Tag Archives: Stickley

Craftsman Hall Mirror–Construction

Craftsman Mirror

Through tenons provide the only ornamentation in this Craftsman-style mirror.

Through tenons join the rails to the stiles of this Craftsman-inspired mirror and provide much of the ornament as well. I began by cutting the rails and stiles to size, then marked the rails for the mortises. I used a straight bit in my plunge router to waste out most of the mortises, then finished up a 1/4″ mortise chisel. I cut the tenons on the tablesaw in multiple passes, then pared them to fit with a rasp and chisel.

With joinery cut, I planed 1/8″ of the rails to vary the thickness of the frame members and bevelled the ends of stiles and rails and routed a rabbet in the back to hold the mirror. Like the hall table it complements, the white oak frame was fumed, then I applied a couple of coats of boiled linseed oil and garnet shellac. I had the mirror cut and bevelled at a local frame shop and put it place in the hall.

Craftsman Hall Mirror–Design

A simple hall mirror in the Craftsman style.

A simple hall mirror in the Craftsman style.

We wanted a mirror for our entry way, something to complement the hall table I’d built. There’s a surprising amount of variation in the form–some even doubling as coat hangers with the addition of hooks to the frames, others incorporating drawers for gloves or wallets–but I opted for a very basic design scaled for the space. Two stiles capture the rails in through tenons, the ends of the rails and stiles extending an inch past each other. The rails are slightly thinner than the stiles to create a little visual interest.

Stickley Tabourette

A Stickley side table in quartersawn white oak.

A Stickley side table in quartersawn white oak.

Side tables are a useful form, and this Gustav Stickley design is a fine example, its size and shape letting it serve in a variety of locations. Construction is straightforward: half-lap joints join the aprons; the bottom stretchers join the legs with through tenons; and the top stretchers are dovetailed to the legs. I fumed the table with ammonia to darken the oak, then wiped on a couple of coats of boiled linseed oil.

Stickley at the Met

A keyed through tenon anchors stretchers to legs in this library table by Gustav Stickley

A keyed through tenon anchors stretchers to legs in this library table by Gustav Stickley

Gustav Stickley is perhaps the most famous name in the American Arts & Crafts movement. Certainly he was its greatest proponent, extolling the virtues and benefits of the movement in the pages of The Craftsman. The clean lines, visual mass, and joinery as ornament Stickley championed are evident in the pieces featured in the Metropolitan Museum’s collection. On display in gallery 743 are a small sideboard, tall clock, and leather-covered library table, and the museum’s viewable storage features a Harvey Ellis-designed music case. Continue reading

A Craftsman-style Hall Table–Construction

hall table drawer detailConstruction began with stock preparation. Usually I try to avoid dimensioning stock, but my usual lumber sources don’t carry surfaced quarter-sawn white oak. I thicknessed my stock and set the base material aside to concentrate on the top.

The top is a full inch thick, giving it a pleasant heft and accentuating its horizontal line. I took some time arranging boards until satisfied with the design then glued it up and moved on to the base. Continue reading

A Craftsman-style Hall Table–Design

A hall table in the Mission style.

A hall table in the Mission style.

One of the things on our “must have” list when home shopping was an entry way; we didn’t want to walk directly into a living room. Our hall isn’t large, but it provides a transitional space between outdoors and in. And it is big enough for a table and chair, a place to put on shoes or take off a coat. While we had space for a table, we didn’t actually have the table. We wanted something in the Craftsman style scaled to the space. A quick check with the tape measure showed something about 40″ w x 36″ h x 14″ d fit the bill. I flipped through the library looking at every example of hall tables and related designs I could find and put together this design in SketchUp.

An inch-thick top gives the table some heft, and the slats and through tenons ally the design with the work of Gustav Stickley. A telescoping webframe supports three drawers while the bottom shelf creates some additional storage and adds another horizontal line to what might otherwise be a very vertical design.

Magazine Stand–Background

346 Magazine Shelf

The cutouts and sloping sides of Limbert’s No. 346 Magazine stand distinguish it from more pedestrian offerings from other makers.

The Morris Chair is often regarded as the epitome of Arts & Crafts furniture, but the same argument can be made for the lowly magazine stand. These small shelves featured in the catalogs of most manufacturers and their low prices made them an easily attainable item for households that otherwise might not have been able to afford a piece of Arts & Crafts furniture. The same traits that made them economical for makers to produce also makes them a relatively easy to recreate in the home shop &mdash they use minimal material and simple joinery.

At their most basic, the stands are two sides linked by shelves (usually three or four), often with some kind of toe kick. Variation in the shape of the sides, orientation of the shelves and sides, and how the shelves joined the sides produced a surprising number of variations on the basic theme. Plugged screws, pocket hole screws, dadoes, or tenons can join the shelves to the sides. Using screws or keyed tenons allows the stand to be broken down for storage or transport.

Altering the shape of the sides transforms the character of the shelf. Gustav Stickley’s No. 79 features rectangular sides with a rounded corners at the top. Charles Limbert’s catalogues

Change the shape of the side and transform the character of the stand.

Change the shape of the side and transform the character of the stand.

featured several versions with trapezoidal sides. Limbert’s No. 346 takes the trapezoidal form further, tapering from top to bottom on the sides and faces.

More Information

Popular Woodworking offers a free plan of a simplified version of Stickley’s No. 79.

Gary Rogowski’s “Classic Craftsman Bookcase” (Fine Woodworking No. 136) details construction of a stand with keyed through tenons.