Blanket Chest

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Blog series by HappyHowie updated 01-18-2016 02:42 AM 18 parts 27034 reads 34 comments total

Part 1: Wormy Maple Shaker Style Blanket Chest

12-13-2015 10:21 AM by HappyHowie | 0 comments »

I enjoyed an article I read in Popular Woodworking about a period build of a mid- nineteenth century Shaker Blanket Chest. My granddaughter had requested a blanket chest. I had some wormy maple in my lumber rack in the shop so I started this build. I milled the rough sawn lumber flat and four square on my jointer, thickness planer and finally on my table saw. I selected the boards for the longer front and back panels as well as the shorter sides. In addition, I selected the wide boards...

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Part 2: Dovetail Base or Plinth

12-14-2015 05:29 AM by HappyHowie | 2 comments »

With the dovetails cut both the tail and pin boards, I did a dry fit. These boards went together with ease. The photo below shows how well these joints fitted together. Before I can glue these base parts together I must design the curves for the front and back and then the sides. I did that design on a piece of 1/4 inch thick MDF. I cut out those templates on my bandsaw. Then I sanded the edges smooth. Once I was satisfied with the templates I positioned them on the wormy map...

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Part 3: Base Cleats and Case Ship-Lap Bottom

12-15-2015 05:06 AM by HappyHowie | 1 comment »

After gluing the chest’s base, I selected poplar scraps to make cleats. The cleats will be used to fasten the chest’s case to the base and the cleats to the base. The photo below shows the strips of poplar for these cleats. I pre-drilled holes that would fasten the cleat to the base and then holes from underneath that would hold the chest to the base. I used yellow glue with screws to fasten these cleats flush to the top of the base. I also used scrap pieces of the worm...

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Part 4: Lid Dry Fit

12-18-2015 11:44 PM by HappyHowie | 2 comments »

Today I cut miters on the lid’s trim. Afterwards I was able fit the splines into the slots I cut in the trim parts and the lid. Then I wanted to check if every dimension was good by seeing the lid on top of the chest. Oh yes, I also fastened the ship-lapped bottom boards with #6 1 inch long Fh wood screws. I will need to take a flush trim router bit around the outer case walls. Some of the bottom boards are a bit proud of the case. This flush bit will shave those proud spots flu...

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Part 5: Lid Glue and Proud Ship-lap Bottom Boards Flush Trimmed

12-19-2015 08:34 AM by HappyHowie | 0 comments »

I used my Bosch Colt router to flush trimmed the bottom ship-lapped boards so they would be flush to the chest’s outer walls. Nothing exciting here. It did the job. This photo confirms that the parts are flush with the wall so my trim pieces will fit nicely on the base and up against the wall of the chest, without any gaps. Next I turned my attention to the chest’s lid; especially cutting and fitting the mitered corners. Frankly, I just sneaked up with the fit at m...

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Part 6: Lid and Plinth Work Today

12-20-2015 05:56 AM by HappyHowie | 2 comments »

I hand planed and sanded the lid that came out of the clamps this morning. I also sanded the base or plinth and the chest’s case. I fastened the base to the case. I firgured the best way to make sure it went on square and even was to set the base on the floor and then place and position the case on the base. Once I was satisfied with its location, I held it at that position on the base with four parallel clamps, two to each side. Then I placed the chest on my workbench where I could ...

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Part 7: Just Touch Up Work Today

12-21-2015 02:34 AM by HappyHowie | 0 comments »

I decided not to apply any finish today. Instead I did some touch up work. I noticed some small gaps that I filled with wood filler. I opened the Rockler Lid-stay Torsion Hinge package. It has been a year since I built my last blanket chest. I used these hinges on that chest. I remember now why I had to cut mortises for that chest. I milled that case’s lumber to 7/8 inch thick panels. This chest’s panels were milled to 5/8 inches. The hinges are made for 3/4 inches. I...

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Part 8: Charles Neil Answers!

12-04-2015 02:46 PM by HappyHowie | 3 comments »

I recalled how Charles Neil has stated that he “always” places finish on both sides of a board. That statement was very profound so I felt compelled to ask him if I should finish the inside of my blanket chest. Can’t hurt to ask, right? I wrote him late last night. He is two time zones ahead of me. He took time to answer little ol’ me. I had his written advice waiting for me to read early this morning. Here it is, all of it: —“I finish inside an...

