Author Topic: Chippendale style barred glass doors  (Read 16173 times)

HSteier

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Re: Chippendale style barred glass doors
« Reply #15 on: July 21, 2009, 08:00:47 PM »
Au contraire Dr. Hemingway.
I checked Humphreys' book with the measurements off the MESDA piece. The bars are actually 9/16" wide  with a 5/16" bead leaving 1/8" fillets on either side of the bead. I have a quarter round plane with fillet (from Todd Herrli) that will give me a 5/8" wide bar with a 3/8" bead and with a 1/8" fillet on each side so that's the size it's gonna be (pending alterations based on "the look" of a trial door.}

Howard Steier
(Craftsmanship with an Attitude).

frangallo

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Re: Chippendale style barred glass doors
« Reply #16 on: July 21, 2009, 11:53:50 PM »
In my experience the dimensions given by Joseph are accurate. I personally believe that the mullions should be minimized and 5/8" might be heavy. Concerning the historical significance of the layout of the Hepplewhite pattern familiar to us all, the design is intended to reflect the 13 original colonies of the new America by having 13 mulled panes. Any comment on this?
There is a tide in the affairs of men which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune.

chamfer

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Re: Chippendale style barred glass doors
« Reply #17 on: July 22, 2009, 12:39:29 AM »
Howard et al,

Guess I'm returning to this thread a little late, but thought it might be of some interest to broaden the context of this discussion to include some barred glass doors of pieces from other eras. My source for this is E. J. Warne's book, _Furniture Mouldings_, which happens to include full-sized drawings of mouldings of English furniture from 1574 to 1820. Included among those mouldings are the mouldings/bars of glazed doors from 1690 (actually 1675, but I believe it to be a joiner's piece) to 1790.

Here is a brief description and overall dimension of each piece, along with the width of the "astragal", or moulded portion of the glazing elements.

ca. 1690 Walnut China Cabinet, 4' wide by 6'6" high  --   3/4" wide moulding.
ca. 1720 Yellow Lacquer Bureau/Bookcase, 2' 2 3/4" wide by 5' 9 3/4" high --  7/16" wide moulding.
ca. 1735 Spanish Mahogany Bookcase, 4' 7" wide by 7' 7 1/2" high --  1" wide moulding.
ca. 1735 Mahogany Bookcase, 5' 1" wide by 7' 6" high --  1" wide moulding.
ca. 1750 Mahogany Library Bookcase, 10' 6" wide by 8' high  --   11/16" wide moulding.
ca. 1750 Mahogany Library Bookcase, 9' wide by 7' 3" high   --    5/8" wide moulding.
ca. 1765 Mahogany China Cabinet, 4' 10" wide by 5' 5 1/2" high  --   13/32" wide moulding.
ca. 1780 Satinwood Bookcase, 3' 11" wide by 7' 2 1/2" high  --   7/16" wide moulding.
ca. 1785 Satinwood Escritoire Bookcase, 2' 11 13/16" wide by 6' 11" high --  5/16" wide moulding.
ca. 1790 Mahogany Corner Cabinet, ca. 3' 6" wide by 7' high --  15/32" wide moulding.
ca. 1790 Mahogany Bookcase, 5' 9 3/4" wide by 7' 8 1/4" high  --   3/8" wide moulding.

It would seem that the visual weight of these "astragals" could vary quite a bit, depending on the size and visual weight of other elements of each piece.

I think it may be of some interest to note that the bead moulding of the 1690 Walnut China Cabinet is cross-grained. As were all the mouldings on high-end pieces of that period. I can only speculate, but can't help but wonder if this feature played a role in the development of the two-piece construction used in barred glass cabinet doors of the 18th century and beyond. If the slats/bars were long-grain, they would have provided strength/integrity for the cross-grain walnut bead at the front.

Speaking of strength, I have no doubt that the glass stiffens the door to help keep it from sagging with the added weight, but my experience with doors of this construction has satisfied me that these doors are surprisingly strong, without the glass, when properly done. For example, in doors with "hexagonal" features, the three-way corners can be accomplished by mitering two elements then bracing that corner with a V joint on the end of the third element. Add the "astragal" and re-enforce with cotton or linen tape (or scrim), and it is satisfyingly rigid and strong.

