thoughts on “Greene & Greene Cabinet

  1. How are you going to hold this in the frame? Or do I have to wait for the next installment?

    • I’ll cut some wood strips that will nail into the door. The rebate is 1/2″ deep I think, so allowing 3/16 for the glass still leaves enough for 1/4″ thick moulding strips. It’s a good point, I should make those and fit them before I start applying finish.

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