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Dramatic particulars showcase leaded glass and English model.

Some of essentially the most aesthetically compelling items of furnishings I’ve seen within the Arts & Crafts model had been made by an English firm most Americans have by no means heard of. Between 1890 and 1910, the Harris Lebus Company of London exploited the prevailing trend in dwelling décor, producing quite a lot of sideboards, hallstands, wardrobes, washstands and associated furnishings characterised by easy strains and daring proportions.

Many of this stuff had been manufacturing items constructed with a worth level quite than handcraft in thoughts. Yet by advantage of their affordability, these items achieved one of many Arts & Crafts motion’s central beliefs: to make helpful and delightful issues out there to these of modest means.

While researching an article on Harris Lebus a number of years in the past, I got here throughout a knockout wardrobe. Detail images revealed less-than-optimal fabrication; the door panels had been screwed into their frames quite than housed in grooves, which resulted in predictable splits. The Gothic-style door and drawer pulls seemed just like the sort of gaudy {hardware} that belongs in Hollywood. But the general look…Wow!

So after I had the chance to construct a bookcase to go in a bibliophile’s dwelling library, I prompt utilizing the Lebus wardrobe as a place to begin for the design.

The fundamental type of the bookcase follows a spread of Lebus items constructed with solid-slab aspect panels glued to back and front legs, with out high and backside rails. The long-grain to long-grain glue-up makes for a wonderfully sound connection with none extra joinery.

Shelf-pin holes. The holes are 3⁄4″ on heart from the within edges of the legs, spaced 11⁄2″ aside vertically. I take advantage of a 1⁄4″ Forstner bit on the drill press to bore them. For essentially the most harmonious look within the completed case, align a number of of the cabinets with the lead strains within the glass (and with the muntins, in a mullioned door, for that matter).

These aspect assemblies are linked to one another by mortised-and-tenoned rails on the high and backside, back and front. The backside and high are added later – the underside supported by picket cleats, the highest connected by metallic fasteners or picket buttons, after the piece’s ornamental brackets have been put in in sliding dovetail slots.

A paneled again and leaded-glass doorways with C. R. Mackintosh {hardware} full the image.

Make the Case & Brackets

Mortises first. Lay out the mortises so the rails and stiles shall be flush. I like a 5⁄16″-wide mortise, and sometimes go away at the least 1⁄2″ clearance from the highest of the leg.

When selecting lumber for the bookcase, keep in mind that essentially the most seen options would be the high and backside entrance rails, and the rails and stiles of the doorways.

Mill and glue up the aspect panels (and the highest, however set it apart for now), then mill the 4 legs and the highest and backside rails – however don’t minimize the arch on the entrance backside rail till after you’ve gotten assembled the carcase (eradicating that a lot materials previous to glue-up would scale back clamping effectiveness). Note: While the sizes for the rails, stiles and panels may be pulled from the cutlist, “verify in field” (direct-measure from the case) the remainder of the workpieces quite than counting on the cutlist sizes).

Trim the aspect panels to last dimension, then mark and drill for the shelf-support holes. Sand the within and out of doors faces now; it could be difficult to sand these after meeting.

Bracket attachment. The brackets that wrap the entrance and sides of the case are seated with sliding dovetails. A router with a 3⁄8″ dovetail bit makes fast work of the slots on the rails.

Now mortise the legs at the back and front to just accept the highest and backside rails that can be a part of the aspect assemblies to one another.

Switch to the router desk to chop the slots on the 4 legs.

Cut the matching tenons on the rails to suit; I did this on the desk noticed utilizing a dado stack. It’s important that the highest edges of the back and front backside rails find yourself on the identical top.

Next, mark out the positions of the sliding dovetail slots for the ornamental brackets on the highest entrance rail, then minimize them utilizing a router in opposition to a clamped-down fence.

Scribe then rout. To minimize the dovetails on the brackets, scribe the baseline to scale back tear-out, then run the clean over the router desk. The bit top is identical as that for the leg sockets; you’ll want to regulate the fence to heart the dovetail on the bracket.

Fit the identical dovetail cutter into your router desk, setting it up so the peak of the minimize shall be exactly the identical because the depth of the slots you simply minimize within the high entrance rail. Set the fence in order that the cutter is centered within the width of the leg, and set a cease so the slot shall be roughly the identical size as these within the high entrance rail. Absolute precision right here will not be that essential as a result of you’ll be able to finesse the match by hand later if crucial.

