Barrister Bookcase

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Project by ScottAlan posted 12-25-2012 04:27 PM 4096 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 (online now)


6647 posts in 2202 days

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

It looks great, a really nice gift.

View a1Jim's profile


115674 posts in 3180 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


7418 posts in 2517 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 3444 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


19286 posts in 2278 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


2034 posts in 1918 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

Monte Pittman

23898 posts in 1941 days

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

Very classy

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

View david38's profile


3455 posts in 1947 days

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

beautiful piece

View ChuckV's profile


2943 posts in 3130 days

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

That is very beautiful. Great job on the build.

-- “Big man, pig man, ha ha, charade you are.” ― R. Waters

View Grandpa's profile


3258 posts in 2279 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


2720 posts in 3445 days

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

WOW Great Lookin Job

-- Jim, Kentucky

View ScottAlan's profile


40 posts in 3646 days

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

Thanks all. I appreciate it…!

View MJCD's profile


484 posts in 1974 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 2666 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 1599 days

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

very nice love the bookcase thats on my list

-- jrm123

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