Don McConnell
Eureka Springs, AR
« Last Edit: July 22, 2009, 01:07:36 AM by chamfer »

HSteier

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Re: Chippendale style barred glass doors
« Reply #18 on: July 22, 2009, 10:08:33 AM »
Thanks Don

I have that reference but never thought to look at it.

Now that you're back from Marc Adams would you be good enough to comment about using molding planes to make the elements of these doors?
The astragals can be made using a quarter round with fillet (is that also called a 'thumbnail' ?) run down both sides of a 5/8" board to give an astragal; subsequently cut the astragal off the board and groove the astragal. The rails and stiles then need an ovolo (is that the right name? a quarter round with two fillets} as Dr. Hemingway's picture shows. Was the ovolo on the rails and stile made with a single molding plane? If so does your company have such a stock profile?

Finally, how in the world did they make long pieces of cross grain moldings? I have a devil of a time just doing  a short piece of cross grain molding such as that on a lipped drawer. I actually made a similar cabinet with Gene Landon and made the moldings with hand planes long grain and it was a bear.

Howard Steier

Rick Yochim

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Re: Chippendale style barred glass doors
« Reply #19 on: July 22, 2009, 10:40:15 AM »
Don,

I too am interested in your response to Howard as regards sticking the bar mouldings with moulding planes. I think that the predispostion might be toward the router and carefully selected bit(s), but if this work can be done with moulding planes all the better I think.

And if so, how do you stick the occasional arched or rounded elements? (e.g. ca. 1790 Mahogany Bookcase, 5' 9 3/4" wide by 7' 8 1/4" high  --   3/8" wide moulding - plate 41 in Warne). When cut straight, are they thin enough to be bent? Or are the profiles formed with carving chisels and then cut out? 

Rick Yochim

 

chamfer

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Re: Chippendale style barred glass doors
« Reply #20 on: July 22, 2009, 10:48:12 AM »
Howard et al,

Very quick response before going back down to the shop.

Based on comments in Sheraton, as well as text from Hayward and Hooper, it seems that a very common tool used in making these small "astragals" was a form of scratch-stock. Hooper shows one method, where he works one side of the profile while the piece is attached to a wider board, then sawing it off to work the other side. I'm presuming this would require a special "sticking board." One advantage of this approach is that the groove on the back could also be run while the moulding is attached to the wider board.

Another approach is suggested by Sheraton, though his text deals with glue laminated (veneer) elements for elliptical work. That would be to work with a board the width of the moulded elements and work the full profile on the edge before cutting it off. The text isn't clear, but Sheraton may have been indicating a scratch-stock which will work the full profile at one time. The downside to this is that it is more difficult to run a groove down the back, probably necessitating some kind of special "cradle" for holding the moulding while being ploughed.

Incidentally, for true circular curved elements, Sheraton indicates the sweeps are to be sawn out of solid material, affixed to a backing, and sent off to the turner.

I'd like to think we could make a plane of any profile/size to handle any material, but we're currently so back-ordered that we're not taking any special orders. In lieu of that, given the scale of these elements, I think the scratch-stock really could be fairly efficient. Especially if you planed away some of the waste material, first, with a rabbet or small bench plane.

As to the cross-grain walnut mouldings of the late 17th century, that is something I'd like to do some research on. I would think scratch-stocks might not be the tool of choice for that. The one shown in the drawing from Warne's book is a simple bead (no fillets), so may have been worked with rabbets planes then finished up with a very sharp hollow plane set for a relatively light cut. I believe that would work, but haven't tried that particular operation.

Hope this helps a little.

Don McConnell
Eureka Springs, AR

rococojo

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Re: Chippendale style barred glass doors
« Reply #21 on: July 22, 2009, 01:58:24 PM »
Et AL, May I backtrack somewhat?The Dimensions posted by me are a little Vague, I have discovered, the astral mould is showing 3/8” x ¼” overall. Well comparing this with the side carcase thickness? I now make the mould 5/8"thats 3/8 “wide mould plus 1/8” on either side, then this  matches Don's 1750 chart of 5/8” x 1/4" thick, why the proof reader passed this big mistake? Only god knows. This is the difficulty in life? Getting it correct the first time around. So now every one can now sleep at night.
 