Make a mark on the skin face on the high of every leg to make sure that you narrow the slots within the right place, then minimize a slot in every of the 4 legs. If you’ve gotten mud assortment you are able to do this in a single motion; if not, fastidiously pull the leg again and permit the mud to clear, then push the leg ahead to the cease to finish the minimize.

Stop minimize. Set a cease to align every bracket for matching cuts as you sq. the tip.

Although it’s not strictly crucial with brackets which might be ornamental quite than structural, I minimize my bracket blanks in order that the grain runs diagonally. Leave the blanks outsized, as a result of the lengthy mitered edges will assist guarantee accuracy on the router desk. (If you run the grain diagonally, scribe the shoulder line of the dovetail on the face the place the minimize shall be going in opposition to the grain to keep away from tear-out.)

Next, minimize the bracket ends sq.. If you do that on an influence noticed, you’ll want two cease settings: one for the peak, and one other for the width which incorporates 38” for the dovetail.

Cut off the dovetails as much as the shoulder line of their slots utilizing a tenon noticed.

Finally, mark the radius for the arch on every clean, minimize it on the band noticed, then sand. To expedite the sanding of eight brackets, I rigged up a customized device utilizing an empty cat meals can with sticky-backed sandpaper round it, and chucked it into my drill press. (You can, after all, use a spindle sander.)

Arts & Crafts Bookcase Cut List

No.ItemDimensions (inches)MaterialComments

t w l

❏ 2 Side panels 3Four x 11 x 56 58 Oak

❏ 4 Legs 1 12 x 1 12 x 59 38 Oak

❏ 1 Top 1 x 18 12 x 50 1316 Oak

❏ 4 Feet, cove portion 1116 x 2 12 x 2 12 Oak

❏ 4 Feet, base 14 x 2 34 2 34 Oak

❏ 1 Front high rail 34 x 3 3Four x 41 12 Oak *1 14 TBE

❏ 1 Front backside rail 34 x 4 78 x 41 12 Oak *1 14 TBE

❏ 2 Back rails 34 x 2 34 x 41 12 Oak *1 14 TBE

❏ 8 Brackets 1316 x 2 3Four x 3 18 Oak **

❏ 1 Bottom 12 x 13 5Eight x 40 18 Oak

❏ 2 Bottom cleats (underneath) 3Four x 1 3Eight x 12 38 Oak

❏ 2 Bottom cleats (over) 3Four x 1 3Eight x 11 58 Oak

❏ 1 Beveled trim, high 516 x 1316 x 39 34 Oak

❏ 1 Beveled trim, backside 5Eight x 716 x 40 14 Oak

❏ 4 Shelves 1 x 11 5Eight x 40 Oak

❏ 2 Back stiles 34 x 3 34 x 49 18 Oak

❏ 1 Back high rail 34 x 3 3Four x 32 12 Oak

❏ 1 Back backside rail 34 x 4 3Four x 32 12 Oak

❏ 2 Back vertical dividers 3Four x 3 12 x 41 58 Oak

❏ 3 Back panels 516 x 8 7Eight x 41 38 Oak

❏ 2 Keeper strips 3Four x 3Four x 42 Oak

❏ 4 Door stiles 78 x 2 12 x 48 Oak

❏ 2 Door high rails 7Eight x 3 7Eight x 17 Oak *1 14 TBE

❏ 2 Door backside rails 7Eight x 5 12 x 17 Oak *1 14 TBE

❏ 6 Glass keeper strips 14 x 516 x 48 Oak †

❏ 1 Door cease 12 x 2 58 x 4 58 Oak

*TBE = tenon each ends; **Includes 38 sliding dovetail on again; †Thickness is approximate

Back exploded view


Profile Section

Bracket sample One sq. = 1⁄4″

Rail Pattern – left aspect One sq. = 1⁄2″

Glue Up

Because the aspect panels are butt-glued to the legs with none finding joinery, you should maintain these components in exact alignment throughout glue-up. Cut two 316“-thick spacers at the least so long as the aspect panels to make the reveal constant (apply wax to the spacers if you happen to’re fearful about glue squeeze-out sticking them to your panels). Be positive to attach up the perimeters on a flat floor; any deviation might alter the reveal. Apply glue to each panel edges, then line up the highest of the panel with the tops of the legs.

