Sunday, June 26, 2016


When I first saw the piece it was February, the temperatures were close to 0, and it was in the garage.  Needless to say the examination was brief and the photography scant.

The clients had owned the bookcase since the late 1970's. It was a Drexel Heritage wall unit similar in style to the Accolade Series but without the campaign corner hardware. The original case had been designed to house older bulky televisions behind pocket doors and had glass doors behind which you could put your stereo equipment.

Having recently updated and remodeled their home entertainment center/bookcase was in the garage on its way to the curb and the waste haulers.Was there any way I could :reconfigure it to fit in with their newly updated home?

Not one to shy away from a challenge (perhaps foolishly), I set about redesigning an alternative. Taking into consideration that the home remodeling had an Arts and Crafts feel and the fact that the cabinet no longer needed to house a deep TV. I set about altering the case to fit its new purpose and space limitations.

I decided to cut the outside cabinets to half their width and reduce the depth to 12" to house books, The center section was reduced to 16" and an upper section was added to bring it to full height. With the addition of a plinth, cornice and decorative elements the final piece would blend in nicely with its new surroundings.

Replacing the hardware proved to be one of the trickier portions of the remake. Since the original hardware was inlaid into the face. The old mortises needed to be filled in a way that would hide the original configuration.

Using a piece of paper I made a rubbing of the edges of the old mortises and then glued the template to the old panels from the doors I eliminated.

After band sawing out the shape, I trimmed and filed the blank untill it fit the opening as closely as possible.

While the patch was still fairly visible, the newly selected hardware would cover the majority of the repair. The final antiquing of the finish around the hardware would do away with all the remaining traces.

In the shop ready for delivery

Back where it all began