View Full Version : Arts and Crafts/Art Nouveau Leadlight Window Frame (+ Greene and Green Styled Frame)

11-25-2015, 07:23 PM
Hi all,

Just thought I'd post pics of the latest work in progress, I love the Arts and Crafts & Art Nouveau styles, and needed to create a window frame for two large leadlight panels. Not being overly artistic I spent some time deciding on a design for a nice leaf and vine pattern that created an impact without being too busy or "loud". Natural timber tones had to be used, no dyes, and an oil finish was required to enhance the grain and make it pop.

Timbers selected were the ones I usually favour for most work, Tas Oak/Vic Ash and Southern Myrtle.

This is a rough render of what the frame will look like, it measures 2.1m x 1.1m overall.

cheers, Ian

12-02-2015, 04:22 PM
Machined up the side panels and have applied a few coats of Danish Oil buffed with 0000 grade steel wool. I like to apply the oil with a rag and wipe off any wet areas once it's starts going tacky, and then before the enxt coat goes on buff it all over with the steel wool. You end up with a mirror smooth finish, but with Vic Ash/Tassie Oak you need to make sure you get all the steel wool fibres off as they'll react with the tannins in the timber and you get little black spots if left.

I can tell you I underestimated the level of annoyance in sanding around all the leaves and vine to a point I was happy with the result. I ended up using 100grit sandpaper to define the edges, then wire brushes with a Dremel to smooth and level out (this worked really well), and then worked through a few grades of steel wool ending up with 0000 grade to finish off and clean up.

Was more effort than I recalled with a similar job a while back, unless my memory is playing up!

Still need to trim the ends and sides, and sand the edges but it came out good. The finished size of the side panels will be around 135mm x 990mm.

cheers, Ian

bill south
12-03-2015, 10:05 AM
Looking Good Ian
Regarding Sanding and wooling (if that's a word), go to the vectric site and look up the tutorial given for the Paradise box similar to those Carve One posts. In the tutorial, they list some sanding discs from Mcmaster Carr that are a bit less of a pita to use as compared to wool and sandpaper. I use them on a rotary tool to clean up small details where sanding is a bit difficult. It may be worth you time to check these out and I'm assuming that you can get them down under. I would look up the number for you but I'm at work and expect the boss to stop in at any moment!!!!
Looking forward to your finished project noiw "back to work".

12-03-2015, 07:38 PM
Thanks Bill!

Sanding is a real pain, but i'm a little fussy with my jobs so probably spend far more time than is actually required. I absolutely love the incredible finish I can get with steel wool and also use various burrs and sanding/buffing wheels to help, but have been toying with buying a linear sander like the cheap Proxxon one, that comes with really small pads to get in the fiddly places that are such a PITA to do. Something a little more industrial though would be nicer.

Or the other thing I was thinking was to make an assembly for my large linear sander to drive a smaller pad, roughly 6mm wide x 20mm long would be more than adequate for groves, radiuses, etc.

cheers, Ian

12-08-2015, 01:00 AM
Few more coats of Danish Oil on the sides, probably up to about 15 or so coats, with a light buff of 0000 for the 10 or so coats inbetween, and then I give a light rub with some thick pads that appear to be around 2000 grit or thereabouts for the remainder.

You end up with a very nice low gloss sheen, that allows the grain to shine through beautifully, but still protects the timber nicely. And it's incredibly easy to maintain afterwards.

Also started on the large Greene & Greene style frame I'm making for an oil painting for the same room. Very loosely based on some similar'ish ones, but instead of the usual Walnut with Ebony plugs, I'm using some nice 100 year old reclaimed Tasmanian Blackwood, with some Jarrah for accent. I'll post pics of that later.

Finally finished the design for the top arch and will be machining shortly. So it's coming together.

cheers, Ian

12-12-2015, 03:57 AM
Machined the hardwood dado with the thicknesser and a sled(?) to create the profile. I wanted a nice wide profile around 50mm or so wide. The leadlight panels were made with around 7.5mm space all round to allow for foam strips to seat the panels on, to allow for any slight movement, and to cushion the panels and help reduce any vibrations in general.

