View Full Version : Completed Walnut Chest w/pics

Andy Pratt
05-20-2008, 10:24 PM
I've spent the last three weeks working on this blanket chest for my living room. It's my second major project and the first one I've done with walnut.

Some of you might remember that I was asking about doing glue ups with tapered stock for this project a few weeks ago. In the first picture you see the stock I started out with, it presented a bit of problem in glueing up the panels, as the pieces wanted to slide apart under the clamp pressure. Luckily the upward/downward friction from the LV panel clamps I eventually used seemed to counteract this enough to make it work. When I tried with just bar clamps it was a major pain. The stock was 4' long, 8" wide -4" wide and 3/4 (surfaced) thick. I got it for about $1 bf from a guy who got it as CNC router offcuts from the place he works. Panels ended up being just shy of 5/8 by the time I got them flattened out (jet drum sander).

The box is butt jointed (not ready for that many hand cut dovetails yet) with 4 pocket holes per end edge and 8 per bottom side. Each side piece has a dado 1" off the base (no feet) to accept a 3/4" piece of plywood, which is glued in as the structural bottom. To hide the plywood and side pocket screws (none visible on the long sides) I covered the interior base with sanded T&G cedar and the sides with 1/8" spanish cedar that I resawed myself (first resaw project).

The moulding strip around the outside is 2 1/4" walnut from left over pieces, tacked in with old fashioned nails for asthetic purposes. The nails only catch 1/4" of the case, so the moulding is also held in from the back (1" gap below plywood) with wood screws. I didn't use any glue here. The top is close to 3/4" walnut with figured big leaf maple breadboard ends. I debated pinning them but I haven't done it before and didn't want to risk it at that late stage.

Handles and lid stays (right term?) are from Lee Valley.

Let me know what you think, and please point out any design flaws you see. I'm posting it for fun but also (primarily) to learn to do a better job, so I welcome any comments even if it's "hey, that wasn't a good design, it's going to fall apart with moisture change because xyz..."


J. Z. Guest
05-20-2008, 10:51 PM
Great job Andy. Using those offcuts was real ingenuity; the kind that makes an excellent woodworker.

FYI - Kreg sells walnut pocket screw plugs, you might try them next time.

Dave MacArthur
05-21-2008, 1:36 AM
Nice work, I love walnut/maple. What finish did you use?

Walt Caza
05-22-2008, 1:17 PM
Hi Andy,
Good looking project for only your second major!
You did well, in using up those off-cuts, way to think...
I know it's not a race, but you are ahead of me...
I have walnut ambitions, but have not used it as yet.

keep working on your skills,
great work, what's next?
you can't just rest on your laurels forever!
Thanks for giving us a peek,

Mike McCann
05-22-2008, 2:11 PM
great looking chest.

Jim Becker
05-22-2008, 3:58 PM
Nice work, Andy...clean lines and a unique look! Very nice, indeed.

Andy Pratt
05-24-2008, 3:24 PM
Thanks for the compliments everyone, I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.

The finish is three coats of watco medium walnut on the base portion and three coats of watco natural on the top. I also coated the top inside portion, it has retained a little smell inside (figthing with the cedar right now) but I'm hoping it will fade over time.

I plan to wax the top and inside top in the near future. I've considered using a low gloss poly on it, any thoughts as to this over wax? Right now it doubles as a coffee table, so I might gain some protection there.

John Thompson
05-24-2008, 3:42 PM
Very nice Andy, as I believe I pointed out at some truck-stop down the highway a piece wihle sipping coffee. ;)

Again... very nicely done.