When the glue within the aspect assemblies is dry, glue up the body. Tape a bit of scrap over the dovetail slots within the legs to guard the slots from harm by the clamps. Sight throughout the highest rails to verify for racking, then throughout the entrance to verify for twist. Check the diagonals throughout the entrance and high.

Now make a routing template (I take advantage of 14” plywood) for the Tudor arch (confer with the rail sample on web page 28). Cut the arch within the decrease rail with a jigsaw, clamp the sample to the rail one aspect at a time, then clear up the arch utilizing a top-mounted-bearing sample bit.

Bottoms Up

Spaced out. Long strips of three⁄16″-thick materials maintain the panels within the right alignment as you glue the aspect panels to the legs.

Turn the case the wrong way up and make the two-part ft. The blanks for the coved portion are 1116” thick, 212” sq.. Cut the coves on a router desk utilizing a 12” cove bit, chopping the end-grain first so the long-grain cuts will take away tear-out. The bases are 14” x 234” squares. Glue and pin the components along with the coved piece centered on the foot.

Center every composite foot on a leg; you are able to do this by eye – the overlap is small. Tack them in place, then drill for and connect two countersunk screws to forestall rotation.

Take care when standing the case upright to keep away from damaging the ft. Now minimize the highest to dimension.

Clamp it. Pads over the dovetail slots for the brackets shield them from clamp harm as you glue and clamp the carcase.

Use conventional picket “buttons” or metallic fasteners to carry the highest on the case. If utilizing buttons, you’ll have to rout or chop mortises close to the highest of the perimeters, back and front rails; if utilizing metallic attachment {hardware}, you’ll be able to minimize slots on the requisite top utilizing a biscuit jointer after the case has been assembled. In both case, set the peak of the slots so there’s a area of about 116” to 18” between the highest fringe of the case and the highest of the fastener to make sure a optimistic pull.

After becoming the highest and its attachments, take away it and set it apart for now.

The carcase backside shall be supported by the back and front backside rails, and by cleats working from the entrance to the again legs.

Nice ft. A 1⁄2″ cove and barely bigger base mix to create an eye catching backside element to the ft.

Start by chopping cleats to suit between the back and front legs, then mark the within nook of the legs on the cleat at back and front. Scribe the space between the within nook of every leg and the within face of the carcase aspect (it needs to be about 12“) on the cleat and minimize a notch with a backsaw or on the desk noticed. The rear notch minimize needs to be offset about 18” towards the entrance to depart extra room for motion of the aspect.

Metal or buttons. You can use metallic connectors as I did, or picket buttons to attach the highest to the carcase. Either means, offset the slots within the case sides by 1⁄16″-1⁄8″ so the highest pulls down tight.

Drill a 38“-diameter gap within the notched half on the again to permit the carcase to increase and contract, then glue and screw the cleat in place on the entrance leg, taking care to make the highest face flush with the highest fringe of the entrance rail.

Mark the place of the opening on the again leg, drill on the heart for a #6 screw, then screw the cleat in place on the again leg utilizing a 532” x 34” fender washer and a pan head screw. Repeat on the opposite aspect. The washer spans the opening, which is kind of a bit bigger than a #6 screw, to permit for motion.

Perfectly match. Pull the correct size and notch location from the carcase, not from the cutlist.

The 12“-thick backside will sit flush with the entrance face of the cupboard; trim will cowl the joint between these components. Measure the space from this face to midway by way of the thickness of the again rail and rip the underside to this dimension.

Crosscut the underside to the total inside width of the carcase and notch it across the legs. Sand the underside, then glue it in place on the entrance rail solely (to permit for enlargement and contraction towards the again).

Now minimize and notch higher cleats to sandwich the underside in place and preserve it flat. Shape the entrance to keep away from a careless look – I minimize the identical radius as I used for the brackets – and fasten the highest cleats in place as you probably did with the decrease ones.

Washer put on. A fender washer transfers the strain between the fillet and aspect panel throughout the three⁄8″-diameter gap that enables the aspect to maneuver freely, and offers a stable floor for the screw head.

So why undergo what looks like extra hassle than merely setting the underside in dados? This down-and-dirty strategy (I realized it years in the past in an expert cupboard store) truly makes life simpler, significantly on massive case items reminiscent of this one.

