Greene & Greene Thorsen Sideboard #1: Design work and upskilling

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Blog entry by TungOil posted 07-13-2019 03:25 AM 1404 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Greene & Greene Thorsen Sideboard series Part 2: Bolection inlay class »

Now that my Thorsen inspired dining table and Gamble House inspired chairs are completed, it’s time to tackle the Thorsen sideboard. Those that have visited the Huntington Library’s Greene & Greene exhibit will probably be familiar with this magnificent piece.

To my eye, the proportions of the original sideboard are perfect, I don’t see any need to modify the design. A search of the Greene & Greene archives at the USC Digital Library turned up the drawings for the Thorsen House dining room furniture, so I ordered a digital copy. There are no dimensions, but knowing the overall size of the piece I was able to scale from the drawings to develop my design. I worked up the plans in CAD, then pulled off DXF files to CNC cut the routing templates for the lower stretchers. I sent the files off to a colleague with a CNC and had them back in a few days.

One of the key distinguishing features of this sideboard is the bolection inlay work on the doors, a style of inlay where the finished image stands proud of the panel and often incorporates elements of carving to add a third dimension to the artwork. I have never done any carving or inlay work, but as luck would have it, the Marc Adams School of Woodworking is offering a Greene & Greene style bolection inlay class this weekend, so I signed up.

Next step: off to Indiana to learn bolection inlay.

-- The optimist says "the glass is half full". The pessimist says "the glass is half empty". The engineer says "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"

3 comments so far

View PPK's profile


1870 posts in 2049 days

#1 posted 07-15-2019 12:32 PM


-- Pete

View sras's profile


6345 posts in 4369 days

#2 posted 07-20-2019 01:48 AM

This will be a fun one to follow along with (again) :)

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4574 days

#3 posted 12-21-2019 10:37 AM

I love the G&G style and artistic craftsmanship. Too bad my wife loves white furniture!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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