Wonderful Barrister Bookcase hardware

Tom King

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Pam is out today, so I thought it would be a good time to sneak in the extra Barrister Bookcase shelf today.  It's a Globe Wernicke in QSWO to match the others that I accumulated to hold my Colonial America era history books. 

After Drew's thread on references, I started accumulating furniture reference books.  We have so much stuff in our house, including one of the orginial small bedrooms that we converted to a library years ago, but everything is full, so the furniture reference books were just accumulating in stacks.  Pam told me to stop buying books until I had somewhere to put them......

I hadn't taken this last shelf purchase out of the box until just now.  I had never seen this type of hardware before.  I had to do a bit of repair to most of the other shelves, that were the typical pin in a slot that slides.

This is a new one on me.  The shelf is definately a Globe Wernicke, as everything except the slide hardware is an exact match for the unit it's going in.  The seller did a wonderful job of packing it, and even shipped the door separate, and so well packed that the glass even survived shipping.  It's also been cleaned so good that it can be put to use straight away in the house.

There is a rod that goes from one side to the other.   On each end of that rod is a simple gear that rolls across a rack-rack and pinion gear with the pinion being a spur gear on each side. That keeps the movement coordinated on both ends of the door, so there is no binding possible.  The door has two little pivoting clips that fit over the rod that the gears are on, and a groove cut in the back slides down on the rod as the door is lifted, but as the door is pivoted down into the closed position, the clips limit the door travel towards the outside, but still give a tight seal with no friction in the process. 

The pivot clips are each different from the other.  One pivots only to the outside.  The other pivots either way.  You have to pivot the one that only tilts to the outside, and put it on the rod with the door pulled out on the other end.  Once that side is in, there is a little room to pivot the other one into position.  This makes it a two step process to get the door off, so it's not likely to accidentally fall off.

It works better than any Barrister Bookcase door that I've ever seen.  It works like you would want one too.   I've not studied the history of the Globe Wernicke bookcase systems, but this must be the best version. 

edited to add picture of unit put together.   The trouble is I've put the stacks of books in the house in it, but there are still other stacks in one of the shops, and I ordered 8 more yesterday.  These are just my Colonial Virginia history books, and some of the furniture reference books.




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  • 1 year later...

I’m curious if you’ve ever seen replacement hardware for a unit like this one. I recently bought a bookcase that had a slide like the one pictured, but it’s missing most of the hardware. I can’t find anything else about it except this post and one other. 

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I picked up an early GW a few years ago. I'm not an expert but my understanding is they only made a scissor type equalizer, with different variations of it over the years.  

To identify the slide and/or cabinet I would send the pic to a business that restores furniture antiques.  

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You should be able to find the parts on ebay, but probably not that geared rod.  There are even some reproduction parts sold, such as the scissor equalizer.

I've not seen that gear drive equalizer though.  The scissors thing works, but the geared rod works better.  I never looked up when they made any of it.

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  • 2 years later...



The section you are seeing is/was made by a sister company known then as Macy. The Globe and Macy almost fit perfectly into one another, but Macy uses gears rather than the scissor stabilizers that Globe Wernicke uses- possibly they didn't have permission. The Macy doors also have a lot of wood cut out of their sides, as they fit into their openings a little differently    compared to Globe. I have both of these types and a few others here at home. I'm sort of  an enthusiast when it comes to these. Oak over all, from what i've seen on the markets, does sell better than mahogany. Walnut and teak are certainly a surprise when they show up. Then there's the cheaper versions made up of birch or poplar and  stained "imitation walnut" or some  such. I am currently looking for  router bits  to closely match   a set of sections that are missing their glass doors, and that's how I stumbled across this article. I hope I didn't come too late. 


Regards, Josh  

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Thanks for that information!   If you can't find the exact router bit profile, there are companies that make custom ones.  I used to buy custom bits from Whiteside, but now they only make them in multiples of six.  There are others that make singles.  That one box sitting on the top is one of the later, cheap ones.

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