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Reply by Mark Kornell

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Posted on Wall hanging scotch cabinet - Introduction and design critique request

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Mark Kornell

482 posts in 1187 days


#1 posted 02-24-2013 04:32 AM

Jeremy,

Are you attempting to make a piece that is, for lack of a better term, “correct”? I.e. follows the details closely enough to perhaps mimic a piece that might have come out of the Hall bros. shop? Or design something that just takes influence from G&G designs?

My comments are geared toward the first interpretation rather than the second, so I apologize in advance if that’s not your intention.

I would suggest that your cloud lifts are somewhat out proportion – they lift too much. The double lift seems too much for the scale of the door – both the inner stiles and top rails. The proportion of the lift on the inner stiles of the third pic of your original post seems about right.

You can find the cloud lift going both ways on G&G furniture, although I’d hazard a guess that the lift opens up more often than down at the top of an element.

Do you have David Mathias’ book? If so, there is a picture of a small curio cabinet on page 23 that might be a good reference for you.

The cabinet has proportionally thinner stiles and top rail, with a thicker bottom rail. This rail is sized to cover a set of drawers in the cabinet. The cloud lift opens up on the top rail, and there is a double lift on the bottom rail that also opens up.

For the finger joints, you could go protruding, as you’ve drawn them, or you could go flush. In either case, the ends of the fingers are rounded over.

This curio cabinet uses protruding fingers on the top, but a flat bottom that extends a bit past the edge of the carcase, like something you’d see in a Krenov piece.

Also, through tenons are something that isn’t common in G&G furniture. Tenons were pinned, though, and the pins capped with square pillowed plugs. Mathias’ book shows only one example of a through tenon, and that was on a lower stretcher of a table. Shelves in carcases were just dadoed in.

A couple things to consider:
- Maybe use brackets rather than cloud lifts on the inside of the door frame. Top of the frame only. Given the scale of the doors, probably just a single bracket, rather than a double (Blacker-style) bracket.
- If you remove the through tenons for the interior shelf, maybe add some decorative raised inlay to the sides of the cabinet.
- Consider what you want to do for glass. G&G used a lot of art glass for the visual effect, and while it was by no means ubiquitous in glass-doored cabinets, it might be a nice touch to your piece. Though not cheap :-)

Darrell Peart’s book is also quite useful as both a reference on styles and variations, but also construction details.

-- Mark Kornell, Kornell Wood Design


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