A George II Elm Corner Cupboard – Part Two

For the most part, the way this blog operates – and the way the majority of readers tell me they prefer it – is: I illustrate a piece of antique furniture that I admire and describe it in some detail. I then saw some wood, make some authentic mouldings, stick the whole lot together in a time-honoured fashion, polish it, fix appropriate hardware to it and hopefully everybody will have gleaned something from it all. Well sometimes it doesn’t go quite so swimmingly.

To make an elm cupboard, I first require elm. I have some gargantuan elm boards which are becoming increasingly difficult to get hold of, so I am reserving them for making Windsor chair seats of the proportions necessary to accommodate my ample posterior. I have other odds and ends of elm left over from various jobs, but nothing substantial enough even for this little elm corner cupboard.

I broadcast a plea for some elm and a woodworking club about 200 kilometres south west of Melbourne offered me this lot of boards which, by no means perfect, looked to be sufficient and adequate for reproducing a small provincial style cupboard.

Some reasonably nice elm.

The price was agreed and after electronically transferring the funds, this is what materialised…

A totally dissimilar and mostly unusable lot of split, warped and sappy boards.

As chance would have it, a member of another group, the Warragul Woodworkers’ Club, was coming up to Melbourne today and brought me a dozen or so nice wide elm slabs and boards.

Dogs can be so predictable.

So, I’m back on track and will hopefully have some real progress to report in my next dispatch.

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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5 Responses to A George II Elm Corner Cupboard – Part Two

  1. ecrusch says:

    Looks to be very nice timber, and should produce a wonderful piece under your skilled hand.
    I am looking forward to seeing it materialize.


  2. Greg Forster says:

    Would 10″ ELM be wide enough for this?


    • Jack Plane says:

      The widest part of the carcase is just over 4″ wide, but the top rail of the door is about 8″ wide and the door panel will be about 15-1/2″ wide (I will be bookmatching my door panel using two narrower boards). So yes, 10″ wide stuff would be suitable.


  3. Greg Forster says:


    On the way this morning to view some Elm boards at a local sawyer; in re-examining the 1730 cabinet photo it appears to be completely covered it sections of veneer. Am I seeing this correctly?

    Also, what are the dimensions of this cabinet?




    • Jack Plane says:


      The picture of the cupboard in Part One is actually veneered in walnut, but they were equally common in elm, fruitwood and oak etc. I was instructed to make an elm cupboard with an arched door and the walnut example was the most pleasing example I found.

      The dimensions are 42″ high, 32″ wide and 19″ deep.



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