How is this door put together?

This is described as "Gustav Stickley Triple Door Miter Mullion Bookcase" circa 1903. Although it's superficially similar to the L&JG Stickley #331 bookcase, the detailing on this one is much finer: http://www.craftsman-auctions.com/14009.html
At auction this piece went for $35000. A 331 went for $17000. I would really like to know how those glass doors go together with enough strength to keep from falling apart under their own weight.
I'm trying to duplicate this piece in appearance if not exact construction. The bookcase will be quarter or rift sawn white oak with ammonia fuming and a shelac or Watco overcoat.
--
I can find no modern furniture that is as well designed and emotionally
satisfying as that made by Gustav Stickley in the early years of the last
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Well, my guess would be (for each door), 2 uprights, 2 cross pieces, 17 pieces for between the panes, grooves on the edge of each piece just wide enough for the glass, and glue on all wood-wood contact points.
Assembly done on a large, flat surface starting with one upright and both cross pieces. Maybe a tenon on the ends of the cross pieces and the ends of the "between" pieces that connect to the uprights and cross pieces. Tenon fits in the same groove as the glass. Work fast, and clamp it flat and square.
Only thing that bothers me is the joints where the four pointed ends come together between panes. How about grooving those as well and putting a square piece in there to "key" the pieces together?
No doubt someone (perhaps everyone) else will have better ideas here.
Jon Larsson
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construction.
and
Just a thought . . Are those individual panes of glass, or one big piece with the mullions purely aesthetic decoration? Either way, the main frame would be mortise & tenon. Are the rails & stiles grooved to accept the glass, or rabbeted so the glass is put in after assembly, with some kind of retainer strips?
--
Nahmie
Those on the cutting edge bleed a lot.
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Individual panes. look how reflections of straight-edged objects are broken up. .
To reply, please remove one letter from each side of "@" Spammers are VERMIN. Please kill them all.
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I have an oak entertainment center that has a similar door. Instead of individual panes, there is a single piece of glass behind the mullions. Seems like this would simplify the construction and yet still provide the appearance that you want.
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construction.
and
Two years ago I made a very similar cabinet, just one door, for my wife. The door used mortise/tenon joints and one sheet of glass. I glued the individual panes to the glass along the shelf lines. While the door is heavy, it's secured to the cabinet with two pocket hinges and it works great.
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Ed, take a look at this link.
http://www.woodshopphotos.com/albums/Dave-R1s-Album/mullion.sized.jpg
I did a quick sketch for you. Cutting the mullions this way would give you a decent glue surface. Although I didn't draw it, (I guess I could do it if you want) you could make the glass stops which hold the glass in as continuous lengths crossing the joint and joining the short pieces together this would add some stiffness to the assembly.
In the photo you linked to, the mullions are mitered on the outside and the glass is individual pieces. Doing this would make it a bit nicer if a pane got broken. You only need to replace the one pane and not all the glass in the door.
It would also make the door slightly lighter due to the reduced amount of glass.
Hope the sketch helps.
Dave
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That's great! It's not exactly clear to me how to cut the X in the long pieces - using a saw would leave a blade's width gap in the miter. Doing it by hand with only a chisel would take a very long time and there are eighteen of those joints in the three doors. The short sides are trivial to cut by machine.
I'll build a test four pane door to see what it looks like.
By the way, what's your last name? I'm going to document this project and want to give credit where credit is due...
--
I can find no modern furniture that is as well designed and emotionally
satisfying as that made by Gustav Stickley in the early years of the last
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Ed, I'm not sure any credit is due my way but the last name is Richards.
Hang tight, I'll do another drawing for you.
Dave
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If this shows up a second time, my apologies. I tried once about 20 minutes ago and I see no sign of it.
Try this:
http://www.woodshopphotos.com/albums/Dave-R1s-Album/mullion3.jpg
C and D are made to equal the depth of the groove in A, B, etc. plus the glass thickness and the glass stop which isn't shown.
The groove is cut in long pieces from which the short ones are mitered.
Glue C into A & B. Glue E & F to C and glue D in place.
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http://www.woodshopphotos.com/albums/Dave-R1s-Album/mullion3.jpg
How about this?
Make C and D thick enough to fit the groove plowed in the front mullion pieces (A, B, E, F) plus the thickness of the glass and the stop which isn't shown.
Glue C to A and B and all the other As and Bs. Glue E and F in place then glue D in place.
Pieces A, B, C & D can be grooved in long strips. Then the miters cut. As you say, this would be trivial.
Hope this works for you.
Dave
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Hi Dave,
I have nothing to offer, but I want to thank you for your drawings. I think that I could actually do something like this on our new AV center that I am designing.
This is what is so great about the "wreck"!
Lou

