|Project by JoeMcGlynn||posted 04-21-2014 06:48 PM||1266 views||3 times favorited||6 comments|
I just finished and hung a new cabinet, inspired by the “Byrdcliffe” cabinet that Christopher Schwarz wrote about in PWW a number of years ago. The original cabinet had a dark finish and door on the right side with a carved panel. The carving was a lilly and it was subtly painted.
The room that this cabinet was destined for has several pieces of Mission-styled furniture in it, so I decided to adapt the original design to be more in keeping with that theme. I made it in quarter sawn white oak, and instead of a carved panel (which is certainly not Mission-ish) I made a stained glass panel.
The overall dimensions are true to what Chris called out in his article, but I changed the door construction to accommodate the glass panel. The magazine article showed a groove for the panel and 1/2” long stub tenons. I needed something a little stronger, and a rebate on the back that I could set the glass panel into. I used mortise and tenon joints, which lead to an interesting detour into why I was struggling with chopping mortises by hand. Eventually I figured it out and moved on with the project.
The finish on the oak is a multi-step job. I started with a base coat of Trans-Tint Brown Mahogany dye (slightly diluted over the normal mix). I rubbed that out with a red scuff pad after it had dried, and followed it with a coat of General Finishes Candelite gel stain. I top coated it with one coat of linseed oil, a coat of garnet shellac and a final coat of clear shellac. I rubbed that out with 0000 steel wool and waxed it with dark brown wax. The color looks great in person.
I made the glass panel, starting with a Dard Hunter design that I scaled to fit. The glass is iridized art glass, which means it has a thin metallic coating on it that reflects light in a rainbow of colors. I thought this was important because it wouldn’t be backlit, so otherwise it might look too bland.
I’m really pleased with the end result, and my wife loves it. I put all the gory details on my blog at http://mcglynnonmaking.wordpress.com/tag/byrdcliffe/.