    I attach the correction.      
                                                    Joseph
« Last Edit: July 23, 2009, 05:53:28 PM by rococojo »

jdavis

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Re: Chippendale style barred glass doors
« Reply #22 on: July 22, 2009, 10:04:11 PM »
Don, thank you as always for a well thought out response and for adding additional valuable input. You are the ultimate Professor! Although its slightly off the subject line but follows the replies, I wanted to share an experience I had in making round moldings just as you cited. I made a pair of Newport Secretaries with first hand guidance from Al Breed. The circular pediment opening is bordered by an applied circular astragal. His instruction was to mount the solid mahogany on a board, turn a ring, rough out the astragal pattern but then use a scratch stock to cut the final shape. This seemed masochistic and I did manage to throw one piece around the shop but I made 4 successfully. The scratch stock ensured they were all equally shaped. The rest of the molding was carved by hand. I expect a turner would have done this for moldings and rosettes as well. As for cutting cross grain with a plane, try soaking the end grain in a wash coat of shellac or hide glue before planing and see if that helps. I too would like to know the results if you or anyone tries it.
John

dkeller_nc

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Re: Chippendale style barred glass doors
« Reply #23 on: July 23, 2009, 11:30:40 AM »
"The astragals can be made using a quarter round with fillet (is that also called a 'thumbnail' ?) run down both sides of a 5/8" board to give an astragal; subsequently cut the astragal off the board and groove the astragal. The rails and stiles then need an ovolo (is that the right name? a quarter round with two fillets} as Dr. Hemingway's picture shows. Was the ovolo on the rails and stile made with a single molding plane? If so does your company have such a stock profile?"

Howard - a couple of comments on using "electron-less" tools to do this job.  A standard, one-piece muntin/stile with a rabbet in the back to hold the glass and glazing compound was done in a couple of different ways depending on whether one was British or American.  The British apparently favored an incremental approach, so they would have, generally, a set of two planes that worked the sash ovolo on either side of the muntin - a pair of these planes are made a little differently.  The profiles match, but one is made with an opened mouth so that a "rank" cut could be made, and the other plane was made with a tight mouth and was intended to be used as the "final pass" plane where a very light shaving was taken to clean up any tear-out.  In conjunction with these, a sash maker would have a sash fillister plane.  These look a little like a plough in that there are generally two arms through the stock used to set the distance of the fence to the corner of the blade, but the difference is that while a plow or moving fillister uses the fence to reference off of the near side of the work (where the rabbet is being cut), a sash fillister references off of the opposite side of the work.  Generally speaking, one uses the sash fillister with a sash sticking board to cut the two rabbets first, then uses the two ovolo planes to form the ovolos on either side of the muntin.

The Americans had a different system that would allow cutting the rabbet and the ovolo at the same time.  These are generally called "stick and rabbet planes", and have two short wooden screws and nuts through both sides of a split stock that allows one to adjust the width of the work.  There's a disadvantage to this plane in the shop - it not only takes more force for a given shaving thickness for each pass down the work, it also prevents one from going the "rank and then to fine" type of set-up with the British paired ovolo sash planes.

From the standpoint of making the two-piece type of muntin/stile that Joe has posted a picture of, there are a couple of easy ways to make this with wooden planes that come to mind.  One would first cut a groove down the center of the back side of the muntin/stile stock with a plow.  Then, using a sticking board, you could cut the astragal using either a 1) center-bead plane, or 2) an ovolo plane with an added strip fence on the depth stop to avoid cuttng a fillet on both sides of the ovolo.  My thought is that a small thumbnail plane would approximate the result from an ovolo with added depth-stop filler, or the center-bead plane, but usually a thumbnail plane has an elliptical arc to the rounded profile rather than circular like an ovolo.

Anyway, if a new plane is desirable and C&W is too backed up to make you one, there are two other sources that come to mind for a traditional, mortised wooden plane - D.L. Barret and Sons in Canada, and Philly Planes in the UK.

If you're considering tuning up an antique, Lee Richmond at The Best Things usually has sets of the British type of sash ovolo planes as well as sash fillisters, and occasionally has an American-style stick and rabbet plane.  Center beads, ovolos, and thumbnail planes are also occasionally in his listings.

