Deco Cabinet

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Project by Patricelejeune posted 06-13-2017 10:25 PM 2614 views 9 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

It’s been a while since I posted a project and realized I haven’t shared our latest furniture.

Couple months ago, we were contacted by a designer in LA to create a deco cabinet inspired by an elevator door in LA.

At first we worked on a trompe-l’oeil concept

Then with the deigner, we upgraded to real volume pilaster with brass rods

Patrick had bought a beautiful american walnut board in the 70’s and it was the perfect piece in color and width for this project. It was big enough to make a solid top, solid edges for the doors shelves etc and saw the rest into veneer for the front and sides. Other materials would include espanilla, boxwood, ferréol and ebony sawn veneer, as well as pewter and brass sheet.

I sparyed some alcohol on the veneer to mimic the color of finish

Usually we build our furniture out of solid wood but in this case the cabinet was made with high quality birch plywood.

The marquetry elements were cut

The added challenge was that the metal needed to match the patina of other brass elements in the room. to avoid having chemical on the wood we decided to have the elements prefenished and install them later after the sanding. As I cut the elements in supperposition “Boulle” style, I had left over elements that we mounted in the marquetry and kept the final elements that recieved the patina aside.

then the front marquetry was assembled keeping the walnut background grain flowing throught the all piece, including the kickplate.

The doors and the pilaster were veneered. For the pilaster we used ferréol a dark chocolate color wood on the front and totally black ebony for the side to create more volume.

Then the doors were sanded up to the metal

As we used liquid hide glue, Old Brown Glue, we used the reversibility of the glue to remove the dummy metal elements using heat and moisture. As the glue was still fresh we had only to use heat.

Once the elements removed

The cavity were cleaned

The finished elements could be inserted and glued with fish glue. Fish glue is the best adhesive for glueing metal on wood.

At this point I could not resist to spray some alcohol to have an idea of the overall effect.

The cabinet is glued and the door adjusted

The pilaster glued to the door and the kickplate veneer to fit perfectly the grain of the doors

The top is adjusted to fit the cabinet

The lower pilaster is then glued on the kickplate with liquid hide glue, Old Borwn Glue.

The brass rod can now be fitted in the fluting. We have installed some pegs in them that will be used to glue them to the pliasters.

Now, it is ready to be finished.

-- Patrice lejeune

17 comments so far

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

2951 posts in 2347 days

#1 posted 06-13-2017 11:22 PM

Patrice, I am green with envy for your talent. I recognize the elevator. It’s in the Eastern Columbia building, isn’t it?

-- Mark

View Patricelejeune's profile


386 posts in 3204 days

#2 posted 06-13-2017 11:34 PM

View shipwright's profile


8760 posts in 4081 days

#3 posted 06-14-2017 12:11 AM

Love it Patrice!
Really well done and so precisely planned. You leave nothing to chance and it certainly shows.
Good to see your work here again.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View tinnman65's profile


1417 posts in 4697 days

#4 posted 06-14-2017 12:12 AM

Wonderful work as always. I’m glad you posted some of your process in this post it tell so much more of the story than just the photos could. As i was reading his I was pleasantly surprised at the scale of this project, I couldn’t tell from looking at the photo’s.

-- Paul--- Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. — Scott Adams

View Patricelejeune's profile


386 posts in 3204 days

#5 posted 06-14-2017 12:32 AM

Thanks guys. Yes I like planning. I do not like bad surprises, and even when you have planned everything things can always go wrong.
The cabinet is 42×36 x 22 if I remember correctly.

-- Patrice lejeune

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 4150 days

#6 posted 06-14-2017 01:29 PM

This is an outstanding cabinet with lots of beautiful details and craftsmanship and so nicely done.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Sodabowski's profile


2401 posts in 4116 days

#7 posted 06-14-2017 05:57 PM

Great work Patrice! I’m not a huge fan of that particular marquetry design, but I admire your workmanship and the fidelity that you achieved!

-- Thomas - there are no problems, there are only solutions.

View rodneywt1180b's profile


185 posts in 1670 days

#8 posted 06-14-2017 06:28 PM

Beautiful work! And an excellent write up. I learned quite a bit from seeing your process.
Thank you,

-- Rodney, Centralia, WA, USA

View ClammyBallz's profile


449 posts in 2420 days

#9 posted 06-14-2017 07:57 PM

That’s amazing work! Nice job!

View Hawaiilad's profile


3382 posts in 4304 days

#10 posted 06-14-2017 08:07 PM

Wow what a large under taking project that way. Sure turned out nice

-- Larry in Hawaii,

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile


1385 posts in 2997 days

#11 posted 06-14-2017 08:41 PM

Great looking cabinet. Favorited!
And apriciate all the process images. Gives an understanding for what goes into making one.
Thanks for sharing!

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

View Patricelejeune's profile


386 posts in 3204 days

#12 posted 06-14-2017 09:14 PM

Thanks guys!

-- Patrice lejeune

View Peteybadboy's profile


4151 posts in 3233 days

#13 posted 06-14-2017 09:30 PM

Beautiful. Thanks for doing Deco. I may need to try something in Deco now. Excellent work!

-- Petey

View metolius's profile


432 posts in 2014 days

#14 posted 06-14-2017 10:01 PM

My appreciation for the cabinet grows with every moment looking at it.

Thank you also for the bullocks wilshire reference.
That is spinning up my bauhaus interest!

-- derek / oregon

View Ron Stewart's profile (online now)

Ron Stewart

335 posts in 3787 days

#15 posted 06-14-2017 10:02 PM

What an impressive piece of work! That walnut is beautiful. I’m sure your designer client is thrilled.

-- Ron Stewart

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