The 12” inventory reduces the general weight barely, there are not any dados to chop, and there may be one much less piece to juggle as you apply clamps to a carcase glue-up. But after all, be at liberty to strategy the underside in a standard method if you happen to desire.

Back it Up

Mark the minimize. With the again panel held in place, pencil a line the place it meets the case backside. Then, minimize a 3⁄8″-deep rabbet (half the thickness of your again rail) to that line.

I made a paneled again that matches contained in the opening, with out rabbeting the case. The again is joined with pegged stub tenons in a 12“-deep groove with floating panels.

You may go for a plywood or ship-lapped oak again, however I feel the paneled again provides a sublime contact.

Measure the peak of the inside opening on the again and minimize the stiles to this size, then use these dimensions to calculate the lengths of the highest and backside rails and vertical dividers.

You can keep away from a small hole behind the cabinets by rabbeting the panel edges in order that they’re flush with the again’s body on the within of the bookcase. (Because I purchased 4/Four inventory for these panels and bookmatched them, I made my panels 516” thick; this resulted in a 14” hole behind the cabinets, which is negligible in a case designed for e book storage.)

Fit the again into the opening and mark the horizontal line the place it hits the underside of the case on the inside of the cupboard. Rabbet the underside rail of the again panel so that it’s going to match over the underside of the case with its again face flush with the again of the legs.

Now, with the again set in place, measure for the thickness of the “keeper strips” to which you’ll safe it.

To decide this, measure the space between the within face of the again and the within face of the legs – it needs to be about 34” – in order that the strip shall be flush with the entrance of the legs. Cut the strips to size and glue them in place.

What you’re principally doing right here is making a glued-on rabbet – it’s less complicated than rabbeting the legs to just accept the again, and – if you happen to select strips that match the grain within the legs – nobody will ever discover at the back of a bookcase.

After the glue dries, safe the again to the strips with brass screws. (I take advantage of 4 or 5 on either side).

Now glue the arched brackets into their slots, taking care to make their tops degree with the highest of the case.

Beveled Trim

Rabbet first. After chopping rabbets to just accept a glass panel, it’s easy to see the place the mortise must be laid out and minimize.

Many items of Arts & Crafts casework produced by Lebus characteristic bevels as an ornamental component – on the within edges of door rails and cornices, or to border sections of casework. I integrated bevels right here within the type of trim above and beneath the doorways; I diversified the size to supply proportions typical of a Lebus piece on the flip of the 20th century.

Leave your trim inventory overlong till you’ve gotten minimize the bevels on the desk noticed. Rip one aspect along with your blade at 45°, then reverse the minimize to bevel the opposite aspect. Note: These cuts will go away a small flat on the edges.

Stepped shoulders. Show the rail to the stile to mark the placement for the stepped shoulder that can fill within the rabbet.

Now minimize a 45° bevel on one finish, then lop roughly 18” off the tip to match the lengthy flat of the desk noticed bevels. Determine the ultimate size (add 18” for the flat on the opposite finish), then replicate the bevel there.

Glue and pin the beveled trim onto the face of the cupboard, leaving an 18” reveal between each bit of trim and the closest fringe of the highest and backside rail respectively.

Make the Doors

Bevel up. Set the blade on the desk noticed to 45° and rip one aspect of the trim, then the opposite. And, after all, use a push stick for this operation.

Although you would rabbet the backs of the doorways with a router after meeting to just accept the leaded-glass panels, the strategy I take advantage of is extra conventional for glazed doorways and leaves a clear shoulder on the inside nook.

Mill the door rails and stiles now, in addition to sufficient additional inventory to make use of for take a look at cuts on setups.

On the within of all of the items, minimize a 38“-wide x 58“-deep rabbet (it have to be deep sufficient to accommodate the thickness of the zinc channel within the glass panels). Then use the rabbeted stiles and rails to information the structure location of the 516“-wide x 114“-deep mortises.

Cut tenons on the desk noticed, setting the peak of the cheek cuts with a bit of scrap with the mortise chopped all the way in which out to 1 finish.

Set the desk noticed fence to supply a full-length tenon – the total mortise depth of 114” – on the cheeks for the face aspect of every rail, however for the cheeks that face the inside of the cupboard, reset the desk noticed fence so the again shoulder of the tenon will fill the groove.

To minimize the haunches, go away the desk noticed fence on the identical setting, however elevate the dado blades to a top of 12” utilizing the identical precept as you probably did for the case joinery.

