Author Topic: Chippendale style barred glass doors  (Read 16889 times)

HSteier

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Chippendale style barred glass doors
« on: July 09, 2009, 10:28:41 PM »
I am interested in information about the construction of barred glass doors in the Chippendale style. I have found two sources of information in Fine Woodworking books, an article on barred glass doors by Mac Campbell in "Traditional Woodworking Techniques" and a short snippet of information in "Fine Woodworking's Making Period Furniture" (article by Victor Taylor "Building a Secretaire-bookcase").
Does anyone have any other info?
Campbell's article referenced Joyce's "Encyclopedia of Woodworking". Is there enough info there to make the purchase worthwhile?
Last year Phil Lowe gave a course on Chippendale doors. Did anyone attend? Is there source material you could share with me? I'd be happy to defray any costs.

Thanks in advance

Howard Steier

chamfer

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Re: Chippendale style barred glass doors
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2009, 01:18:41 AM »
Howard,

Ernest Joyce's _Encyclopedia of Furniture Making_ does have a short, helpful, section on barred glass doors, though I don't currently have a copy of it. Not sure it's worth purchasing just for that section, though you may well find some other worthwhile information in it.

Another source is John Hooper's _Modern Cabinetwork, Furniture and Fitments_, which devotes about 6 1/2 pages to the topic. An alternative approach is briefly touched on by Charles Hayward in _Antique or Fake?_. It just so happens I've recently put together a PDF file of these two references in response to a similar question on another forum. Both are still under copyright so I don't wish to "publish" them on the forum, but would be happy to send the file to you privately if you would like. It runs about 2.4 MB.

Don McConnell
Eureka Springs, AR

HSteier

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Re: Chippendale style barred glass doors
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2009, 09:27:34 AM »
Don, I'd love to see the info and I'm most appreciative.
My email is [email protected]

Thanks

Rick Yochim

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Re: Chippendale style barred glass doors
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2009, 09:32:29 AM »
Howard,

This posting prompted me to pull out my copy of Joyce and look it up. I have a later version with the revised text by Alan Peters.

Joyce's treatment of barred glass doors is very brief. Basically, there is one paragraph on p. 236 that references illustrations (nicely done and clear) on p. 234 explaining what they are and the rudiments of how they are joined. I think if all you wanted from the Encyclopedia was to learn how to make barred glass doors, I'd pass on this purchase as it's not really a "how-to'"but a "what-is" as regards this type of door. That said, the book is very good in many other areas and as general reference source it is a go-to for many woodworkers and is often mentioned as a good book to have if you're building a reference library. So I agree with Don.  

I have been looking for this information as well for a future project so I will contact Don privately for that .pdf file.

Hope this helps.

Rick Yochim

  

Ron

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Re: Chippendale style barred glass doors
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2009, 06:33:50 PM »
I took Phil's class last year. Actually I guess I'm the one who talked him into giving it because I was having trouble researching any detailed information of how to build a barred glass door. I have the Joyce and the Hayward as has been stated there is not a great deal of information in these references concerning the topic but they are still excellent references to have around.

There are probable a number of ways to build them and Phil's approach used shooting boards to do the final trim and fit of the various pieces. The door is fitted with a stiffening rib similar to what is discussed in Joyce and the actual face molding are then cut and trimmed using the shooting board and then glued in place. A full scale drawing is made from which the angles were transfer via bevel gauge and used to construct the shooting board. If you want to see or practice a door Phil does sell drawings of his furniture. The door was not really part of anything and was about 20" X 30". Phil might sell the drawing and it was a good practice piece but may not be of any particular use to you.
If you decide to build a door a full scale drawing enables you to transfer the various angles without having to actually measure them.

There is not much other material from the class other then the drawing, some molding and the shooting boards we made. Phil usually revisits his classes every couple of years and maybe he will do it again next year if you can wait that long.

chamfer

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Re: Chippendale style barred glass doors
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2009, 01:59:46 AM »
Hi all,

After a couple of conversations, I've become fairly well convinced that the Hooper and Hayward material I've converted to a pdf file probably falls into the "fair use" category. So, I've decided to make it available to read and/or download at:

http://planemaker.com/photos/b-doors.pdf

Larry and I leave early tomorrow morning (I should have been in bed a long time ago!) to teach at Marc Adams', so I will be without internet access for about ten days. Meanwhile, I hope this material proves to be of some use.

Don McConnell
Eureka Springs, AR

mikemcgrail

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Re: Chippendale style barred glass doors
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2009, 04:29:28 PM »
I made a pretty good sized bookcase a while back with the sort of barred glass doors I think you folks are speaking about. The problem that bothered me most of all was it was basically a bunch of tiny sticks glued together: I could not understand how there would be any strength, even if the joints were reinforced with linen and glue as per the FWW article. The doors I was building were 16 paned affairs with some 3-way miters that I really did not see much reinforcement at all for(other than the linen)- I went to ask my mentor, who was born in 1909 and now has passed away, where the strength would come from to hold the thing together, as the joinery itself has to be very small to look "right". A great deal of the finished strength, he told me, and I believe to be true now, comes from the glass itself being puttied into the rabbets. Maybe this is really obvious, but to me it was like a revelation at the time.

rococojo

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Re: Chippendale style barred glass doors
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2009, 06:12:44 PM »
Mike, thats a good point to emphasise, the finished strength is with the glazing, when all fully finished. Not the barred  door  its self.