Allowing for the space and the height of the tinned edge of the panel, around 12mm high for the moulding was just about spot on to maximise the support while not cutting off from view any of the panel unnecessarily.As I didn't have a suitable router bit for the moulding profile, I whacked up a quick sled for the thicknesser, this is an incredibly simple task and for most simple profiles it works a treat.

As you can see from the pics, the sled simply has a piece of windmoulding nailed along one side, with a scrap of timber screwed down to act as the edge stop. The underneath has another scrap of timber along the front edge, this sits on the outside of the feed in table to hold the sled in place. Then it's just a matter of running the timber through until your happy with the profile.

I do this for all the large angles or Vee mouldings I make. Nice and quick!

I still have to rebate the back bottom corner, to allow for a strip of thin timber with the foam to float between the two moudlings.

cheers, Ian

12-12-2015, 11:20 PM
The dado mould for the glass panels has been rebated to allow for the foam cushioning, and was trimmed to a about an inch oversize so I can get a several coats of Danish Oil on before cutting to the final length.

Cutting after the finish has been applied gives nice clean and sharp edges.

Started on the main frame for the window, just to make it a little more difficult, I've added a gentle curve to the top section, oh fun! But why make things too easy I reckon when there's always a harder way!

Also been working on the picture frame for the oil painting, I had the bright idea of applying a rich mahogany stain to it, but I'm fairly disgusted in the results. I'll have to think on whether it's salvageable as the stain ended up looking really washed out, it didn't give the nice uniform appearance I was expecting. I don't think buffing wax or another finish will improve it much.

Hmmm...I'll put that one aside for now and come back to it another day as right now i'm inclined to cut it up and get rid of it.

Anyway, more coats of Danish Oil for the dado moulds, and the side architraves needed, inbetween finishing off the main frame, and starting on the top curved architrave.

cheers, Ian

12-13-2015, 05:56 PM
Okay this is so weird, normally my pics always somehow make the object look way crappier than it is, but in this case it made the crappy object look better than it does in real life. I've decided I'm scrapping this first effort at a Greene & Greene influenced frame, and will make another.

Apart from the terrible way the stain ended up looking so drained, the tiered effect on the side members don't really work like they did in my head. I'm very happy with the top and bottom of the frame though, it has a nice flow to it. I'll have to invest in a carving or carbide abrasive wheel for my angle grinder though, sanding and chiseling the top and bottom was quite a bit of work.

The timber also is a fairly flat brown and the grain doesn't jump out, so I've got some really nice bits of Tasmanian Blackwood I'm machining that have a little fiddleback for a new frame, no stain this time, just Danish Oil and lots of it.

Machining of the top architrave is going well, it's twice as long as my machine can do, so it will be fun when I flip it to do the other end!, Hope it all matches up and aligns fine! ;-)

cheers Ian

12-16-2015, 03:50 PM
Okay, loads of progress, started the window frame and have it mostly completed now, left the bottom ledge a little wider to allow for more accurate trimming based on the finished width of the side architraves. First couple of coats oil done and the grain looks fantastic. The grain of Vic Ash/Tassie Oak comes up a real treat oiled, far nicer than using a varnish.

The underneath of the ledge has been deeply rebated from the rear, so the ledge is only around 25mm thick with the front 40mm the full 45mm thick, this is so it can sit on the frame opening and overlap the front. The curve on the top appears more pronounced that it is, it's actually only 10mm difference in height from end to middle, but it's just enough to break up the lines and give a really nice graceful curve without overdoing it. It does add a lot more difficulty, but why not! I think the end result will be well worth it, so long as I can accurately machine the top architrave that is! Shouldn't be an issue.

The top architrave is machined, that was fun, somehow I offset the centre by 10mm in my calculation as I machined the area inside vectors, but allowed 5mm overlap which I didn't account for when spinning it around to machine from the other end. Anyway it came out good and is getting the oil treatment so pics in a day or so.

