Making a ‘Mulberry’ Corner Cabinet – Part Fourteen… and a half

“It fits… I’ll take it”!

I forgot to cover the glazing earlier, but it’s not very remarkable; the glass is held in with cabinetmaker’s glazing compound rather than glazier’s putty. Glazier’s putty is made from whiting and raw linseed oil which makes it very slow drying and the smell of the oil hangs around for an equally long time – which may or may not be an issue depending on your disposition to the smell of the stuff.

Cabinetmakers and clock-makers traditionally used an entirely different formulation to glaze bookcase doors and clock hood doors etc. It was essential that the compound be quick drying so the piece could be handled virtually straight away. Whiting still forms the basis of the compound, but strong shellac (normally a four-pound cut) is the binder. It must be mixed very stiffly; otherwise the compound will flow until it sets – which actually doesn’t take very long.

I pressed the compound in and around the glazing bars with a stick and smoothed it with a wetted piece of stout leather. A final lick of ‘murky’ shellac further ages it all.

Cabinetmaker’s glazing compound.

All locked up nice and secure.

“Tea anyone”?

About Jack Plane

Formerly from the UK, Jack is a retired antiques dealer and self-taught woodworker, now living in Australia.
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6 Responses to Making a ‘Mulberry’ Corner Cabinet – Part Fourteen… and a half

  1. G. William Pogson MD says:

    Nice Chinese export teapot as well as the lustreware jug. The bottom shelf has
    certain appeal as well! Very nice piece of furniture!


    • Jack Plane says:

      Thanks for the kind words.

      Actually all the porcelain in this cabinet is from the New Hall factory, dating between 1785 and 1810 (with the exception of two Keeling Blue Rocks coffee cups, circa 1805, and the large Staffordshire pearlware jug, circa 1810, on the right).


  2. Tom McMahon says:

    I am curious about the aqua fortis used in the finishing of this piece. Was it straight nitric acid, diluted, or the proprietary mix sold for finishing gun stocks.
    Thank you in advance Tom


    • Jack Plane says:


      I use laboratory grade Nitric acid which I dilute at the ratio of one part acid to two parts water. However, virtually the same results can be achieved with a wide variant of dilutions.



  3. Tom McMahon says:

    Thank you for the information. While on the subject of finishing, have you figured out a way to age pine without reversing the grain through staining.


    • Jack Plane says:


      The trick with most ageing is to speed up the natural process through use of chemical reactions rather than to use stains. I normally only use stain to correct the final hue.



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