Blanket Chest #17: Torsion Lid-Stay Hinges are On: This Project is Completed

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Blog entry by HappyHowie posted 01-05-2016 11:26 PM 2499 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 16: Last Finish Coat Part 17 of Blanket Chest series Part 18: Chest Delivered to New Owner »


Although installing the hinges was a simple process, I wanted to be sure that it went on without any mistakes. I wanted the lid to be centered on the case with just the right overlay. Of course, the right amount of overlay with the hinges I was using was set in motion weeks ago. That is when I cut the lid panel to its final dimensions. It was that long ago that these steps today where easily processed.

The steps I took to install the hinges were these:

1) I marked the center of the lid along its back edge.

2) I marked the center of the case along its back edge.

3) I had glued a shim for the hinges on the inside back panel a couple of weeks ago. It was then that I determined the distance the center of the hinges were going to be placed from the outside ends of the case. I confirmed that this morning; this distance was 7 1/4 inches from the outside edge of the case.

These photographs confirm the center marks for the hinges. This one is for the right side. The left is marked in a similar fashion.

4) I then simply followed the hinges’ installation instructions. Since I most likely will be using these torsion hinges in other projects, I bought the Rockler JIG that can easily place the fasten screws in the right place on the lid.

5) Once the hinges were fastened to the lid each with four 3/4 inch #6 screws, the lid was ready to be fasten to the case. With the pencil mark still present on the shims showing the hinges’ center line, I simply dropped the lid with the hinge down on the back panel of the case. I used a rubber mallet to knock the hinge down firmly and flat on the case.

6) Now with the hinge in its position, I pre-drilled holes for the screws with self-centering drill bits. I used a drill to fasten the screw to a point. I finished fastening the screws by hand so I could get the feel feedback knowing the screw was firmly fastened.

Now with the two hinges fastened, this project was completed.

I enjoyed making this Shaker style blanket chest very much. It is my gift to a very sweet granddaughter. She is carrying twin girls that will be joining us in a few weeks. What a blessing they will be in our lives like this granddaughter has been to Ann and myself.


I have provided a link to the Poplar Woodworking Magazine’s article that I used as a guide for my build. I deviated some from the period piece that the magazine’s editor built. Those were: (1) not making a till inside the case, (2) changing the back panel of the plinth to match the curve in its front, (3) I made the bottom with ship-lap panels for wood movement instead of installing one large panel bottom board, and (4) I did not worry about making each detail the same as the original Shaker blanket chest made in the mid-1800s: such as getting the exact quantity of dovetails on the case and plinth with the exact same angle for the dovetails, etc.

I apparently had a subscription to this magazine when this article was published October 2013, pp. 24-31, Issue #206. The author was Megan Fitzpatrick, the magazines editor. You can read about the article in this link I have provided here, click here to read it.


I have provided here a few photographs displaying the finished blanket chest. I made it with what I thought would be a very interesting hardwood: wormy maple. I believe it turned out great. Better than I originally thought.

This last photo shows the overlay of the lid on the Rockler hinges.

This chest will rest here for 10 days to “gas-off” as Charles Neil wrote instructions to me. This way with coats of finish applied to all surfaces, the smell of finish will dissipate. Then Ann and I will take it to our sweet Brittany’s home where we hope it will stay in the family for generations to come…

-- --- Happy Howie

8 comments so far

View Reaperwoodworks's profile


94 posts in 1538 days

#1 posted 01-05-2016 11:36 PM

Gorgeous chest HappyHowie. I’m sure it will be loved!

-- Website:, Youtube:

View Bobsboxes's profile


1393 posts in 3268 days

#2 posted 01-06-2016 12:00 AM

Very nice chest, has been fun following your build. Great piece.

-- Bob in Montana. Kindness is the Language the blind can see and deaf can hear. - Mark Twain

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3294 days

#3 posted 01-06-2016 01:14 AM

Chest turned out perfectly! Those hinges have always intimidated me (but I am too cheap to buy the jig). Congrats on the twins grandgirls.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View BurlyBob's profile


6904 posts in 2869 days

#4 posted 01-06-2016 01:16 AM

That is some fine craftsmanship. The wood is magnificent, such character is awesome.

View StaMic006's profile


4 posts in 861 days

#5 posted 03-22-2018 12:14 PM

Thats a very nice chest HH. Are the shims required for these hinges? I’m finishing up a toy box for my son and I’m about to install them. After planing and sanding i’m just a little over 5/8 thick on the rear panel where the hinges will go.


View HappyHowie's profile


473 posts in 2549 days

#6 posted 03-22-2018 03:40 PM

The hinges fit over a specified width. I can look it up, but I believe it was 3/4 inches. My milling process got my boards just a bit thinner for the hinges so I processed these shims. Good eye, or did I state I made them?

The granddaughter and now her twins girls enjoy this blanket (toy) chest everyday.

Since I bought this worming maple, I haven’t been able to find the same stuff in quantities. I enjoyed working with it and have other projects I would like to use it on.

Have I ever said that I have enjoyed making blanket chests? I have made two or three and each have been slightly different. I enjoy the process enough that I could make blanket chests everyday. I have a Fine Woodworking plan of a nice Shaker blanket chest. Someday I will fit that into schedule. I believe with it complexity I could learn some good techniques.

Stan, I will be checking your projects or blog to see your progress. Enjoy…

-- --- Happy Howie

View StaMic006's profile


4 posts in 861 days

#7 posted 03-22-2018 03:58 PM

It’s some beautiful stuff. I went in looking for some hickory and ended up with some maple for my build. The lumber yard had quite a bit of it in 4/4 and 8/4.

View HappyHowie's profile


473 posts in 2549 days

#8 posted 03-22-2018 04:55 PM

Yes, I think it is unique and beautiful. Nice work. Thanks for sharing your photos.

-- --- Happy Howie

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