Once you’re glad with how all the pieces suits, glue up the doorways.

Door Catches

The tall doorways needs to be fitted with catches on the high and backside. You may actually use brass ball catches, however I used rare-earth magnets.

Because I’ve had hassle with magnets exerting too robust a pull when mounted on a door’s face – one thing you actually don’t need with a leaded-glass panel in a tall door – I mounted them within the high and backside rails.

First, drill holes for the magnets on the highest and backside of the door stile utilizing a Forstner bit.

Mark the place of the magnet on the cupboard flooring and high rail, then drill.

Don’t recess the magnets fully; go away them flush or just a bit proud, relying on the dimensions of the hole round your doorways. They want to the touch so as to catch.

As the ultimate contact, connect a small piece of oak to the rail on the high behind the doorways, to function a cease. —NH

Get Hinged

The kind and set up of the hinges for this piece diverge from a lot of 20th-century English conference. Most of the casework I encountered in my coaching and work in England was constructed with fixed-pin butt hinges mortised into the door alone – not mortised into the encompassing cupboard body.

But as a result of the doorways for this bookcase are comparatively massive and heavy (which is why you want three hinges per aspect), I used removable-pin hinges, mortising them into the case in addition to the doorways to alleviate among the stress on the brass screws.

Fit the doorways of their openings, then chop mortises within the door stiles for the hinges. (I sometimes lay out the hinge location by going not more than 12” above or beneath the place the rails meet the stiles.)

Set the doorways on shims to create a small hole on the decrease edge, then mark the positions of the hinge mortises on the face of every corresponding leg. Chop or rout the mortises within the legs. Now test-fit the doorways with their hinges and modify them till they cling properly. Then take away them and prepare to complete.

The Big Finish

Shellacked. Here’s the case after the coat of amber shellac. (Note: Don’t panic after the dye and stain coats…you gained’t get a very good look till after the shellac.)

The end I take advantage of right here produces a traditional Arts & Crafts look, however with out the hazard of ammonia fuming.

First, sand the complete piece to #180 grit then take away the mud. Apply a coat of TransTint Honey Amber dye on the ratio of 1 tablespoon of dye to 1 pint of distilled water.

Using a foam brush, apply the dye liberally with the grain, working shortly to keep away from lap marks. Go over every part with a lint-free material to even out the dye earlier than you progress onto the following space.

After the dye has dried fully, scuff-sand the raised grain with #320-grit sandpaper. Remove the mud, then apply a coat of Minwax Early American stain utilizing a foam brush. The stain will proceed to bleed out of the pores, so wipe periodically with a clear material over the following couple of hours to take away any extra.

Allow the stain to dry in a single day, then apply a coat of amber shellac.

Glaze of age. I blended Old Masters’ Dark Mahogany and Dark Walnut gel stains to get the colour I needed, then added swipes of end in crevices and corners to imitate age.

If you’re going to use a topcoat reminiscent of oil-based polyurethane, use dewaxed shellac to advertise adhesion. Use a high-quality bristle brush and apply the shellac shortly with the grain to attenuate lap strains. You can modify the colour or mimic indicators of age with a gel stain glaze, through which case you’ll wish to wait at the least in a single day earlier than making use of a topcoat.

Don’t neglect to use a coat of shellac on the underside of the highest and flooring so that every one surfaces are sealed (I used Zinsser Bulls Eye SealCoat).

A last going over with paste wax will produce a low-luster, satin-smooth end that’s straightforward to resume with extra wax sooner or later.

I made my very own leaded-glass panels, utilizing instructions out there on-line and from varied publishers. (The studying curve was steep, and the completed product lower than excellent, however I discover the panels fairly engaging and serviceable.)

You can, after all, use plain glass, or have a glass artist make leaded panels for you.

Install the glass panels of their rabbets, then minimize skinny strips of wooden that tuck into the rabbet to carry the glass in place. Miter the corners, then pin the strips in place, sinking the brads into the aspect of the rabbet (the place there isn’t any glass to keep away from). Now connect the highest and rehang the doorways.

The last contact is to put in the door pulls – which I do with the doorways hanging as a result of it means that you can get them precisely even. The ones proven within the opening photograph (from Horton Brasses) are within the Mackintosh model, and are available near the {hardware} on authentic Lebus items of this classic. 

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