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Modified Greene and Greene Bookshelf

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Project by WhattheChuck posted 01-01-2016 12:24 AM 1115 views 8 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A modified Greene and Greene – themed bookshelf. I like the G&G style a lot—the workload not so much. I think people, when getting on their G&G kick, often forget that these things were made by these incredible craftsmen for people who were stinking rich. And as such, even the smallest pieces took an inordinate amount of time. The famous chiffonier in one of the books priced itself out at something like $40K in today’s dollars!

Because I’d like to have some level of copacetic furniture in one room, I’ve taken to focusing on key details to attempt to capture the style, while at the same time make it possible to build without developing a bad case of obsessive-compulsive disorder. I borrow heavily from Thomas Stangeland, and the details he developed for the desk in the FWW book on desks.

One thing this piece forced me to consider was how much overhang, contrasted with how much detail not easily seen. I originally had the breadboard ‘wings’ an inch extra in width, until I realized that it hid the laboriously constructed side panels. I also used double mortise and tenon joints on the bottom, and the rear top. I’m glad that it all went together, but I do want to report that I cursed furiously as I banged that thing together. And I pre-fit all the joints. I figure that it will, at a minimum, last 300 years.

The shelf fronts are beveled to make them look skinnier. The shelf itself is about 46”x15”x 32”.

The wood is the same batch of guilt-free Dead Man’s African mahogany that I used to build the small entertainment center. I’m about lined up with Christopher Schwartz on never putting a monkey willfully out of a home. I have enough mahogany for one more project, and then, I guess, that will be it with me for mahogany for a lifetime.

The finish is still-not-hardened Behlens Rock-hard Tabletop Varnish. It is a miserable finish to apply, but I haven’t found anything else that comes close for protecting things that are going to have unpredictable things placed on top.

I’ll buff it out a month from now and call it good!

-- Chuck, Pullman, WA





11 comments so far

View pottz's profile

pottz

902 posts in 447 days


#1 posted 01-01-2016 12:47 AM

chuck this kills it man im a huge g&g fan and living 30 minutes from the land of g&g I have a deep appreciation.i took a woodworkers tour earlier this year with jim ipekjian you recreated the furniture for the raped blacker house and his lecture and tour inspired me to do my interpretation of a g&g hall table that ill post very soon.and yes you are spot on when you talk about time allotted,there furniture looks very simple and basic but very time consuming,i spent about 4 months of weekends doing mine but worth every minute.i really like that you didn’t just do a copy but did your own version of time a time proven style that will out live you and me,great job my friend.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

View WhattheChuck's profile

WhattheChuck

223 posts in 3023 days


#2 posted 01-01-2016 12:49 AM

Thanks, Pottz! I’ll look forward to seeing yer stuff! As we age through the hobby, the bigger challenge for me is building furniture that works together in a room. That’s where I’m at. I’ll post a picture of my G&G coffee table here in the next couple of days.

-- Chuck, Pullman, WA

View Vincent Nocito's profile

Vincent Nocito

485 posts in 2827 days


#3 posted 01-01-2016 12:51 AM

Very well executed. Like the small detail in the toe kick. Overall proportions are spot on.

View pottz's profile

pottz

902 posts in 447 days


#4 posted 01-01-2016 12:54 AM

looking forward to it ill get mine up in the next week or 2 but im more of an eclectic woodworker nothing in my house matches anything else its all different wood and styles yet it seems to work,at least for me-lol.happy new year my woodworking g&g friend.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

View WhattheChuck's profile

WhattheChuck

223 posts in 3023 days


#5 posted 01-01-2016 01:15 AM

Thanks, Vincent! One of the problems with being in a cold place and a garage to work in is that there is no place to varnish. Except inside the house. On a camping tarp. The toe kick will show up more when I get the item in place. I spent a lot of time thinking about that detail…

-- Chuck, Pullman, WA

View david38's profile

david38

2525 posts in 1806 days


#6 posted 01-01-2016 02:30 PM

looks great

View gsimon's profile

gsimon

1192 posts in 1576 days


#7 posted 01-01-2016 04:55 PM

Wonderful piece and great post

-- Greg Simon

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

4854 posts in 2276 days


#8 posted 01-01-2016 08:03 PM

It is interesting to see all the variants on the G and G theme. Sometimes I see projects built in this style but with contrasting woods. Those pieces read really differently than the original pieces that I have toured in the Gamble House.

Your piece is great because you kept the cloud lifts and the breadboard details. I almost like the form even more without ebony pegs everywhere. You have maintained the essence of the style, and it works on this piece quite well.

The finish glows and sings. It’s simply a pleasure to look at.

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

View WhattheChuck's profile

WhattheChuck

223 posts in 3023 days


#9 posted 01-01-2016 09:57 PM

Hi Pintodeluxe—thanks for the nice words! I’ll remember that when I’m sending out the varnish blobs! :-)

-- Chuck, Pullman, WA

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

293 posts in 1811 days


#10 posted 01-02-2016 02:20 PM

I am a huge G&G fan as well as a Stickley fan. Your bookcase blends both styles together quite well. The details are there, but they are subtle which makes people have to look at the piece to discover them. That, in my opinion, is the best kind of woodworking.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View WhattheChuck's profile

WhattheChuck

223 posts in 3023 days


#11 posted 01-02-2016 04:31 PM

Thanks, Earl. I went and looked at your great stuff—seems like we all have the same finishing tribulations with high-use pieces…

-- Chuck, Pullman, WA

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