Design

Blacker Serving Table Design Completed

I’ve reached a state of equilibrium with the design for my semi-reproduction of this Greene & Greene serving table from the Blacker house.  Which almost guarantees that I’ll think of three changes I want to make before I finish writing the blog post…

Blacker house serving table - Final Design?

Blacker house serving table – Final Design?

There were some missing details that I needed to fill in, including joinery and embellishments.  I think I have those done now, but I’d appreciate feedback on goth the aesthetics and the functionals.  In terms of the latter, I settled on twin 2″ wide tenons on the skirts with a wide stub tenon across the end of the skirt to prevent cupping.  The longer tenons will hold the base together, the stub tenon probably don’t be glued but is there just to prevent cupping on the wide skirts.  The tenons are offset between the sides so that the deep mortises don’t intersect.  I can think of other ways to do this joint, so I’m curious if anyone sees a problem.

Exploded view of joinery details in the "final" design

Exploded view of joinery details in the “final” design

I added in the joinery details on the table top as well.  A wide stub tenon and four 2 1/2″ wide longer tenons.  I’ll screw through the breadboard end caps into the end of the long tenons.  I added rectangular Ebony caps to indicate these locations on the breadboard ends, although I might want them a tiny bit longer.  Also new in this “final” version are the Ebony applies that join the top and breadboard end.

I had mentioned that the transition in the cloud lifts was more gradual in mine than in the original.  I tweaked it in my design to make it a bit more abrupt like the original, and I like it better.  This is a detail I might play with a little in the future.  I didn’t update the inlay design in the top, but I probably will eventually — ok there are the three changes I predicted that I’d find in talking about my final design.

I added in the inlay design on the legs — I’m pretty happy with this part.  I think it adds a lot to the style of the table.  I feel like I got the “rhythm” of the design right, although it’s not identical to the original

Details of the inlay design for the legs

Details of the inlay design for the legs

Overall I think I’ve captured the scale and feel of the original design, although it’s different in some of the details.  The inlay is a little bit of a concern, but I think if I do a practice piece or two I  can probably figure it out.  I took today off work, so I’ll be starting the finish on the Thorsen cabinet.  Maybe during drying time I’ll run down to Watsonville and pico up a couple of wide boards of Sapele for the skirts and top of this table…

 

 

 

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Blacker Table Design

I want to thank John Vernier for his comments.  John always has valuable input and has shared some great insights on both history and techniques.  Yesterday I mentioned that there were two versions of the table — I was alluding to two different sizes that were produced, but John clarified that there were also two of the smaller version of this table produced for the Blacker house originally:

You are right that there are two versions of the table. There are two identical serving tables, the one in Chicago and the other in the Oakland Museum (you should pop over and take a look). There is also a breakfast table which is larger, and scaled so that it can butt up to the main dining table and act as an extension. I think that one is in private hands but I’ll get back to you if I find out differently.

The two identical smaller tables were both originally in the Blacker dining room. Jim Ipekjian’s copies are there now, against one long wall, opposite the sideboard. I think they have silver tea service displayed on them, and they really are just auxiliary serving tables. The breakfast table was in a separate room which is connected to the main dining room by a set of double-fold french doors, so that the space can be opened up into one large room, and the breakfast table scooted up to the main dining table. The dining table also has extension leaves which mount on each end, so the resulting table would be extremely long, just the thing for 32 person dinners. On the whole it really is the largest and most elaborate dining set the Greenes designed.

When Nellie Blacker died in 1947, the people who bought the house sold off the furniture in basically one big yard sale. One of the neighboring families bought most of it, and kept it for many years. When interest in Greene and Greene began to pick up, they realized the importance of their collection and sold it off slowly over a couple of decades (I don’t know if this is still going on, a lot came to market in the 70s and 80s). Many different museums have bought a piece or two as representative examples of G&G work, so it is dispersed all over the place.

Thanks John!  I would go see the one in the Oakland museum, but it’s not on display.  I wonder if they’d let me see it anyway?  I may actually have an “in” there…I’ll investigate that.

For comparison, here are the two different sizes of the Blacker table.  First off, here is the version that I’m thinking of building.  The chair in the picture puts the scale of the “smaller” table into perspective, it’s still a fairly large table at about 36″ wide by  22 1/8″ deep by 29 7/8″ tall  .  The chair would be an interesting project too, although that scares me.  Chairs in general, but G&G chairs with tapered trapezoidal curved legs and angled mortises and so forth. If you look closely you can see some subtle “stepping” on the lower stretchers of the chair too.  Wow.  Something to file away for another day…

"small" blacker serving table

“small” blacker serving table

The larger version clocks in at 59 9/16″ wide by 51 5/8″ deep by 30 3/8″ tall, with a base that is 23 1/2″ square.  You can see that the style is identical, although the larger version appears to have supports under the table top.

