Gothic furniture has a distinct charm of its own. With elaborate carvings that are hard to look away from, gothic furniture stands out.
That is because of the promise of greater storage space and the use of durable varieties of hardwood. Examples of these are oak, walnut, cherry, mahogany, and rosewood.
While it can be tempting to purchase finished pieces from antique furniture stores, there’s a particular kind of satisfaction that stems from making your own pieces of gothic-inspired furniture, like a gothic cabinet or a gothic bookshelf.
It may seem like an insurmountable task, but with the right guidance, you’ll find that it’s not as tough as it seems.
At The Wood Craftsmen, we’ve made it our mission to help aspiring, do-it-yourself woodworkers to see their pet projects to completion.
Before you set out to make a cabinet of your own, it’s essential to understand the history and the characteristic features of gothic furniture.
Knowing the antiquity of a certain style allows you to understand its essence. Also, makes it possible for you to incorporate authentic elements into the piece of furniture you create.
So, What Is Gothic Furniture?
You can trace back to the twelfth century the origins of gothic furniture pieces. Such the likes of cabinets, chairs, armoires, and tables.
In its initial avatars, gothic furniture was much simpler than the versions we see today.
The embellishments on gothic cabinets and chests consisted mostly of paintings. It was only later that carvings replaced these paintings.
Authentic gothic furniture was popular between the twelfth and the sixteenth century. The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries saw the emergence of newer influences. It replaced the preference for gothic styles.
But, at the turn of the nineteenth century, gothic furniture saw a revival. This later resulted in a blending of traditional gothic elements with modern influences. And, resulted in what we know today as modern gothic furniture.
One of the defining features of gothic furniture is the use of durable, time-tested wood. Of course, there were local favorites, but the caveat of utilizing enduring varieties of wood was never compromised.
For instance, in France, chestnut was the preferred wood for creating gothic furniture. While in England and Germany, it was primarily oak. Also, Spain and Italy use walnut.
Another characteristic feature of gothic furniture is its construction. Storage pieces, like cabinets, were designed to offer more space than they appeared to be available.
This was a deliberate move to override the problem of insufficient storage space. This was a defining feature of cabinets made before the twelfth century.
The carvings on these cabinets are another distinct feature. These made them some of the most visually striking pieces of furniture.
What Will You Need to Make a Gothic Cabinet?
The first step in making an impressive gothic cabinet is to gather all inputs and the right material. It can be a daunting task to figure out where to begin.
Moreover, here’s a comprehensive list of what you must transform your dream cabinet into a tangible reality.
A Trustworthy Blueprint
One of the most essential things you must create a sturdy cabinet is a reliable draft. This plan forms the basis of the design. It needs to be thorough enough to help you make the framework for your piece of furniture.
A good blueprint gives detailed markings about the measurements, angles, joints, hinges, elevations, and depth. Sticking to a blueprint will ensure that your work will go smoother.
The Right Kind Of Wood
Your cabinet needs to be crafted from wood that is sturdy and long-lasting. Typical choices are oak, teak, rosewood, or walnut.
You must check out the options for sourcing your wood locally. If local sources aren’t satisfactory, you may need to consider getting your wood from sources beyond the boundaries of your native space.
Compromising on the quality of wood can adversely affect the outcome of your cabinet.
A Set Of Good Tools
Making a gothic cabinet from scratch involves a long of handiwork and skill. A good set of tools is imperative to getting your project started.
Look up some videos online and make a list of all the tools you’ll need to craft your cabinet. If you’re unfamiliar with the usage of some tools, it’s better to practice using them on a rough piece of wood.
Once you’ve gotten the hang of it, you can try out strokes on the piece of wood you intend to use.
A Workable Plan For Your Project
You’ll need to know exactly how to go about making the cabinet. Ideally, you can chart out a plan about which step follows which, so you have a smooth process from start to finish.
It also helps you avoid being stumped for ideas in the middle of your woodwork. Having a plan makes the execution easier. And also, you’ll have the luxury to enjoy the process of converting a piece of wood into a gothic cabinet you love.
Instructions and Tips To Remember When Making A Gothic Cabinet
Irrespective of the kind of furniture you are making, a few tried and tested tips are always great to have in your handbook.
So, here are some instructions that can help you make an impressive gothic cabinet.
An important aspect that is best covered early on in the project is the kind of wood you’ll need to make your cabinet. Once you’ve picked the variety from the popular options like oak, walnut, rosewood, and the like, you’ll want to make sure that you get hold of some sturdy pieces of these woods. Don’t settle for used pieces that have already been worn out by time because they’ll only make your cabinet flimsy. And flimsy isn’t a characteristic you want your gothic furniture to have.
- Before you fasten anything for good, dry-fit them together to see how the pieces add up. You want all the best parts to be facing up and out, so the flaws aren’t clear on the outer surface. Another good reason to dry-fit is to see if the texture and colors of the pieces you’ve assembled match. For the reason, that you don’t want a cabinet where one odd door is a different shade of brown or rougher than the other doors on the front. This procedure also helps you verify if the joints fit in perfectly with one another.
- Carvings form an integral part of gothic furniture pieces. This is one aspect that may require special attention. If you’re unsure about how to create symmetrical carvings, contact an expert or take a course on creating carvings on woodwork. It’s a skill that may take a while to master. But, once you learn to carve on wood, you’ll find that an entire avenue of options and ideas have opened up on which to experiment.
Labeling or numbering the pieces before fitting them into their final positions is a hack that is often overlooked. Label the pieces before you disassemble the dry-fit frame. This little trick makes it easier for you to screw or nail them back together. And eventually, saves you from making costly errors. Don’t worry about the marking, they aren’t permanent. A bit of finishing and polishing will erase them right off your cabinet.
- Because your cabinet will undoubtedly turn out to be a piece of heavy furniture, it’s advisable to do the final assembly in the place where you want to install your cabinet itself. Assembling it elsewhere and moving it to its destination after you’ve put the pieces together could turn out to be a herculean task. And if by a stroke of luck, you do manage to move your cabinet to its destination; you run the risk of a panel or two getting misplaced or broken.
- Once you’ve assembled your furniture, you may want to finish the outer surface in one of two ways. You could paint it or stain it. Each option comes with its own set of instructions. It’s best to read up on how to achieve the perfect finish before attempting to do it yourself. If the pieces of wood you chose are especially new and sleek, you could do away with giving them a finish. But, if you’ve chosen rougher pieces, a finish is necessary to give your cabinet a striking appearance.
Recommended For You
Several woodworkers shy away from making gothic furniture because it involves a lot of carving.
And to be frank, it can seem like a tough task. But, that’s only true until you take your first step into this wonderful world of woodworking.
Once you get the hang of it, you’ll find that making gothic cabinets and tables is not just easy; it is enjoyable as well.
If at any point in your journey to becoming a gothic woodworker, you find yourself in need of assistance, just check up the guides on The Wood Craftsmen. Or, give our team a call. We’re happy to assist.
Last update on 2021-06-14 at 00:38 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API