Greene and Greene Bookcase Challenge04

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Blog entry by Karson posted 04-19-2008 03:23 PM 6725 reads 1 time favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Posted as a blog entry, for the official contest.

For the Challenge04 I decided to design a Greene and Greene Bookcase.

The Greene brothers, Charles and Henry decided to create a new and fresh style different from the Arts and Craft designs that was becoming popular in that time. Some of their designs were influenced by some Asian furniture.

I opted then to build a Greene and Greene Style bookcase using breadboards and splines for the top but also creating a mid rail in the middle of the top. Ebony Pegs are used in the joints and Ebony pegs and splines are used to attach the breadboard on the top.

The corner posts are 1 3/4 square stock with 1” stock used for the rest of the construction of the case. Ebony pegs are used to join the rails to the corner posts. The sides rails and the upper front rail have the classic “Cloud Lift” design. On the sides the “Cloud Lifts” both have an upper movement, thereby making them move as one.

A center support is designed to allow for different spacing, if desired, for the left and right shelves. They are adjustable on ebony pegs in the case ends and mid support. I am visualizing a shiplap style back, but might revise it under additional considerations.

Each of the shelves will be constructed with breadboards and splines. The ebony pegs will be flush on the ends to allow for closer fitting of the shelves to the case sides. They will be adjustable through the use of Ebony Plugs placed in holes in the case sides.

The base is an Asian style with curved legs and a carved apron that matches the curve of the legs at the intersection of the apron and leg. Thereby given a smooth flow between the joints. The aprons will be cut at a 45 degree angle and the front and side aprons will join together at the upper edge of the leg.

A cloud lift stretcher will be used between the legs on all 4 sides. I see it a a 3/4” round stretcher that has the cloud lifts in the middle.

It is visualized as a 54” high case, and approx 40” wide. A model will be created to insure that the proportions are correct. The legs and apron section is visualized to be 10” in height which would make the bookcase assembly to be 64” in total height. The shelves would be 12” in depth making the case around 15” in depth. The top will overhang the front by 1” making the top 16” in depth. The top will be flush at the case back.

My Golden Mean calculations or Golden ratio Calculations for this bookcase are posted here

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

14 comments so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4276 days

#1 posted 04-19-2008 04:44 PM


I said it before but again good luck and I wish you the best in the contest.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Richard Williams's profile

Richard Williams

162 posts in 4247 days

#2 posted 04-19-2008 04:52 PM

There is no doubt in my mind that you are not only very talented but quite an artist as well. Love your sketches my friend. Great stuff. Good luck in the contest.

-- Rich, Nevada,

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4443 days

#3 posted 04-19-2008 05:05 PM

Do you think you will build it Karson?

It would be pretty cool!

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View SPalm's profile


5334 posts in 4336 days

#4 posted 04-19-2008 05:51 PM

Go Karson! I like it.

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 4329 days

#5 posted 04-19-2008 09:13 PM

Very nice design. You put a lot of detail into your drawing. I’d like to see it built.

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14181 posts in 4437 days

#6 posted 04-19-2008 09:24 PM

nice design idea Karson. now lets see the wood model

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4701 days

#7 posted 04-19-2008 10:24 PM

Great idea Karson, you stole it right out of my head. Now what am I gonna do? Really nice design. Can’t wait to see you make it. Have you decided the wood? This is a winner. Best of luck my friend. Go get em. mike

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View Karson's profile


35194 posts in 4855 days

#8 posted 04-19-2008 10:53 PM

Well I’m thinking Cherry, Walnut or Sapele Mike what’s your favorite since I tooK your idea while it was still in your head.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View joey's profile


396 posts in 4358 days

#9 posted 04-19-2008 11:59 PM

Very nice, I almost summited a G & G but went for something different with the federal design. I really your leg detail. should be a nice piece.

-- Joey~~Sabina, Ohio

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6866 posts in 4434 days

#10 posted 04-19-2008 11:59 PM

Looks good so far Karson;

But… no pictures!


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Grumpy's profile


25536 posts in 4305 days

#11 posted 04-20-2008 01:59 AM

Good luck Karson.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14181 posts in 4437 days

#12 posted 04-20-2008 05:51 AM

my vote is sapele.
been working with some this weekend and it is nice wood to work with.

It finishes really nice too.

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View Jeff's profile


1010 posts in 4548 days

#13 posted 04-22-2008 01:37 AM

Nice design Karson. It should go nicely with all those Thorsen tables. I agree with others. Build it!

-- Jeff, St. Paul, MN

View chscholz's profile


36 posts in 4530 days

#14 posted 05-04-2008 07:08 PM

Nice design, Karson. Tell us more about they joinery you are planning to use for the Chinese style legs…

-- Chris Scholz, Arlington, TX,

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