I've started work on the new Greene & Greene inspired picture frame, for those who don't know the Greene brothers, google them, their work is amazing, especially the Gamble House in the US, what a mind blowing incredible house! Full of the most beautiful woodwork and leadlight, it really is an amazing build and a testament to really good taste and craftsmanship. The house was also used as Doc's house in Back to the Future I'm pretty sure from memory.

If I had the money and time to build my own place, it would very much incorporate a lot of the features of the Gamble House, especially the nook, I really love the idea of a nook, what a great place to relax in the morning with a cuppa and the missus! At the moment the kids and I are trying to use psychology on the wife to convince her to get rid of the big, boring, kitchen table, so we can build a nook and solid timber table instead! Might take a while but hopefully we'll convince her!

cheers, Ian

12-17-2015, 03:59 PM
I thought I might add this pic as it may help others who might tackle a similar job but may struggle a bit with how to ensure the frame is mounted level. Normally you'd pack out underneath the frame to get the base level, which is always a bit hit and miss trying to get it perfect.

Seeing as the frame will be screwed into the opening on all four sides, I instead opted to use a level and insert screws for the frame to sit on, and got the screws perfectly level. The opening is taking no weight because the frame is screwed all round, so this allows the frame to be absolutely level, and once I've added the engraved brass plate along the front of the frame ledge to cover the gap at the top of the tiles, I'll then spray expanding foam all around the frame to seal it in and stop any vibrations from slamming doors, tornadoes, teenagers, etc.

In case the frame ever has to come out for any reason in the future, I'll be wrapping all around the frame with 2" tape, so the expanding foam will bond to that, and the tape itself which is a bit p**s weak which actually makes it perfect for this, will then peel off the frame as it's pushed out from the back.

cheers, Ian

12-20-2015, 04:24 AM
The top arch is machined, 99% of the sanding is done, and I've given it a few coats of Danish Oil.

Just needs the center carving cleaned up and generally smoothed out a little more, to make up for the small stuff up with the placement of the board when it was flipped around to machine the other end. I ended up carving the middle vine leaf and ends of the vine by hand to gte it to match the rest properly.

As usual loads of sanding required, but just a bit more with some steel wool will finish it off nicely. Checked the arch curve against the frame and it matches perfectly, very pleased!

cheers, Ian

12-22-2015, 03:55 PM
Arch's are coming along nicely, getting many coats of oil on them, frame is pretty much done, the corner blocks have been machined and received a few coats of oil.

I used to do my corner blocks on the drill press using various forstner bits and custom ground HSS profile cutters to create flower shaped patterns, but the cnc for creating beautiful models instead is the bee's knee's!

Lots of fine sanding/buffing and coats of oil to go in general, but it won't be too long now before it goes in.

cheers, Ian

12-27-2015, 06:36 PM
The new frame for the oil painting is now finished, much nicer looking than the first effort. Made from an old Tassie Blackwood mantel from around 1905, and some reclaimed Jarrah flooring, the grain looks just fantastic. Shaping the curves was a bit of work, mostly done by chisel and sander. A nice rotary abrasive disc for the grinder is on my wishlist now to make shaping things like this much faster and easier. But I don't mind the manual effort involved, there's something really satisfying about shaping things mostly by hand.

Not much to go on the big leadlight window, the front mouldings had already been cut and fixed in place, and the rest have been cut to size and marked according to the position for the best grain effect and matching,

A trial fit of the leadlight panels showed the foam inserts needed to be thinned down a little, so this was done on the belt sander. Next is a trial fit in the opening to accurately measure the squareness of the leadlight panels and frame in relation to the opening and the arch's, to see if there's any obvious error or deviation I missed, and to mark out the ledge where it needs to be trimmed.

cheers, Ian

12-27-2015, 06:51 PM
pretty work.. keep going..

12-30-2015, 07:28 AM
Okay heaps of progress, the frames been screwed into the opening and squared up on the sides and face, the leadlights fitted, all the moulding has been fixed in and it has some brads holding the architraves on until I fix them more securely. The corner blocks and the archs had a groove cut in the sides/ends so they could be joined with some strips of 4mm ply, like biscuits, to keep them nicely snug and rigid.

