Thorsen House Cabinet #2: Preliminary CAD plan and design specifics

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Blog entry by EläväPuu posted 11-24-2014 04:13 PM 1973 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Project Overview Part 2 of Thorsen House Cabinet series Part 3: Basic Component Appraisal »

I spent 3-4 hours this weekend poring over photos and videos of the original piece in situ. This is one of the appealing pleasures of Greene & Greene work and definitely one that feeds into my natural tendency for puzzles and rocket scientistism.

Overall, the dimensions are not too far removed from the original which is fantastic in terms of not having to re-calculate proportioning to keep everything in check. The area the cabinet will be fitted within is 1640mm (64-1/2”) wide which is perfect.

Without wanting to be overly critical of Dale Barnard and William Ng’s interpretation of the Thorsen House cabinet, I do have to say that I find several key aspects missing. Unfortunately these are the ones that tend to lend a piece that vital essentia of Greene & Greene. Cloud lifts, Ebony plugs, etc. are one thing (two if you like) but the real magic is in the things not immediately obvious or those that quietly add their contribution without the show and tell.

Firstly, the doors piston-fit into bevelled and stepped framing which I presume is responsible for the “anti-slam” feature which was cringe-worthily demonstrated in the ThisIsCarpentry video ( This extends out into a simple delicate beading framing all three of the doors. Quite importantly, the corniced top steps through five levels before opening out into the interior of the cabinet! This definitely complicates things somewhat, however I don’t think Charles and Henry used the same definition of “simple” as ordinary fallible mortals like we.

The glass work is a challenge all of itself. Whilst I am happy to subcontract that problem out to my wife, I still have the task of making the fine muntins and the even finer internal glazing beadwork. These look as though they were made to be as fine as was practical, which is going to be a fine line to work towards….more than likely I will mill these onto a thick “mother” piece of stock using the pin router before thickness sanding the backing off. We’ll look at that one later.

It is undecided as to whether I will fit the “door frame to door frame” horizontal wall mount. Certainly, the two protruding brackets will be an inclusion.

Note; as I am writing this, I just got an email telling me I have a post from Joe McGlynn saying these exact same things. :-)

The CAD plan is what it says on the tin; preliminary. Like Joe, I’ll be transferring this one over to Solidworks to produce a modelled reference item and design sheets for the workshop. Sounds like the next job….

-- "What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence"

1 comment so far

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292 posts in 3197 days

#1 posted 11-25-2014 01:47 AM

Very interesting. I enjoyed your thoughts. I looked at two or three of the videos.
Thank you for sharing it was very good

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