                                           Joseph Hemingway
« Last Edit: July 18, 2009, 08:46:56 AM by rococojo »

mikemcgrail

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Re: Chippendale style barred glass doors
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2009, 10:39:27 PM »
Perhaps I am a bit dense, but I don't think I would have understood how much of the strength is in the glazing even after building the doors if he had not told me this before I started.
 Also, I made this piece for a friend of mine. It was his wife that pointed out to me that the four doors really have three large interlacing hexagon patterns formed by the lattice work(one hexagon formed in the center of the middle pair of doors and one hexagon formed on each side with the two far left or two far right doors). I picked out the pattern for the lattice work and really made the doors without her seeing them. I delivered the piece, and she pointed this out, and I was suprised again by 18th century furniture. I think that is what I like most about reproducing 18th century furniture.

Mark Bortner

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Re: Chippendale style barred glass doors
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2009, 11:40:04 PM »
Mike, just out of curiousity your "mentor" was...............
I wonder how many of our members might have known him.
Chose woodworking as my profession in 6th grade, been doing it ever since. Self employed furniture mfg. and set-up/maintenance man in a commercial woodshop. Pics of my old shop and furniture on myspace site and facebook.

mikemcgrail

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Re: Chippendale style barred glass doors
« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2009, 10:15:19 AM »
His name was Thomas Farley, but was known simply as "Harris Farley". He was born in 1909 and lived, I believe, his entire life in Henderson County, Kentucky. I started studying with him in about 1985 or 1986. I remember well one day that I was 26 years old, and he 78 at the same time. He passed away in about 2002. Many folks did not like or understand him, but he was genuinely kind-hearted. He was what I would consider self-taught. He built his first fine piece of furniture in 1958, a Newport desk. Having no children, his pieces were first offered to his nieces and nephews and the remainder bequeathed to Murray State University in Kentucky. I have not checked to see how many(if any) of the pieces are there or on display.
He sold very few pieces in his lifetime, mainly a few corner cabinets and small tables. I doubt many here(on this site) have heard of him. If you had talked very long with him, however, I would say those here would remember him.
After his passing the family asked if I wanted anything. I did not have a picture of him and said I would like one. Since the family really consisted of distant great nieces and nephews, there were not may pictures
available. They had one printed up for all the family members and I received a copy. It was Harris in an unfinished chair- but the family did not know where that particular chair was. I could only smile, it was my desk chair. I remember taking it over for him to see. He liked it so well he took it to his neighbor's house to show him.  It was the neighbor's daughter that had taken the picture.

Bob Mustain

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Re: Chippendale style barred glass doors
« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2009, 08:14:45 AM »
I'm coming late to this discussion but I wanted to add one more source for making barred doors.  Mike Dunbar's book "Federal Furniture" has an extensive discussion of his method of building the doors for a federal secretary.  I like Taylor's article in FW because he gives the angles for the paneled style sometimes called "Chinese" doors in the period, but Mike has some very useful information.  Now for a short editorial.  It's almost painful to read the 1983 V. J. Taylor article in FW and realize how badly the magazine (and most woodworking magazines) have deteriorated.  The Taylor article is seven pages long, has NO photoes, wonderful drawings and loads of text that, while assuming a lot of woodworking knowledge, would allow the reader to actually build the piece.  Contrast that with the photo spreads that fill the magazine today, and the "dumbed down" approach to every piece.  I treasure my collection of older woodworking magazines and wish we had something more like them today.  I think Popular Woodworking's new publication is trying, but it's not there yet.  End of editorial.

rococojo

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Re: Chippendale style barred glass doors
« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2009, 09:22:04 AM »
Mike, your not dense  know one is ,just Little misguided as most of us all are at times, but here is a, Thomas Chippendale bookcase, and door, possibly from 1756,it  is made as so, this shows the glass as all the strength as all the  beadworker joints are glued butt mitred joints, first held with gumbed paper till the glue cures, notice the gut thickness is only 1/8" thick.
 Howard/all, please note this is standard cabinetry.

                                            Joseph
« Last Edit: July 18, 2009, 06:53:07 PM by rococojo »

HSteier

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Re: Chippendale style barred glass doors
« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2009, 08:10:35 AM »
I note in Prof. Hemingway's post that the bars are only 3/8" by 1/4". Mighty small. I have done a small experimental door using 5/8" by 3/8" bars. This size "looks right" to me. Joseph calls 3/8" by 1/4"  "standard cabinetry". Any comments?
Bob, I have Dunbar's book, and thanks for reminding me about the article. I'll check it after work. Right now I have to go back to saving lives and alleviating suffering.

Howard Steier

HSteier

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Re: Chippendale style barred glass doors
« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2009, 04:34:01 PM »
I'm undertaking an ambitious project; I'm trying to do a facsimile of the Elfe library bookcase that's at MESDA and is featured in the three volume "Charleston Furniture". Because of the work and time involved, I'm very interested in obtaining the "right" visual proportions, more so than having something that is "historically correct".
Humphrey's book on Elfe has drawings and measurements of this piece. I don't have the book in front of me but I'm quite sure that he indicates that the bars were 5/8". I'll check.

Howard Steier