Pretty happy with how it came up, apart from the tremendous amount of manual sanding that seemed to take forever, it all pretty much worked to plan. I decided in the end to trim the ends of the ledge a lot shorter, as it gave it a little more of an Arts & Crafts feel, and as one side of the arch runs along a door jamb, it gives the appearance of a 135mm square beam to the right hand side. Nice!

The only things left now are to finish fixing the archs to the frame, putty the brad holes, and finish off with a few more coats of oil. Last will be fitting the engraved brass strip along the front so the expanding foam can be sprayed around the frame, but I haven't quite decided on the engraving design so that may be for some time!

I'll try and take a better pic sometime as the flash cancelled out a lot of the background light unfortunately.

cheers, Ian

03-23-2016, 08:24 PM
Following on with my fine and time honoured tradition of never quite completing a job that's 99% finished, I haven't quite gotten around to puttying up the nail holes and touching up the Danish Oil, but that may happen this Easter holiday, or not!

Instead I've embarked on making some Greene & Greene/Arts & Crafts style wall sconce lights I decided we absolutely must have for the kitchen. Life or death stuff here! ;-)

I've worked through many iterations of the timber design, and have now nailed down a design I like using some American Ash for the main construction, and accents using some beautiful chocolate toned Tasmanian Blackwood.

Traditionally the timbers used would be quarter sawn American Oak and ebony for the accents for Greene & Greene items, but I really love Tas Blackwood, and I don't see the issue with using non-traditional timbers.

The glass design has gone through many, many, iterations and second-third-fourth (etc) guessing, and has somehow meandered through the gammet of buying some nice patterned glass and cutting it myself, through doing leadlight, right to the other end of the spectrum for the final conclusion, which is making the glass myself using the Pate De Verre method.

4 weeks ago I would thought Pate De Verre is something you spread on crackers, now I'm learning how to go about it.

I've done a test machine of the 12 different glass models I've created in HDPU to be able to create the molds, and then the acrylic templates that will be used to create the ceramic molds for the glass itself. Quite a laborious project but hopefully it will be well worth it.

I wasn't happy with the first batch, 10 hours machining but I don't think I laid the models quite high enough to get the amount of detail I'm after, so I'm re-machining them all soon, and will then go straight to the silicone mold making once they're finished.

In my usual gung ho manner I've bought a small truckload of glass powder and frit assuming it should all just work to plan on the first effort! What's the worst that can happen I reckon!

We'll see how it goes, pics to follow!

cheers, Ian

03-26-2016, 07:32 AM
Well 11 of the 12 molds have been re-machined, I made a jig for the cnc machine to keep them perfectly aligned so all that was required was a couple of bits of double sided tape to stop them lifting in the jig. It worked really well, bar the very last one that the machine missed some steps on and snapped the endmill. So I'll machine a new one there, but the others all turned out very nicely, and I've started making the first lot of silicone molds from them.

The results are really good, except this lot of silicone has a very fast setup time so the first one ended up the right hardness level but didn't release the air bubbles, and by the time I started pouring the second one, it was already hardening in the pot!

I used less catalyst in the second round and it turned out great except the hardness is a bit less than I would have liked, but is still more than fine for the intended purpose.

So still need to machine the last mold template, finish off the silicone molds, and then start on ripping and machining the timber and accents for the wall sconces, while I wait to get hold of the resin mix. Then the fun of using the cast resin to make the ceramic molds starts!

cheers, Ian

03-29-2016, 05:18 PM

Disaster has struck, while machining the timber for the G&G wall sconces on the long weekend, my trusty old ELU flipsaw died! No gasps or long drawn out death here, just working one minute, kaput the next!

I'm beside myself with grief at it's passing, I bought it new only 30 or so years ago although it seems like just yesterday when I brought it home as a baby all new and shiny! ;-)

I'm really hoping it's just the starter cap, which in all likelihood it is (although I suspect there's a relay in the control box so it might be that), although a replacement may be fun to find. I'd love to get a nice shiny new table saw but there just doesn't seem to be much around that's cheap enough for my liking and yet doesn't scream like a wild banshee when running. Owning an ELU TGS172 it's easy to see why they still sell for very considerable amounts even after all these years, they simply were the very best available on the market at the time, and they've proven to be a rock solid and extremely reliable and very well designed machine. The induction motors on them are super quiet, which is always a very major factor in anything I've bought. Last thing I want to do is p**s off the neighbours with a lot of noise.

