This bookcase design is my interpretation of a combination of some Greene and Greene designs. Unfortunately, my computer skills are not good enough to show the details.
In the 3D file, for example(which created the rendered drawing below), I couldn’t get the proportions of the feet right (they are not as flat as they appear in the rendered drawing, below). Nor could I get the crown moulding “cloud lift” detail to show except as some dashed lines. Further, one aspect of this bookcase that reflects the Greene and Greene influence is that, except for the shelf fronts, all visible edges (except at the back) are rounded, with a radius of at least 1/8 in. I never did figure out how to do that in the 3D drawing. Nor did I figure out how to show that the through tenons are proud,and rounded. I also didn’t figure out how to show that all of the edges (except the bottom) of the feet are rounded.
The 2D file shows much more of the detail in the various cross section views. It too, misses some of the details.
One characteristic of Greene and Greene is that they primarily used mahogany – mostly solids, for their furniture. In this design, the carcass will be made of 3/4 in. and 1 in. Apple ply plywood, except for the two visible end panels and the visible front “kick” panels, which will be 3/4 in. mahogany plywood. The Apple ply panels and shelves will be dyed or stained to resemble the mahogany. All of the visible edges, and the various trim pieces, will be mahogany solids. Reflecting the Greene and Greene style, they will be “dyed” using potassium dichromate, (or some modern substitute). I will probably use 1/4 in. luan plywood for the back panels.
The shelves will be set into the vertical panels using 1/4 in deep dados. The shelf front trim pieces will have 1/8 in. rabbets at the front edges, and tapers on the bottoms starting about 1/2 in. behind the front edge to reduce the visual thickness appearance of the shelves. (This detail shows in the cross section drawings in the 2D file.
Mostly, the bookcase parts will be glued. However, I may use pocket screws for attaching the kick panels (front and rear).
I haven’t decided yet what finish to use, but I suspect that it will be likely ber a polyurethane/tung oil wipe on finish. Another alternative is sprayed lacquer. I may partially finish some of the pieces prior to assembly. (I haven’t thought this all the way through, yet.)
This design was drawn using Generic Cad and Generic 3D— old DOS cad programs I have had for years. The Generic Cad and Generic 3D programs created DXF files for sharing. Autodesk (who purchased, and then dumped Generic Cad) provides a free DXF viewer called “DWG TrueView”. It is available from AutoDesk at
This will be my first attempt at making anything reflecting the Greene and Greene style (and my first furniture project in years). I intend to build this bookcase within the next six months, or so. It will replace particle-board bookcases in my “library” —part of my retirement life. Obviously, any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
Tags: challenge04, bookcase, design, plan, Greene & Greene
-- Rick, Menlo Park, CA