Larger Blacker table

Larger Blacker table

So here is my updated CAD model.  I am not trying to get it to be a complete clone of the original, but I want it to be visually very close.  I spent time making the legs thicker up to 2 3/16″ to try to match the original, then backed them down to 1 7/8″ with the thought that I could make them out of the 8/4 stock I already have.  I think they look large enough visually at this dimension.  I spent a lot of time playing with the details on the bottom of the leg, eventually adding some subtle shaping to taper the leg in the last inch and a half, and then adding the “Blacker leg indent” on the two outer faces.  The indent is not on the original version of this table, but it was on a number of furniture legs in the Blacker house.

Close up of leg ends

Close up of leg ends – the wood texture is getting in my way here…

I changed the height of the skirts and stretchers, making both slightly smaller, and reduced the round over on the edge of these parts too.  I moved the stretcher a little closer to the skirt.  I played with different widths for the start and end of the cloud lift design — this is the most obvious different between mine and the original.  The “lift” on the original is more abrupt, the transition from one horizontal surface to the other is vertical, where on mine it’s angled.  I may change mine to match the original in this aspect.  The hight of the lift on mine is taller than the original too, I’m on the fence about whether to change that.

I added the ebony pegs on the legs, although as I look at them I may want to increase the sizes one step.  I have 1/4″, 5/16″ and 3/8″ — I will probably increase them all a step.

I removed the inlay on the legs, only because it was just a quick mockup and was getting in the way of the other changes I was making to the leg shapes.

Version 2 of my Blacker table design

Version 2 of my Blacker table design

So, I want to experiment a bit more with the skirt and stretcher profiles, and work out the joinery for those parts (I just have a single wide stub tenon right now).  Then model the actual inlay that will be on the legs.  The top needs some attention too — joinery details, ebony plugs and ebony spline and changes to the inlay layout.  Another couple of hours and I’ll have a workable CAD model that I could build.

I measured a space where I think this could go in the house — right under where I want to put the Thorsen cabinet.  It’s narrower but deeper than the sofa table that is there now, which might leave enough room for a pair of chairs to flank it…

Categories: Design | Tags: | 1 Comment

Pondering Details – or Outlay for Inlay

Last weekend I worked through most of the design for an Arts & Crafts bookcase, to the point where  I’m pretty comfortable with the scale, style and proportions.  I think the joinery is going to be rock solid.  I have some concerns about getting the sliding dovetail to work properly, and about getting clean through mortises, but otherwise the construction is relatively straightforward.

What’s missing?  Aside from some spectacular and unusually wide Quartersawn White Oak planks, I need to sort out the accents that will make this piece “pop”.  I want to have inlay on the back splashes (at least) and a subtle but coordinated stained glass design for the doors.

Most craftsman furniture had relatively simple, abstract geometric inlay designs.  My understanding is that these are generally attributed to Harvey Ellis.  There is even a place (Mission Furnishings) that reproduces these designs in veneer sheets to glue down to a substrate.

There cabinet doors with veneered "inlay" (marquetry, really) panels

There cabinet doors with veneered “inlay” (marquetry, really) panels

Many of these designs were vertically oriented, fitting onto door stiles, table legs or chair slats.  That’s a small conundrum, as the area I want to decorate is horizontal.  There are a couple of “textbook” Ellis designs for horizontal areas, like this one:

Original Ellis' design

Original Ellis design

And others that could certainly be adapted.  The veneered panel seems like a simple approach, especially if I could click on a web page and have a canned design delivered that I just need to glue down — but it’s not as satisfying.  I also want a design that will coordinate with whatever I do in the stained glass for the doors.  I also know that I’ll  be dying this piece, and the idea of masking the inlay to keep it from getting colored isn’t a satisfying feeling.  I can just see the dye leaching under the masking stencil and ruining the inlay.  Ick.

Another Ellis design

Another Ellis design

There is another factor, which is that a lot of Greene & Greene furniture had delicate inlay designs using wood, shell and metal, and I want to learn how to do that myself.  I’ve been greedily gathering videos, images and articles for a while, and I’m eager to try this out.  William Ng has taught a class on G&G Inlay in the past, but I don’t see it on his 2015 schedule (rats!).