I think when the week of mourning is over I'll tackle it and see if I can find what is wrong with it on the weekend.

cheers, Ian

04-10-2016, 10:09 PM
Ok I've been pretty side tracked with a multitude of projects and haven't gotten around to fixing the ELU flipsaw yet, or working out what the issue is. In the meantime I've taken advantage of a mates tablesaw at his cabinet workshop and have ripped and thicknessed the timber for the Greene & Greene light fitting frames. A mockup pic is attached. I'm still to decide on the design of the top and the supporting bracket although I have a fair idea in mind of what I want there.

Been machining like a mad man for the positive and negative molds, some will be for other projects, and as usual, halfway through decided to change tack and go for some nice Australiana themed panels now, so the machines busy "making it so!"

Poured some more silicone and some resin as well to see how the molds turned out, and I'm really happy with the results. I'd like to get it done pronto, but I first and foremost I want a good job, so although it's a lot of work, slowly, slowly, getting there.

I'm now going to need to get up to speed with making ceramic molds, as I'll be ready in a few weeks most likely.

cheers, Ian

04-18-2016, 06:39 AM
Well as usual my plans didn't quite work out as I expected. I made the new molds but the particular resin I used this time seemed to generate a lot more heat than the ones I've used in the past. The end result was it deformed the HDPU molds pretty bad, and bowed like crazy while curing. It also destroyed the release agent and the gloss enamel paint underneath that as can be seen by the pic of 4 of the resin casts. Theses casts are a write off, as they would need too much manual work to fix them. I wish now I had tried just one for a test, instead of getting all excited and impatient to get them done and see how they look, and making up 6! Almost 4 litres of resin ruined there! Bummer.

Seeing as I wasn't totally happy with the height of the models on some of them, I've pretty much scrapped them and have designed a new bunch with more uniform 3D models that should work well for the glass, as well as make it easier to assemble and layout the different coloured glass for the finished panels.

I'll post pics later on the progress of the new lot of molds.

On a side note, I've had a really rare issue occur a few times over the last 4 or so years with my big cnc machine, for a reason I haven't been able to work out till now. It could run for a day at a time with no issue, and then anywhere from 3-8 hours into a job one of the axis, Y or X, will lose steps, around 40-60mm in each case. It happened again today about 6 hours in on the new batch of 3D Molds. I did a bit of testing this time as I wanted to run a bigger job again this afternoon, so I pulled the covers off. Previously I'd checked the screws and they all seemed fine, the PC was running fine, but I noticed the stepper on one axis was really, really hot. I know everyone says steppers are designed to run hot, but this was crazy hot, and I really don't believe high heat long term is good for anything, no matter the ratings or what people say.

I measured it with a reasonably good quality infra red thermometer, and was reading around 80-85C on the X axis, the Y axis was practically cold to the touch as almost all the work in this job as seen by the pic was the X axis, and the Z was barely above ambient. I was thinking it must be due to the heat, but why did it happen on the X or the Y axis in the past, then I remembered the Y axis lost steps twice over the years but only on long jobs, and the X axis never lost steps on long jobs but had on wide jobs. When I generate the gcode, I align the 3D machining along the longest side of the job to minimise unnecessary travelling, and that was why only one stepper would lose steps, after running a series of 3D machining jobs the stepper on whatever axis was aligned to the raster direction for the gcode would overheat just that little too much . As I couldn't find a small fan handy, for now I've cable tied some heatsinks to the underneath and sides of the X axis stepper, and measuring it again on the same job it dropped from around 80-85deg to around 60-65deg. Quite a difference and I think it proves the theory correct.

I'm now fairly confident the rarely occurring lost steps issue has been solved, so I'll be sorting out some decent heatsinks and fans for the steppers going forward. Possibly even some water ducting from the spindle (if I can be bothered) to really cool things down.

cheers, Ian