Barrister Bookcase

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Project by ScottAlan posted 12-25-2012 04:27 PM 3691 views 17 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Barrister Bookcase
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This is a cherry barrister bookcase I made my girlfriend for Christmas. It is from a plan. It is stained with General Finishes Antique Cherry stain. Two coats of urethane on the vertical surfaces. Four coats on the horizontal surfaces. I had a glass shop make custom glass inserts. Sixty panes of genuine 1920’s wavy glass with leading holding them together. I drew CAD drawings of how I wanted the glass to look and provided them to the glass artist. The doors tolt up to 90 degrees and then slide in. Instead of mechanical slides, I utilized wood dowels riding in routed slots in the frame. I aged the internal door latches with ammonia fumes to age the metal. I built the three section cabinet with pegs and holes like Legos so it can be broken down, moved easily and reset back up again.

My GF and I were in an antique shop in Northern Wisconsin this summer. She saw one similar to this in the shop. She loved it but it wasn’t worth $1800 to me. She walked on to look at other things and I used my arm as a measuring tool to measure the dimensions and my smart phone to photograph the glass layout.

The custom glass work was $823 and the cherry I got for about $200.

We just need to keep her giant dog from breaking the glass.

15 comments so far

View ShaneA's profile


6208 posts in 1902 days

#1 posted 12-25-2012 04:32 PM

It looks great, a really nice gift.

View a1Jim's profile


114923 posts in 2880 days

#2 posted 12-25-2012 04:34 PM

I really like this, the glass really adds to it plus a super finish.

-- Custom furniture

View HorizontalMike's profile


7000 posts in 2217 days

#3 posted 12-25-2012 04:40 PM

Wow! Way to go Scott! I built a very similar Barrister’s, however, I could not afford that kind of extra glass work. That glass really sets this off. What a winner!

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Topapilot's profile


171 posts in 3144 days

#4 posted 12-25-2012 05:15 PM

Nice job! People will be admiring the glass layout long after you’ve forgotton the cost. The two sizes of glass really make the piece.

View DIYaholic's profile


19059 posts in 1978 days

#5 posted 12-25-2012 05:18 PM

A very beautiful piece indeed! Nicely done.

You have given me an idea as to what to build my brother for NEXT Christmas. Thanks for the idea and the inspiration!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View Grumpymike's profile


1786 posts in 1618 days

#6 posted 12-25-2012 05:46 PM

You have captured a rare old look to this piece. Nice job and well executed.

-- Grumpy old guy, and lookin' good Doin' it. ... Surprise Az.

View Monte Pittman's profile (online now)

Monte Pittman

20273 posts in 1641 days

#7 posted 12-25-2012 06:39 PM

Very classy

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View david38's profile


2142 posts in 1647 days

#8 posted 12-25-2012 09:02 PM

beautiful piece

View ChuckV's profile


2849 posts in 2830 days

#9 posted 12-25-2012 11:47 PM

That is very beautiful. Great job on the build.

-- β€œIt was they who were wrong, and for them here's a song.” ― I. Anderson

View Grandpa's profile


3251 posts in 1979 days

#10 posted 12-26-2012 01:34 AM

That is beautiful. She will cherish this for years… decades. Thanks for sharing.

View jim1953's profile


2713 posts in 3145 days

#11 posted 12-26-2012 03:21 AM

WOW Great Lookin Job

-- Jim, Kentucky

View ScottAlan's profile


40 posts in 3346 days

#12 posted 12-26-2012 03:50 AM

Thanks all. I appreciate it…!

View MJCD's profile


482 posts in 1674 days

#13 posted 12-26-2012 04:49 PM


I love the piece and the look. Some great work here, within the details and execution.


-- Lead By Example; Make a Difference

View SteveA's profile


26 posts in 2366 days

#14 posted 12-27-2012 06:21 AM

Gorgeous. Should be good for a couple of kitchen passes.

View jimmy meeker's profile

jimmy meeker

135 posts in 1299 days

#15 posted 01-19-2013 06:14 AM

very nice love the bookcase thats on my list

-- jrm123

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