Detail of inlay drawing from the Thorsen house

Detail of inlay drawing from the Thorsen house

Some of the G&G inlay was silver wire and shell and relatively simple design, like on this table and chair from the blacker house.  The weaving vine and petals on the leg are obvious (if not completely clear), but you will need to look closer to see the matching detail on the table top.  In fact, I want to make this exact table as a practice project to learn inlay. (I wonder if my wife will let me get away with that before the bookcase?)

One example of G&G inlay

One example of G&G inlay

Other Greene & Greene inlay was significantly more complex, like this example from a desk done for the Pratt house in Ojai, Ca.  The tree was inlaid in different species of wood, left proud of the surface and carved.  I love the organic feel and the Japanese influence of the design.

Detail of an inlaid desk done for the Pratt house

Detail of an inlaid desk done for the Pratt house

My understanding of the process is the the individual pieces are cut out and then either singly or as a unit scribed onto the surface which is then excavated with a tiny router bit and chisels.  The inlay is then glue into place, and either sanded flush or textured.  Obviously any dying would have to be done before wood was inlaid, although metal and shell could be done before dying.

I found a video that demonstrated the process of doing a flush inlay nicely.  I’m definitely going to buy a tiny router base for my Foredom tool and give this a try soon.

I still don’t have a handle on the inlay design to use on the bookcase, but I’m staring at lots of stained glass and inlay designs (and pottery, tile and textile patterns) looking for inspiration.  Once I get a better bead on where I’m headed I’ll add some designs to my CAD model and see how it feels.  For now I’m going to watch that video again…

 

 

Categories: Design, Woodworking | Tags: | 5 Comments

Designing an Arts & Crafts Bookcase IV

So, where was I?  That’s right, trying to sort out the details on the joinery on the Craftsman-styled bookcase I’m designing.

I had the overall structure together, and I’d just shortened the through-tenons.  Originally the tenons we about two inches narrower than the bookcase was wide, so they nearly cut the case sides in half.  That would have been an unfortunate moment in the shop when I realized that, right?

So I changed the single wide tenons into two narrower tenons, and that took care of that.  But I still had the niggling concern about the overall strength where the wide pods joined the main unit, and to a lesser extent the strength of the center unit.  Except for the through tenons, the other shelf-to-sidejoinery was just short stub tenons.  And in they configuration, most of the glue area is long grain to end grain, not ideal.  So here is where we left off:

Previous version of the Bookcase

Previous version of the Bookcase

My concern is that there isn’t enough structure to keep the side pods from pulling out of the center unit, the only thing keeping it there are the 3/8″ long stub tenons on the ends of the shelves, back splash and toe kick.  The solution, I think, is to put some mechanical strength into that joint.  The best way I can think of is to substitute a sliding dovetail joint for the stub tenons.

The decision to add this joint gives me loads more confidence in the structure of the design, but it also sets off a small panic attack because it’s not at all forgiving in terms of fit.  If it’s too tight it won’t go together — or worse will seize up during assembly.  If it’s too loose it won’t have the strength it needs.  There can be a lot more slop in a hidden tenon.

So the first thing I did was go look at how people make this joint.  It could be done with hand tools, but I doubt I’ll do it that way.  So the more common approach is to use a dovetail bit in a router to cut the slot and shape the flared tenon.  I looked at bit sizes and found a Whiteside bit that will make a large enough cavity without having to re-set the alignment to cut the groove wider.  When I do this, I’ll remove the bulk of the waste with a straight 5/8″ bit in several passes.  Then I’ll use the dovetail bit just to cut the walls and a shaving off of the floor of the groove.  I drew up a diagram of the joint in 2D to check out the router bit geometry and make sure it will work as I hope.

Mockup of the sliding dovetail joint I'm using

Mockup of the sliding dovetail joint I’m using

Once I’d figured out the process (at least the theory of the process) and finished talking myself into this change I updated the CAD model.  I removed the stub tenons on the two middle shelves in the sides and in the center unit, and added the dovetail.  I added the dovetail slot in the case sides and fixed up the model as necessary.  The top and bottom shelves on the side pods still have through twin tenons on one end and stub tenons on the other end.  I could change those to sliding dovetails too, but I don’t think it’s necessary structurally, and the setup would be slightly different because of the stopped rabbet for the back.  I might still change those, I’ve been know to reverse myself on occasion.

