Introduction: Make an Antique Style Hutch
I made this hutch several years ago, and it is still in use today. Follow along and I will show the steps involved in making this piece of furniture.
Step 1: Plan, Organize, Decide
To make this piece, I took a lot of time in drawing, laying out, organizing steps and materials, and deciding on how to proceed through each step. At the time I did this, Ethan Allen furniture put out a catalog with all of their furniture, and in that catalog was pictures of each piece. All the dimensions were shown in a line drawing of the piece of furniture, so it was an easy step to use the correct dimensions in my construction project. I'm not sure they still do that, but plans can be found in furniture making books, on the internet, and or in libraries.
Step 2: Materials
This hutch is made entirely of soft pine. I chose pine because it's easy to machine, readily available, and reasonably priced. Part of the planning procedure includes calculating totals needed in terms of sizes of lumber, number of pieces, laying out cutting diagrams, etc. I have chosen not to go into minute detail as complete plans for this type of project can be found in the many publications available.
Step 3: Basic Construction
The hutch was built in two sections, the top and bottom. Using the dimensions I obtained from the catalog picture, I cut all pieces to size and all joints were simple peg and dowel joints and/or butt joints with glue and nails. When taken a step at a time, it really was quite easy to build. The table saw was the main tool used, but I needed drills, a router, sanders, a dowel jig, paint brushes, stain, varnishes, etc.
Step 4: Glass Doors
Using glass cutting techniques as in stained glass, two panels were made for the upper doors. Lead came is used, of course, and the lead is soldered, glass pieces cut and installed in place, and then the doors were treated with putty colored with lamp black which was brushed into all the openings around the lead pieces.
Step 5: Drawer Construction
The drawer was put together as mentioned earlier, with simple butt joings, and glue and nails. Some routing was necessary to make recesses for the drawer bottom, which was constructed of 1/4 inch mdf or masonite material. The front of the drawer is of raised panel constructin, which will be covered in the lower door phase.
Step 6: Lower Doors Construction
The antique look here is achieved by using the raised panel technique for the door construction. A good book on basic woodworking/furniture making will have instructions on exactly how to produce the frames and panels for the doors. Again, when taken a step at a time, it is really quite simple.
Step 7: Back of Hutch
To make the back, 1 x 5 pine boards were beveled on the edges to give the tongue and groove effect to the back portion of the top and bottom section. Bevels can be accomplished with a router, a table saw, or tongue and groove material is available pre-cut.
Step 8: Staining and Finishing
To finish the piece, I choose a dark walnut oil based stain. The directions of the manufacturer were followed, and when dry, the entire piece is coated with two or more coats of oil based polyurethane varnish. I have often wished that I would have made a "milk white" finish to the pine, but we enjoy the dark shade as well. Simply a matter of choice.