cupboard’s upper case

test fit, no kids
test fit, no kids


Really no photography to speak of today, so I got a little further along on the upper case I’m making for the MFA. The door is just friction-fit into its opening here, I have to double-check the notch in the hinge-side stile before I go cutting…then it will swing on wooden pintle hinges.

The upper side rails will engage a mortised block in the front, which will be supported by pillars 3 1/2″ in diameter, and connected across the front by a long cornice rail. I am searching for a maple log now to do those pillars. The side panels are the ones that get painted ovals & circles. So the framing is well past the halfway point, then the paint will slow things down again.

Here is the related cupboard from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NY before its restoration, this photo, c. 1900, is taken from Frances Gruber Safford’s excellent book American Furniture in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: vol 1. Early Colonial Period: The Seventeenth-Century and William and Mary Styles.


[blog note: I have gone back & added a tag “cupboard restoration project” for anyone who is interested in seeing more of this project. So I think you could search for that tag, & it will display them all…(I think) I have not added entries on it in any particular order, and not all steps are represented, but several entries discuss the project. ]


2 thoughts on “cupboard’s upper case

  1. I love seeing the progress on the case. What do you mean by a “notch in the hinge-side stile”? Is a rebate cut on the door stile like the the doors in the chests attributed to the Harvard College joiners? The restored Met piece in Safford shows the door flush to the case all around the opening so probably not like the Harvard examples. I’m leaning towards a rebate or relief on the back side of the hinge-side case stile. This would give the door stile clearance to pivot inside the opening? Sorry about these minutia. I really appreciate the posts.

  2. Steve
    I know you are enjoying the cupboard – you’re the one who figured out which piece it was…
    Yes, it’s essentially a rabbet in the rear face of the stile, a stopped rabbet though, between the rails. And a bevel on the door stile. I just need to dig out more of my field notes from the Met, before I go chewing up the cupboard. It was late in the day, an easy time to ruin stuff.

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