This is the view of the back of the unit, with the ship-lapped back removed.

Back of modified case showing sliding dovetails for the middle shelves.

Back of modified case showing sliding dovetails for the middle shelves.

There are a couple of other “tweaks” to the design too.

The top profile on the back splashes now has an elliptical arc, I think this is a nice improvement.  Ralph (Accidental Woodworker) nudged me in this direction.  It was something I wanted to try, and I’m glad for the shove.  It sorta wakes things up.

The doors are different now too.  I made the stiles and top rail wider by a quarter of an inch, and the bottom rail wider by a full inch.  I think the wider bottom rail is an improvement.  I added hinges and pulls – although I just made these pulls up, I don’t think you can buy them.  I’ll almost certainly having something similar but different (and commercially available).

Version 3 of the Bookcase

Version 3 of the bookcase design

The arc in the top of the back splashes looks more subtle than it is in this view.  In a straight-on view is more apparent I think.  Aesthetically, I don’t think I’m missing anything by omitting the through-tenons on the middle shelves.  I’m feeling pretty good about the overall visual impact and about the structural integrity of the unit.  I don’t think I have any problematic wood movement issues, and except for the sliding dovetails there isn’t anything too concerning in the construction.  The through tenons worry me a bit I guess, that might be fussy.

What’s left in the design?  A few details, mostly.  I want to add pins through the edge of the case sides to lock in the through tenons.  I want to try adding ebony pegs to the doors at the joints.  I want to play with adding  an inlaid design in copper and pewter to the back splashes.  And I need to design the stained glass panels for the doors.  Finally, I need to develop a set of plans that I can take out to the shop too – but that fairly simple since I have the whole think in 3D CAD, it’s just plunking parts on pages and organizing the dimension callouts.

Version 3 of the bookcase, front view, looking down

Version 3 of the bookcase, front view, looking down

Closeup showing door pull

Closeup showing door pull

 

Categories: Design, Uncategorized, Woodworking | Tags: | 3 Comments

Designing an Arts & Crafts Bookcase III

First, thanks to folks that pointed out potential issues with the previous version of the bookcase design.  The key concern so far was around the length of the through tenons.    While I’ve seen other cases built this way, I can see it seriously weakening the case sides.  So, here is the previous version for comparison first:

First complete version of the bookcase, with long through tenons

First complete version of the bookcase, with long through tenons

I decided to make some changes to address this.  First all of the through tenons were made into split tenons.  3″ wide on the main case and 2.5″ wide on the side pods.  Between the twin tenons is a 3/8″ long stub tenon that fits into a groove in the case sides.

Twin through tenons with a stub tenon and shallow dado

Twin through tenons with a stub tenon and shallow dado

On the opposite side of the through tenons there is just a wide stub tenon and matching dado in the inner case side.  This means less of the sides is removed for the joinery.  I’m on the fence about whether 3/8″ is long enough for the stub tenon on the sides without a though tenon.  Maybe that should be a half inch or even 5/8″?  It’s a balance I guess, between glue surface and side strength.  My gut feel is to increase in on the inner sides to a half inch.

3/8" stub tenons join to the inner case sides.  The same from the long shelves into the sides.

3/8″ stub tenons join to the inner case sides. The same from the long shelves into the sides.

I also made the back splashes taller, I like that better than the shorter version.  And I removed the through tenons on those parts.  I don’t think it added anything visually, and it’s one less visible joint that could show problems.

So, here is the second version.  It’s better I think.  The back splashes might be a tiny bit too tall, but I could go either way.  I’m concerned about the strength of the stub tenons into the case sides — in particular the short side shelves into the center case sides.  There isn’t much glue area there, and it’s mostly end grain on one side of the joint.  I might need to think about that a little more.  I could make it deeper, maybe with twin tenons that went quite deep into the sides.  I could thing about a sliding dovetail joint (but that seems like it would really complicate matters).  I’m open to suggestions on that joint.  Pocket screws? (kidding).

The more I think about it, the more I’m convincing myself that I should change the joinery once more.  Through tenons on the top and bottom shelves, and sliding dovetails on the middle two shelves in each unit.  That will lock the units together mechanically and there won’t be any reliance on glue strength for the overall structural integrity of the piece.