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Part 9: Sanding Sealer Coat Applied

12-22-2015 03:02 PM by HappyHowie | 0 comments »

I placed my first finish coat; Zinsser’s dewaxed sanding sealer. I wiped that on all surfaces; aka per Charles Neil’s recommendation; meaning all surfaces like including the inside the case and on the case bottom. I put my used rags into a lidded container of water outdoors. I do not need a fire over keeping a used rag… I will brush on amber Shellac next. It should warm up this chest some. I think. The Chest’s Case and Plinth The Chest’s Lid This ...

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Part 10: Brian Miller on Finish Brush Techniques

12-22-2015 06:30 PM by HappyHowie | 0 comments »

I missed adding one more link that I found to be very useful since I am about ready to brush Shellac on this blanket chest. It is by Brian Miller a professional finisher at Wm Ng Woodworks. I really enjoy the tips, jigs and instruction that come from Wm Ng, an engineer and woodworking instructor. Brian Miller gives a great presentation on selecting and using brush for finishing. This video not only shows what brushes to select, but how to use them as well as how to clean them. I highly ...

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Part 11: Brian Miller on Finish Brush Techniques

12-22-2015 06:33 PM by HappyHowie | 2 comments »

I missed adding one more link that I found to be very useful since I am about ready to brush Shellac for my first time using this product. This video is presented by Brian Miller a professional finisher at Wm Ng Woodworks. I really enjoy the tips, jigs and instruction that come from Wm Ng, an engineer and woodworking instructor. Brian Miller gives a great presentation on selecting and using brushes for finishing. This video not only shows what brushes to select, but how to use them as we...

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Part 12: First Time Brushing Amber Shellac

12-23-2015 03:53 PM by HappyHowie | 3 comments »

Experience can never displace book learning, can it? I tried to prepare myself by watching others brush on Shellac on YouTube, etc. The professionals make it look easy, but their eye and hand coordination and feel really cannot be taught on a video. It has to be experienced, I’m sure. For my first time brushing Shellac, I assume I got a passing grade. Perfection, though, does not come right out the gate, on the first try does it? I also suspect that the yellow tint I got was ...

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Part 13: Taken Back

01-02-2016 04:24 AM by HappyHowie | 0 comments »

I did not like the color nor my application by brushing on this amber Shellac. This photo shows how yellow the amber Shellac was on the wormy maple. The lid. I decided to wipe the Shellac off with denatured alcohol. This process took awhile. Today I re-sanded all the surfaces. It is now back to about the state the chest was in before I brushed on the Shellac. I will take a day or so to determine my next steps.

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Part 14: No Shellac This Time

01-02-2016 11:50 PM by HappyHowie | 5 comments »

If this project was for myself I would probably still use Shellac for its finish, clear but not amber. I would follow the suggestions I have received here to rub on the Shellac. I would not attempt to brush it again on this project. What I have learned is that applying Shellac takes a very trained and experienced hand, for a brushed on finish for sure. Watching Chuck Bender brush on Shellac makes it look too easy. There are years of experience in his badger hair brush strokes, For this ...

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Part 15: Two Coats... that many or more planned for today.

01-03-2016 05:57 PM by HappyHowie | 3 comments »

I wiped on two coats of General Finishes Arm-R-Seal yesterday. That certainly went easier for me than the amber Shellac did when I tried to brush it on this wormy maple. These coats of sanding sealer look good. I am warming up my shop so I can wipe on two or more coats today. Then I will probably spray on either clear Shellac from a can or a Spar Polyurethane to protect this blanket chest’s finish. I took a close-shot of the chest’s dovetails, and also its plinth. I do l...

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Part 16: Last Finish Coat

01-05-2016 05:47 AM by HappyHowie | 2 comments »

It did not take long today to spray on the second and last coat of finish. Again this was spar urethane that I was spraying on my wormy maple Shaker style blanket chest. I will let this coat dry 24 hours before I begin fastening the lid hinges. The only thing that remain on this project besides letting the urethane dry thoroughly is to install the Rockler stay-lid torsion hinges. As I mentioned earlier in this blog, I glued two shim pieces to bring the chest’s back panel out from 5/...

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Part 17: Torsion Lid-Stay Hinges are On: This Project is Completed

01-05-2016 11:26 PM by HappyHowie | 8 comments »

ROCKLER LID-STAY TORSION HINGE INSTALLATION 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 hinge...

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Part 18: Chest Delivered to New Owner

01-18-2016 02:42 AM by HappyHowie | 1 comment »

My Ann and I made the trip south to our sweet granddaughter Brittany’s home to give her this blanket chest that I made. She is 23 weeks pregnant with our two great granddaughters, our first ones. I remember the day that this sweet girl could fit into the palms of my two cupped hands. Now she will bring into our lives another two pretty girls to love and hold.

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