Another source might be Patrick Leach - he also deals in antique wooden planes.
Period Furniture & Carving as a hobby - about 20 years woodworking

dkeller_nc

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Re: Chippendale style barred glass doors
« Reply #24 on: July 23, 2009, 11:34:57 AM »
Guys - A question regarding the exceptional period bookcases in Charleston and MESDA.  On many of these, the tops of the glass doors of the side pieces have an arched, gothic-style tracery with carved flowers.  My question is whether someone's seen the back of these top carvings, and whether the piece of glass behind this element is one continuous piece (with the tracery serving as a "sham" set of muntins and stiles), or whether each piece of this has rabbets in the back, and there are 4 individual pieces of glass set into the rabbets with glazing compound like a traditional, square or hexagonal muntin/stile configuration would have.

I ask because I'm thinking cutting curved glass pieces to fit individual lights to the tracery carving would be difficult and expensive in the 18th century - but perhaps I'm wrong about that.
Period Furniture & Carving as a hobby - about 20 years woodworking

rococojo

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Re: Chippendale style barred glass doors
« Reply #25 on: July 23, 2009, 07:15:36 PM »
"The astral rails and stiles then need an oval (is that the right name? a quarter round with two fillets} as Dr. Hemingway's picture shows. Was the ovolo on the rails and stile made with a single molding plane? If so does your company have such a stock profile?"

Dennis, By any chance? This would not be your get back at me.(its correct if it is)
 But I lost most everything in a fire not long ago, well 2.1/2 years, don't time fly. but yes I did have such a moulding plane, in a set, I also had a scratch stock which I would run down both L & R edges,turn over and repeat on a 5/8"thick board, then run off on the sawbench. then start another, on short runs.

Luckily I have a benefactor who gave me a replacement set, This same person traveled to "The Great Yorkshire Show 2009" to tell me he had two pieces of wide mahogany for me, I was one of the carving Stewards . I called today on him to collect , both: 7'00" x 20" x 1/1/8" Cuban. I'm so Lucky.
 Dave Allan, 1960 Irish comedian, always ended his TV show with, May your god go with you.

Which reminds me?
On the Wednesday while Stewarding, these (2, 80'-00"pole cat) father & son  from Bath called on me, I first met  the son the year before, he asked me how I was so happy still? I informed him my god on my left shoulder (Joke), he had just broken the fastest time 7.9 seconds, the following day, both father & son turned up, the son was smiling? I enquired why, he said his father had just beaten him.
fathers time: 9.7 seconds, his time: 14.2 seconds, his age 27, fathers age 67, I cracked out in a laugh, age before Beauty, hey ? No, he said, it was my god on my left shoulder,  slowing me down.  

                                            Joseph



« Last Edit: July 23, 2009, 07:31:21 PM by rococojo »

dkeller_nc

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Re: Chippendale style barred glass doors
« Reply #26 on: July 24, 2009, 10:11:24 AM »
Guys-  I sent this by private e-mail exchange between Howard and I, but thought someone reading this thread might be interested, so I'm posting it here.  The topic is how to cut a profile on a curved muntin or stile:

There are several alternatives to a scratch stock when it comes to cutting a profile on a curved piece.  One of them is the Lie-Nielsen bronze "hand beader" based on the Stanley #66.  I have one, and it's very useful for the purpose, particularly the extra, untempered blades.  You can grind whatever profile you want on them (or use files if you don't have a profile grinder - they're soft, so filing goes quickly).  Hardening and tempering are pretty easy because the blades are small - you can just use a small propane torch and coffee can full of cooking oil.  Tempering is also pretty simple - you can put them in the oven at about 450 F for 20 minutes, or you can use the traditional method of heating the end opposite the cutting bevel and watch for the color development on the back, then quench it when the straw color gets near the bevel.
 
I've been told that you can also send L-N the blades to have them hardened and tempered for a fee, though I haven't personally asked them.
 
There are several wooden tools that coachmakers used that do something similar, though they're a bit harder to come by than the L-N.
Period Furniture & Carving as a hobby - about 20 years woodworking

rococojo

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Re: Chippendale style barred glass doors
« Reply #27 on: July 25, 2009, 10:07:07 AM »
Au contraire Dr. Hemingway.
I checked Humphreys' book with the measurements off the MESDA piece. The bars are actually 9/16" wide  with a 5/16" bead leaving 1/8" fillets on either side of the bead. I have a quarter round plane with fillet (from Todd Herrli) that will give me a 5/8" wide bar with a 3/8" bead and with a 1/8" fillet on each side so that's the size it's gonna be (pending alterations based on "the look" of a trial door.}

Howard Steier
(Craftsmanship with an Attitude).