Version 2 of the Bookcase, with improved joinery and some small refinements

Version 2 of the Bookcase, with improved joinery and some small refinements

Categories: Design, Woodworking | Tags: | 6 Comments

Designing an Arts & Crafts Bookcase

My wife has been wanting a nice bookcase for the guest room for a long time.  We recently redecorated that room with a wall cabinet, pair of stained glass sconces and a picture frame I made (plus paint), so the bookcase would finish the room off nicely.

Sconces and Cabinet in the guest room

Sconces and Cabinet in the guest room

My first thought was to build the Limbert 355 bookcase.  I like the design, it’s got a unique style and would hold a fair number of books.  The Limbert 356 was the same basic design, but with two doors.  This would be fun to make, but it was a no-sale with the wife.  She wanted something shorter and wider.  Maybe five feet wide or so, and three to four feet tall.

Limbert 355 Bookcase

Limbert 355 Bookcase

I looked through all of my books and googled for images and plans to no avail.  There were a couple of interesting hits, like this one by Kevin Rodel.  I like this one a lot, but I don’t think I could pull off the inlay.  I know I’ll be making this in quartered white oak and dying it to match the other furniture I built for the room, so that would make the inlay dicey anyway.  But it was a no-sale too — apparently we need to see the books in the bookcase.

Cabinet by Kevin Rodel.

Cabinet by Kevin Rodel.

I did find one design my wife liked, although it doesn’t really work for me.  It’s OK, just not enough visual excitement.  It looks too close to some inexpensive plywood bookcases we want to get rid of.

Wide mission-style bookcase I found on Pinterest -- without any attribution.

Wide mission-style bookcase I found on Pinterest — without any attribution.

So I fired up my copy of SolidWorks and started doodling.  I had an idea for a larger central unit flanked by two smaller bookcases that were shorter, narrower and set back from the main unit.  I’m imagining the side units having doors with stained glass panels, and the middle unit being open to show off the best looking books.  The top of each section would have short sides and a backsplash like a lot of Stickley serving tables.

I started by blocking out the dimensions / proportions for the front view.  This is just a simple 2D drawing at this point.  I started by drawing a square 60″ wide and 42″ tall.  I added lines to represent the major elements — center unit, side pods, shelves, backsplashes, and a door on one side for comparison.  I tweaked the sizes and played with shapes until I had a sense of where I wanted to go with this.

Rough dimensions and overall proportions being worked out in CAD

Rough dimensions and overall proportions being worked out in CAD

I settled on 42″ tall because I could get three generously tall shelves and a backsplash — and it would fit under the picture that I already hung in the room.  The height for the shorter shelves is just what looked good to me at this stage, it will change as I go.  The way I design I get the big bits in place, then start solving fit/clearance problems.

So I started by modeling the case sides and and central shelves.  SolidWorks (and other 3D CAD programs) generally start by making a 2D drawing that is then “extruded” or otherwise manipulated to make a solid object.  So if I were to draw a 12″ by 12″ 2D square and extrude that sketch 1″ I have a one board foot CAD model.  If instead I rotate it around one side of the square I have a 12″ thick by 24″ diameter hockey puck.  Most furniture is simple rectilinear parts, if I was trying to model a 1940 Ford where everything is changing radius surfaces it would be a much different story.  Modeling this piece is just a process of drawing rectangles and extruding them into solids or extruding cuts into existing solids to make mortises or rabbets.

Step one, I’ve modeled one side and created a mirrored part — this is an incredibly useful feature in SolidWorks.  The two parts are linked, so if I add a dado or move a mortise on the original part the mirrored part stays in sync.  I modeled the shelves, backsplash and toe kick too, all as separate parts.  These individual parts are mated together into an assembly.

The top shelf has 1.375″ long tenons that protrude through the sides, the other shelves have .5″ tenons that fit into blind slots in the sides.  I made the sides 1.125″ thick, and the shelves 1″ thick.

Mockup of the central bookcase unit

Mockup of the central bookcase unit

There are lots of details to play with in the design, but at this stage I’m more focussed on blocking out the main elements.  Should the backsplash be shorter or taller than the sides?  Should it be flat or arched across the top?  It doesn’t matter at this point.  I need to get far enough along to verify the proportions in 3D and verify the fit of all of the parts.

My next step is to model the outer sides and side shelves.  The shelves in the main unit are 29″ wide right now. and I made the shelves in the sides 15″ wide.  I set the depth of the sides at 10″ — that’s two inches shallower than the main unit.  I wanted some set back on this, but as you’ll see this caused a problem as soon as I got a little further along.

