Bridal chest #1: Prep / glue-up

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Blog entry by Craftsman on the lake posted 07-18-2014 06:46 PM 1940 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Bridal chest series Part 2: Side prep, box joints, and assembly »

My youngest daughter is getting married in September. I’ve decided long ago that i’d make each (I’ve got two) a bridal chest when that time came. Well it’s here and I’m doing it. I’ve made blanket chests before but they’ve been made with raised panels. This one is much simpler. Almost Shaker in nature for the design. It will have large finger or box joints at the corners. I think I’ll make a simple jig for my router to accomplish that. It will be made entirely of hard maple. and finished natural with a clear poly.

Here’s the basic design. Dimensions 48” x 21.5” by 22” high.

Rough cutting the maple to length

Of course unless the wood, particularly of these lengths, is jointed and planed, it will assemble like a warped propeller. I always begin my constructions this way. If not, you’re fighting the bows, warps, and bad glue joints till the end.

I picked up this dewalt biscuit joiner new for $60 awhile back on craigslist. I don’t use it much but since I’ve got a bunch of approx 6” wide boards to glue up, and that I’ve had some shrinkage problems in the past with maple. I decided the prudent thing to do would be to use biscuits. Don’t know if it will make a difference but at least the boards will align better.

The biscuits are size #20. Gluing the panels up here.

These are boards for the front and sides of the chest.

I love parallel clamps. I have about 6 of them 24”, 48”, and 60” Jorgensen and Bailey. I wish I had more. Expensive but they make a glue up like this so much easier.

And you can stand them up after and put them on the floor for the next glue up.

Next installment: planing, box joints, assembly maybe?

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

5 comments so far

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3786 days

#1 posted 07-18-2014 08:20 PM

i was wondering what you were up to and if anything big was coming, i guess my thought waves traveled all the way to your place, this will be fun…but dad is losing his baby girl…how do you feel about that…

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View johnhutchinson's profile


1243 posts in 2112 days

#2 posted 07-19-2014 12:34 AM

Great text and step photos !!! Most of the magazines don’t do it that well.

-- John - Central Ohio - "too much is never enough"

View stefang's profile


16717 posts in 3817 days

#3 posted 07-19-2014 04:59 PM

Nice work and the biscuits do save you a lot of grief with panel glue-ups. I like those clamps with their obvious advantages, but I haven’t seen any like them here in Norway yet. Maybe the will be on the market before I die of old age, but it will be a close call!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2994 posts in 3921 days

#4 posted 07-19-2014 05:07 PM

stepang…. amazon must work for Norway too? They have pretty much everything.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3786 days

#5 posted 07-19-2014 10:32 PM

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