Greene & Greene Thorsen Table

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Project by JoeMcGlynn posted 08-10-2014 01:59 PM 3024 views 10 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I was actually working on another Greene & Greene inspired project, a wall cabinet derived from the dining room cabinet in the Thorsen house, when I ran into a delay. The handle and materials I’d ordered for the stained glass door hadn’t arrived yet and it was the weekend – the only time I get to sneak into the shop.

So I decided I’d make the little Thorsen plant stand—it’s been in Popular Woodworking and I know a lot of folks on this forum have built it. There are sketch up plans out there, I figured it would be a pretty quick, fun project.

As it turned out, it was a very fun project, although I ended up drawing up my own plans. The main motivation was to have full scale templates for the piercings in the skirts. I also wanted to change a few details. The Popular Woodworking plans have a different lower shelf from the original, I wanted to keep closer to the original. I also wanted a slightly larger top than the original. And finally, I wanted to use “waterfall legs” as seen on some of the gamble house furniture instead of the same square/tapered legs I’ve seen on other versions.

The construction was mostly straightforward. The hardest part, for me, was scroll sawing the pierced details. The cut outs are too small to be able to do much cleanup beyond correcting small undulations and smoothing out. I’m not really very experienced with a scroll saw, but it came in really handy here.

The table is built in quarter sawn Sapele. The finish is Trans-Tint Red-Brown dye, topped with Boiled Linseed Oil, Garnet Shellac and Antique Mahogany Briwax. I like the finished color a lot, it has a nice depth.

I covered the build-up on my blog—including the mistakes I made along the way. In one of the posts I included the plans I drew up in case others wanted to build the same thing.

-- Blog:

20 comments so far

View Bonj's profile


13 posts in 1546 days

#1 posted 08-10-2014 02:09 PM


-- Nothing is impossible for those that don't have to do it themselves

View stefang's profile


15947 posts in 3479 days

#2 posted 08-10-2014 02:54 PM

Very nicely done. I love the G&G style, especially the ebony pegs and splines.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View mmh's profile


3677 posts in 3867 days

#3 posted 08-10-2014 03:02 PM

Beautifully designed and executed! I would love to have this piece in my home.

Sapele is a beautiful wood with a nice chatoyance and the stain you used is a nice accent.

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View helluvawreck's profile


32083 posts in 3011 days

#4 posted 08-10-2014 03:05 PM

This is soooo attractive and the wood is beautiful.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Woodbridge's profile


3574 posts in 2563 days

#5 posted 08-10-2014 03:56 PM

beautiful work!

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View mbs's profile


1657 posts in 3085 days

#6 posted 08-10-2014 05:24 PM

Love it. Great job.

-- Sorry the reply is so long. I didn't have time to write a short reply.

View mauipapa's profile


28 posts in 1742 days

#7 posted 08-10-2014 06:32 PM

Excellent build! I’ve always liked the G&G details. I’ll favorite this one as an inspiration for a future project.

-- W. Muse, Maui Hawaii

View Gshepherd's profile


1727 posts in 2346 days

#8 posted 08-10-2014 06:55 PM

Looks pretty darn Sweet… Excellent Job…. How did you like workin with Sapele?

-- What we do in life will Echo through Eternity........

View JoeMcGlynn's profile


219 posts in 2498 days

#9 posted 08-10-2014 07:09 PM

Looks pretty darn Sweet… Excellent Job…. How did you like workin with Sapele?

- Gshepherd

Thanks!. Sapele is OK to work with. Harder than “Genuine Mahogany” I’ve worked with, and I got some tear out in spots, but overall a nice wood. It certainly finishes up nicely.

-- Blog:

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 2437 days

#10 posted 08-10-2014 09:02 PM

Beautiful work and great results—a real winner!

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View Mean_Dean's profile


6881 posts in 3292 days

#11 posted 08-10-2014 09:35 PM

Great looking Thorsen table! Love the grain of that sapele, and your finish is beautiful, too!

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" Capt James Lawrence USN

View pintodeluxe's profile


5757 posts in 2958 days

#12 posted 08-11-2014 02:31 AM

Great project, I like the details. The waterfall legs add a nice touch.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View LeroyTheLips's profile


248 posts in 2392 days

#13 posted 08-11-2014 04:56 AM

Beautiful. Love the color.

View david38's profile


3518 posts in 2488 days

#14 posted 08-11-2014 06:48 PM

beautiful piece

View mcoyfrog's profile


4487 posts in 3739 days

#15 posted 08-11-2014 06:57 PM

Amazing I love it, such a great design and so elegant looking

-- Wood and Glass they kick (well you know) Have a great day - Dug

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