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Thread: Pair of Quarter Sawn White Oak Greene & Greene Inspired Blanket Chests

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    Carlsbad, CA
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    1,498

    Pair of Quarter Sawn White Oak Greene & Greene Inspired Blanket Chests

    This is a build thread for a pair of quarter sawn white oak, Greene & Greene inspired blanket chests that are roughly 35” long x 16” tall x 14” deep. I built this design a couple times before in a larger size, typically Walnut with ebony pegs for accent, which is consistent with the original design.

    I’m using QSWO for these pair of chests because I really enjoy the ray fleck figure and I’m intentionally making these smaller/lighter to be more appropriate for smaller spaces. One is a gift for my twentysomething nephew and the other will be a grand experiment in trying to sell handmade furniture. I fully recognize the arrogance of the idea someone would pay money for furniture I made which reeks of hubris and likely disappointment. That said, I don’t really have any other options for my woodworking addiction – my wife and I’ve just become empty-nesters and are looking to downsize. We have way more furniture than we need and I’ve already made full sets of furniture for both our boys. Bottom line is if I want to keep making furniture I gotta find something to do with it – hence my “intention” to sell the 2nd chest, which realistically means are probably end up sitting in the garage until my wife gives it away. Space is currently occupied by coffee table I made for our youngest 6 months ago that he doesn’t have room for in his tiny apartment

    Enough digression - Back to the fun build stuff:

    Here’s a picture of the lumber layout in the shop. My intention is to use a single board to “wrap” the grain from the left side of the carcass across the front to the right side and then re-saw it so I can have a consistent, book matched grain pattern across the 3 show surfaces.





    For me this initial lumber selection/laying out process is one of the key things that differentiates handmade furniture from commercial. I typically end up changing my mind multiple times in the layout process so easily re-erasable chock is writing instrument of choice.



    Since I built this design a couple times before plans are super minimal. I like to attach the cut list with blue tape wherever is most visible in the shop during the stock breakdown process. My only stationary power tool is a bandsaw so rough dimensioning is done with hand saws at the saw bench. For me, saw bench is one of the most used fixtures in the shop.




    After crosscutting to rough dimensions, I had to rip the stock to accommodate the 5 ˝ inch resaw depth of my 14 inch bandsaw, resaw to ˝” thickness and glue up panels. When I win the lotto/Rob a bank my first purchase will be the biggest, most powerful bandsaw I can find. To hold the work when jointing adjoining edges in panels to be glued up, I like to use either bird’s mouth clamping jig on bench shop or my twin screw face vice.





    Here’s a picture of the re-sawn carcass stock for left side, front, right side laid out prior to glue up to ensure I’ve got all the pieces in the right place. Yes, the reason I go through this step is I’ve definitely screwed this up before and ended up with grain that doesn’t match across adjacent show surfaces.



    This is a shop made panel glue up jig out of MDF and aluminum angle iron that I use all the time. My experience is time invested in gluing up panels so there flat with Tite joints always pays off and less time spent surfacing.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    Here are all the panel glue ups spread across every available horizontal surface in the shop.



    Grain match results after glue up and initial panel surfacing. I like to rough panel surfacing before sawing to final dimensions so that any spelching resulting from cross grain planing is sawing off in final dimensioning.









    Given I don’t have a table saw, the panel gauge is essential tool for ripping panels to width parallel edges. Earlier versions of my shop made panel gauge is had cutting blades, but now I can’t see those layout marks so easily so panel gauge now as 9 mm wide mechanical pencil.




    It’s always interesting to me how much my power tool woodworking friends are surprised/impressed with accuracy of dimensioning glued up panels that’s easily achieved with well-tuned hand saws.
    LV shooting plane is my most expensive hand tool splurge and for me worth every penny – performs critically important, fundamental dimensioning tasks exceptionally well.









    Final check is do all the complementary carcass pieces look the same.



    Here’s the layout for the large carcass finger joints characteristic of the Greene & Greene style, and bevel on the edge of the finger joints. For me easier to plane the bevel with block plane prior to cutting the joints.




  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    Here is sawing out finger joints and carcass sides prior to glue up.






