My 1st Attempt at Greene and Greene Style Furniture #1: The Beginning - With help from Darrell Peart

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Blog entry by Don posted 11-07-2010 09:35 PM 7825 reads 12 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of My 1st Attempt at Greene and Greene Style Furniture series Part 2: First Screw Up »

I’ve been an admirer of Greene and Greene style of furniture for a long time. I love the soft edges and exposed joinery and I think Greene and Greene were masters at proportions which is where I feel I am the weakest when it comes to design. I’ve been wanting to take my woodworking up a notch and try something a little more challenging than the stuff I’ve been doing and improve my design skills so I’d been looking for an appropriate project. When I read Darrell Peart’s articles in Woodworking magazine a couple of months ago which included detailed instructions on building his Arched Aurora Night Stand I decided that it’s time to try my hand at a Greene and Greene style project and that this would be the perfect project. It is an especially beautiful design using Greene and Greene elements and includes some components that would stretch by building skills, namely, the arched rail. I’ve done a lot of curved work but combining a cloud lift with an arch would be a bit more difficult than other curves I’ve done.

Not long after reading those articles I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Darrell is a fellow lumber jock. From the link on his page I discovered his book “Greene and Greene Design Elements for the Workshop” which has very detailed instructions on making various Greene and Greene components plus an interesting history about the brothers. That book combined with his articles will make this project much easier than it otherwise would be.

I actually started this project a few weeks ago. First step was to make the jigs for the arches. In Darrell’s article he said “It may take more than one try to get usable results”. He wasn’t kidding. I didn’t have the exact tools he called for in his instructions so I had to improvise on the techniques a little but I managed to get a fit that I was happy with after about 6 attempts. Here’s the final jigs plus the first rail:

Second step is to mill the lumber for table. Since this project is requiring a large amount of time making jigs and doing setups I decided I may as well build two tables and I didn’t buy enough lumber initially so I’ve got about half of the parts milled and a new stack of lumber for the rest.

Here’s a shot of the legs ready to be mortised (with my new Mortiser), all the rails (ready to be cut with the patterns), and 2 halves of the first top:

And here’s a shot that normal people would find pretty boring but I know most lumber jocks get as excited as I do over a stack of lumber so here’s what I’ll be using for the rest of the parts:

And to cut the tenons I needed to buy a couple of new accessories for my Saw Stop so that I could use the dadoe blade:

-- Don - I wood work if I could. Redmond WA.

8 comments so far

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3657 days

#1 posted 11-07-2010 11:03 PM

hey Don its look very promising sofare from here :-) not that know anything of green and green
still way over my head to try that kind of stuff

looking forward to see the next installment

take care

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4215 days

#2 posted 11-07-2010 11:08 PM

You is off to a good start, I am looking forward to the next installment!

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 3398 days

#3 posted 11-07-2010 11:11 PM

Great start, I’ll be following along as I’ve only just discovered Greene & Greene. :)


-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View Darrell Peart's profile

Darrell Peart

371 posts in 4130 days

#4 posted 11-07-2010 11:11 PM

Hi Don,
You are off to a great start!
Good luck,


-- Darrell Peart - Seattle - - author G&G Design Elements for the Workshop

View Crushgroovin's profile


234 posts in 3466 days

#5 posted 11-08-2010 12:24 AM

I am so envious! Talk about a worthwhile undertaking. I have loved Greene & Greene designs since well before I had any idea who Greene & Greene were. I can’t wait to get my shop to a point that I can start doing some Greene & Greene furniture. I am hoping to be able to take Darrell Pearts Blanket Chest Class @ Woodcraft in Seattle next year. It’s pricey but I believe it will be well worth it.

I can’t wait to see more on your project, especially the finished project!

It looks like you made a little trip to Crosscut there. I drive my son crazy because I stop in there once a week on our way to a weekly class we are taking downtown. I just love waling around looking at the beautiful wood and imagining the projects it could turn into.

-- I wouldn't be so arrogant if you weren't such a moron!

View Todd Thomas 's profile

Todd Thomas

4969 posts in 3991 days

#6 posted 02-06-2011 01:31 PM

ok I got this G&G bug , I’ll watch and learn from you…....keep it going looks great so far…...

-- Todd, Oak Ridge, TN, Hello my name is Todd and I'm a Toolholic, I bought my last tool 10 days, no 4 days, oh heck I bought a tool on the way here! †

View toxicoval56's profile


162 posts in 4045 days

#7 posted 02-28-2011 06:30 AM

This looks very nice. What specific magazine was the article in? I would not mind giving it a shot. I love the work of Mr. Peart and the Greene and Greene style.

-- The view only changes for the leading dog.

View ocwoodworker's profile


209 posts in 3546 days

#8 posted 03-01-2011 07:15 AM

Darrell lives up in washington and I believe he does classes there. He occasionally comes to OC California and does a Greene and Greene design elements weekend workshop I & II. I HIGHLY recommend taking his classes. Talk about breaking through glass ceilings!! My Greene and Greene furniture has sure taken a leap forward. Love the finish product. I’m currently working on a lowboy entertainment center styled in the G&G. Love the design. Great work!!

-- I'd like to believe Murphy's Law haunts my woodshop, because if it's Karma it would mean I had something to do with it. - K.R.

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