Sunday, November 23, 2008

It Is Risen

This is a second coming of sorts, I suppose. It is the resurrection of the cabinet. Even so, I’ll stop there before I offend anyone. I’m talking about the dining room cabinets, of course. They have taken full shape and the trim is on. It went smoothly except for a few issues.

First, some before shots for perspective…

This is June of 2005 from inside the kitchen. That is the fireplace in the dining room through the gaping hole. This large opening was originally a door which was widened in the 20s to accommodate a Murphy Bed.

Again from the kitchen side, here is the wall rebuilt.

And just to finish that series, here is the finished kitchen side.

Now at long last I have finally finished the dining room side. Only the far right-hand pair of panels on the dado are original in this shot. The other 6 panels, along with the rails and stiles are reproduction. The dado goes all the way around the room like this. Everything else in the room is original to 1895.

Here is the other gaping hole as of August of 2008.

And here it is today

One of the issues is painfully obvious in the last photo. The two pieces of vertical casing are way too light. The header casing on the smaller door is cut from the same wood and has the same problem. I’m not exactly sure why they are so light in color. They are definitely not second growth wood. In fact, the growth rings are so tight on them they are difficult to count. They are really very beautiful pieces of wood, they are just very pale.

I’m must fix this problem, but it will need to wait. All of the trim was oiled moments before this photo was taken. I’m going to let it try and then tint some BLO & turpentine with red mahogany stain and see if I can even it out. I have a few scraps I can test with.

The other issue is on the right side of the lower cabinet the trim does not fit tightly near the top. It has the same problem on the left side, only not as pronounced. I’m not sure how I can fix this at this point. That cabinet is nailed in there so tightly that if an 8.0 hit right now the only thing I could be sure was left standing was that cabinet and the two walls on either side. I’m going to need to come up with something to make it less noticeable.

All said though, I’m relieved with the way it is coming out. Next up is the upper face-frame on the butler’s pantry side.


Jayne said...

Wow!! I like the before pics, so we can see the progression of the rooms.

Sadie Says said...

Oh me too. I love the before and after pics. I will admit, I've been checking your site way too often this weekend to check on your project. It really looks fantastic! Be proud, be very proud.

Jenni said...

You are such a craftsman and will be able to match the wood tones with some tint/stain.
And like the others, these pics help us readers to picture the space.

Jennifer said...

Aside from the too light wood, it does look fabulous. Good to see the wall all trimmed out. GOod luck tinting the wood to match!

Katherine said...

Does it seem like your dining room got suddenly smaller?

Anonymous said...

That looks glorious! I too have been checking your site way too often. This post was a nice reward. Thanks! The original dado was once a lovely shade of green if I remember correctly. Amazing simply amazing. The wood just gleams and that cabinet suits the room perfectly.

Greg said...

Well, the ship has sailed on any design changes for the uppers. Even if there was a way to make changes it would need to be a really, really great change to get me to do it.

Oddly enough the room does not seem smaller. These cabinets have been in my head so long that it seems like they've been there for a while. Especially after I finished the butler's pantry. The two spaces were so distinct then. Looking at the butler's pantry from inside the dining room reminded me of the The Cranberries fold-out CD cover for To The Faithful Departed. The cover looks like they are in a finished room but when you fold it out the room is really just 2 walls and a floor in the middle of the woods.

Anonymous said...

i remember your sweating over the dumb waiter! you go!

Greg said...


It's hard to believe someone would paint that wood. That whole room was green at one point and below the green is was powder blue. Ugh!


Building that little dumb waiter door seems like another lifetime.

Sandy said...

Wow! What a difference!

Happy Thanksgiving!