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Lou,
Thank you. These drawings are very easy for me to do and I find I learn something by making them, too. The adage "A picture is worth a thousand words" is very true and being able to make these to illustrate ideas is such a big help for me.
Feel free to use these drawings if you want to build your AV center.
Dave
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Really nice detail. I think you could do this as seperate pieces. That is, rather than cutting rabbits, cut the mullions as shown from 1/2" stock and cut sticks from 1/2" stock to overlay on the back. The you could half lap the sticks at the intersetions (I'd lap the sticks into the frame too) and really have a strong setup. As long as you have a good table to lay this out one it should be pertty easy to assemble.
An interesting note. I did a modified version of a #700 Stickley Bookcase http://www.sonomaproducts.com/Furniture/JL-BC-POP.htm . One mistake was to use a 1/8" (or 1/4" can't recall) ply back. Without the weight of the standard solid wood back, the door is heavy enough to tip the case forward when you open it (when it's empty). I think 3/4" ply would have provided enough weight but it was pretty surprising the first time it came falling over.
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If you are going to go to the trouble of making furniture in the stickley style you want to make true divided lights. The idea of using a single pane of glass with faux dividers is a modern idea. The whole idea of arts and crafts style was honest workmanship, you see what you get. It is pretty difficult to fake convincingly, which is also the point.
You could save yourself a lot of time by running dadoes and sticking faux through tenons on with glue but the result would not be arts and crafts.
On the quartersawn issue, most pieces I have seen have quartersawn front pieces. What did stickley do for sides? I am looking at making a tool cabinet. The additional cost of doing the door in QS is not that great, but I could save a lot by doing rift sawn sides. Would this make a big difference?
The other thing I am having difficulty with is working out how to construct door panels so that there is a good surface to screw tool mounts into. A loose panel is not going to work too well mechanically.
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Ed Clarke wrote:

Bookcase"
#331
would
strength
construction.
fuming and

emotionally
last
Not sure if this would add more work, but you could use half lap joints, and then veneer on the outside face with the mitered corners. You would get strength from the half laps, but the look of the mitered intersections. It would be alot easier to glue up.
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While a single pane of glass will simplify construction it has the drawback of limiting the structural strength of the door as the dividers are merely suspended as decoration, leaving the frame to carry the load. This is exactly how my house windows are divided. These dividers have a joint that is identical to the one Dave illustrated. The problem with my house dividers is that twice when I removed them to clean the window they broke right at the intersection. The joint is too weak here.
I have an alternative idea that I have not tried before but don't know why it would not work. If you divide the door vertically into thirds and use three tall panes of glass you would be able to reduce the amount of glass to replace if there is damage, and also be able to use two long vertical dividers to connect the top and bottom rails with a mortise and tenon. The vertical dividers would have horizontal ones on the exterior but none on the interior. If this is unappealing visually when the door is open (I wonder about such things) I am sure a frame with a 3 x 4 grid of false dividers could be used.
The thicker vertical dividers would accept lapped horizontal ones which should create a very strong joint, but perhaps not as visually appealing. In any event good luck with your project and post it to ABPW when you have finished so we can all see the results!
Ed Clarke wrote:

Bookcase"
#331
would
strength
construction.
fuming and

emotionally
last

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