    Design calls for contrasting, ornamental square plugs aligned with carcass joinery. In the past, making these chests out of walnut ebony was a no-brainer choice consistent with original design. For QSWO I’m considering Purple Heart, Bubinga and Cocobolo. I very much appreciate any advice/suggestions about which you think looks best?



    Thanks for looking.

    All the best, Mike

  4. #4
    Mike,

    As always, beautiful work. I loved being a voyeur and getting a good look see at you shop.

    Thanks,

    ken

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
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    Clarks Summit PA
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    Mike, thank you for the pictures. The hand tool methods of work is enjoyable to follow. I have a panel gauge and also use a pencil for the marker instead of a blade.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Austin Texas
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    "My name is Mike and I am a handsaw addict". Thanks for the chamfering tip (pre tail cutting) Mike. For your square plugs, what will the finish bring your QSWO to? I don't always care as much for a strong contrasting feature (like plugs), but do like a slightly darker complimentary hue to go with the carcase coloring. From here, the middle plug blanks (Bubinga?) look ok. Who knows where the purple heart will settle in and the cocobolo I've used (while very pretty) ended up pretty dark. Hard to say know in my opinion. Glad to see that you are off and running on another build. I am particularly interested in this project because I strongly considered that extended-end dovetail look for a blanket chest i did last year. I did not use it, but it has stuck in my brain since then.
    David

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Longview WA
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    Looks good, the proudness of Greene & Greene joinery has always appealed to me.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  8. #8
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    Dec 2010
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    South Coastal Massachusetts
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    Nice illustration of the overlooked, essential skills in making panels. Aren't the G&G pegs traditionally made of Ebony?

    I would suggest the material which can take "pillow" sculpting easily and stain darkest.

    Personally, I like the lightest color with the Oak as shown.
    (Unstained)

    https://youtu.be/HLopA6NF7dk

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
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    SE Michigan
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    2,145
    Yeah! Another Mike project. Always enjoy your builds. Hard to say on the plugs. I think I would finish a scrap of oak and a variety of plug scraps and then decide.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
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    Cockeysville, Md
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    Hey Mike

    This is a Toy Chest i recently finished and is heading for Texas this Sunday. For the plugs i used mahogany stained with Minwax red mahogany. The end grain really soaks up the stain and they come out dark. In general i prefer softer woods for plugs like this, a slight taper with a chisel and they conform well with the hole.

    20190913_085921_DxO.jpg
    The significant problems we encounter cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.

    The penalty for inaccuracy is more work

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    So Cal
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    White oak is such a nice wood to work with. I just love the smell.
    This is a nice pic you captured Mike.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Aj

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Jasper, GA
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    31
    Mike

    Thank you for the build. Can't wait to see pictures of the final products. Make sure you immediately take photos as I'm confident the 2nd one will be sold quickly.

    Wayne

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Putney, Vermont
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    691
    I was thrilled to see you doing another build Mike. Your posts are most enjoyable, and you are being too modest,, that second blanket chest will not be around for long.

  14. #14
    Hi Mike,

    Congratulations on having fledged all the chicks from the nest! My first (of two) flew last month!

    Great to see another build thread from you. I like the panel jig-can you post a picture or two without the panels? The QSWO panel look fabulous. Do you plan to go full traditional with an ammonia fume? (pretty easy actually-I know you're such a fan of finishing, LOL).

    And, I must say that it is a relief to see a new bandsaw in your shop. Here's a potential upgrade for when you win the lotto:

    https://www.theequipmenthub.com/buy-...ical-band-saw/
    "You can observe a lot just by watching."
    --Yogi Berra

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    Carlsbad, CA
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    Quote Originally Posted by ken hatch View Post
    Mike,

    As always, beautiful work. I loved being a voyeur and getting a good look see at you shop.

    Thanks,

    ken
    Thanks Ken. I always enjoy seeing other people's shops – I always come away with ideas about what might work for mine.

    My shop is the equivalent of a single car garage with 20 foot ceilings, a window and a door. Like most of us, I've had a range of different shop configurations over the years. The thing I like most about my current shop is the light and airflow from the doors and windows. Also it's a blessing not to have to push all the tools against the walls to try and fit a car when the LOML decides that's a good idea.


    Next time you're in the area please stop by for some hand tool fun – tacos and tequila after on me!

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