I only added the left side pod for now, assuming there will be problems to sort out before I go any further.  You can see the blind mortises for the side shelves in this view on the right side of the model.  I also modeled a door to fit into the left side opening.  This should give me enough information to start troubleshooting the layout.

Bookcase with central unit and the left side pod in place.  The right side pod will be the same, but I don't want to do that until I check the design at this stage.

Bookcase with central unit and the left side pod in place. The right side pod will be the same, but I don’t want to do that until I check the design proportions and fit of the individual parts first.

So what are the problems I need to sort out?

First, the setback on the side makes the toe kick on the side units look too far back.  I think it’s just too severe at two inches of setback.  I’m also concerned about running out of room for books — with the sides at 10″, a rebate for the back of a half inch, an inset door at least .75″ thick (it really wants to be .850″ thick to hold the stained glass with a retaining strip) I’m running out of depth for larger books.

There is another problem with the depth of the sides — making the shelves shorter for the inset door runs into clearance problems with the through tenons in the side.  It just barely works at this stage, meaning the front edge of the through tendon is still 1/8″ set back from the front edge of the shelf.

But if I zoom in to look at the fit of the door — with the door tight against the shelves — let’s see what we have.  This is looking up from ground level at the lower left side of the case.  You can see that the door is sticking out in front of the lower shelf.  On the side pods I want the top and bottom shelves to be set back from the sides by about .25″, with a tiny radius on the case sides.  I want the door set back maybe 1/8″ to 1/4″ from the edge of those shelves.  So, something here has to change, because this actually doesn’t work!

There is also something wrong with the height of the toe kick, or at least the positioning of the toe kick on the left pod.  I’ll need to investigate that.  It should end at the floor level, but it short by maybe a quarter of an inch.

The door doesn't quite fit...

The door doesn’t quite fit…

My approach to fixing the problems so far is fairly obvious.  I’m going to make the case sides wider, probably going from 10″ to 11″ – which will still give me a full inch of set back.  I’m also going to shorten the length of the through mortises in the sides.  Right now they are set at 1″ from the front and back of the case sides, I’ll change them all to 1.5″.  That means editing the models for the sides and all of the shelves to adjust the tenons to match.  Not a huge deal, but this is exactly why I didn’t want to get too far ahead of myself.

I’ll also make the door thicker, and leave some clearance between the interior shelves and the inside of the door – at least 3/8″.

There is another problem to sort out at this stage: the back.

What I’ve used for most cabinets I’ve made in the last year or so is a ship lapped back.  I like being able to finish the back and case separately, and I like the visual interest from the grooves between the individual boards.  When there are fixed shelves it also means I can screw through the back into the shelf to support the shelf and help keep the case from racking.  I also prefer a solid wood back over thin plywood.  If I’m building a plywood cabinet then that’s the natural choice for the back, but in a solid wood cabinet…

That meant that my starting position was a ship lapped back.  I modeled rabbits into the back edges of the case sides and top and bottom shelves, but let’s take a look at the back of the unit at this stage.

I see a problem with the back here, how am I going to fit the back so that it's attractive and strong?

I see a problem with the back here, how am I going to fit the back so that it’s attractive and strong?

The red areas are the rabbets I have in the model at this point.  From experience I know I need about 1/2″ of width to attach the back to the case with screws.  With the case sides at 1.125″ thick, if I put a 1/2″ wide rabbet in for the back on the side pod I’ve got a 1/8″ of waste left.  Of course I could just completely cut away the back of the tall sides at that point.  I’m also concerned about where the gap between the slats will end up, I don’t want a gap between slats right next to the side.  And I don’t want a slat that spans the tall case side because then it has to have a dog leg cut at the end.

I think I can calculate the slat sizes properly so that they end up just right though.

Another option for the back would be to make a frame and panel back.  The downside with that is I’ll need to make the rabbets a bit deeper, probably 3/4″ for the frame.  I’d want cross bars in the frame where the shelves so I can screw the back to the shelves, because the panels will be set back from the face of the frame.  I’m not sure what I’d use for the panels if I went with tis approach.  Plywood would be the simplest, and I could glue it into the slots in the frame without worrying about wood movement — that would make for a pretty strong back.  But I would lose the ship lapped look.

I think I will work out the first set of problems with the depth and door fitment, and then make two copies of the model.  I’ll add a ship lapped back in one and try a frame and panel back in the other, and see what I prefer.  I’ll post more on this as it develops.

 

Categories: Design, Uncategorized, Woodworking | Tags: | 6 Comments

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