Thursday, October 23, 2008

Remodeling an English Breakfront

This Just In

All Done 10/24

We met with a client recently who asked us to remodel an antique breakfront that had been in her family for a while. It is a nice example of simple, classic, 19th century English cabinetry. Frame and panel English oak doors, with a pine case, cornice and interior. Her request was to put the paneled doors in the center where the glass was, (flat screen tv moving in) and move the glass doors to the outside. This would have been easier if all the doors were the same size, which, unfortunately, they were not, the paneled doors being 3" narrower than the glass doors ... We had at it anyway and should finish tomorrow sometime. I'll let the pictures tell the story ... Click to enlarge ....
The cabinet as we found it

Doors off .. shows early "adjustable shelf" detail

A disassembled door waiting to be cut down, re-coped and reglued

My man Jim, heating and chipping off the ROCK HARD old putty after he knocked the doors apart with a hammer and block. He was able to save all but two of the unbroken wavy glass pieces. Fortunately, we have a small stash of old sash with similar glass.

This photo, when enlarged, shows the pieces we cut off, the shaper set up for recoping the cut rails and muntins, and the contoured backup block ( a negative of the molding and rabbet shape of the muntin and rail profiles ) we made so that the coping cutter does not blow out the existing molding. When making doors like this, it's best to run the cope on the ends of the rails and crossbars before we add the molding detail so we can skip this step usually..

The clamped up doors with the newly coped muntins and rails, note the old protruding tenons ..

Where we are today ... 10/23
We should be able to recut the old glass and reglaze the 'new' doors tomorrow, polish the whole thing up and send it on its way ....

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