Howard, after requesting that same link from Don, he sugested to you. As a reference for astriglile mouldings & Bared door construction.
 http://planemaker.com/photos/b-doors.pdf
May I reconsider my back track, has new light has now shone on this subject.
I attach drawings of 5/8”- 3/8”- 1/4”astrgile moulds, this now shows my original post was fully correct.

                                                             Joseph
« Last Edit: July 25, 2009, 05:37:19 PM by rococojo »

chamfer

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Re: Chippendale style barred glass doors
« Reply #28 on: July 26, 2009, 04:44:40 PM »
David, Howard et al,

I believe glazed doors in architectural work of the eighteenth century were often made using the same techniques joiners used for sash work. But, when it comes to the barred glass doors for high-style furniture, I believe cabinetmakers typically used the two-part construction being discussed in this thread. In which case, I'm a little puzzled about the relevance of a discussion of the differing sash tools/techniques used by joiners in England and the colonies/U.S.

But I do think it may be worthwhile discussing why cabinetmakers developed an approach to glazed doors which is so different from that used in sash work. I certainly don't feel I've arrived at any definitive answers to this, but think I can see some advantages when considering the variety of patterns of barred glass doors which seemed to abound in eighteenth century furniture.

For one thing, the separate "astragal" and "slat" pieces readily allow for differing joinery of the two parts as conditions require. For example, in the already discussed case of an hexagonal pattern where three elements meet at one point, the face astragal pieces can be neatly joined in full miters while the slat pieces can use a combination of miters and a V-joint for registration and rigidity. Same goes for simple grid work, as the slats can be cross-lapped while the astragals can be mitered. Some types of astragals with flats at the face might lend themselves to sash joinery, but many of them do not and really require full mitering. In line with this, Sheraton mentions lapping curved and straight slats, again allowing for registration/accuracy of the slats and mitering of the astragals.

Another, complementary, consideration might be strengthening/stiffening the astragal/moulded elements themselves. As already mentioned, the "astragal" portion of late seventeenth century walnut pieces were  of cross-grained construction. In that case, long-grain slats definitely would be needed to give integrity to the whole structure. In fact, conjecturally, it may have been this particular situation which gave rise to the two-piece type of construction. I don't know if cabinetmakers of the eighteenth century followed up on this, but it would have been possible to re-enforce curved astragals (sawn-out and sent out to the turners) with glue laminated slats. Sheraton's text would seem to suggest this possibility, but Hayward appears to cast doubt on this being a common practice.

The final point is also interwoven with the previous ones. While the two-part approach has more individual pieces to assemble, I believe the assembly is simpler at any given point. In other words, if you start with the astragals, all you really have to be concerned with is keeping them flat on the backing board while following the pattern and fitting the miters. The slats can then be installed without worrying about the appearance of the astragals/miters at the face. Alternatively, if you start with the slats, you can concentrate on accurately following the pattern and keeping the joinery accurate/sound without worrying about the appearance of the astragals. Those can then be fit/mitered as dictated by the structure of the slats. In other words, there are fewer operative variables at any given step.

I'd be interested in other's thoughts on this.

As to the use of a plane or a scratch-stock, that is obviously Howard's choice. If he can find an older plane of the proper size/profile and all of his astragals are straight and relatively mild-grained, then it may well make sense for him to go that route.

Failing that, though, unless he is planning on making a number of pieces using this profile, I have to wonder if a scratch-stock doesn't make more sense than special ordering a moulding plane. (And, yes, I'm including a Stanley/Lie-Nielsen "beader" under this heading. They are, after all, simply commercial versions of scratch-stocks, in metal). And, if he follows the traditional practice of using a piece of saw blade or scraper for the cutter, it will already be properly heat-treated, needing "only" to have the profile filed in.

In the interest of providing a little more information on this approach, I've scanned a little more information from Hooper's _Modern Cabinetwork ..._.  The PDF file can be found at:

http://www.planemaker.com/photos/s-stocks.pdf

Hope this may be of some help.

Don McConnell
Eureka Springs, AR