Pennsylvania Blanket Chest

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Project by BenR posted 08-05-2014 01:46 AM 4217 views 16 times favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hi guys and gals,

This is a rendition of Lonnie Bird’s Pennsylvania blanket chest. The only differences are the trim, and the inlay in the drawer (because there was a bad spot and I didn’t want to mill anymore lumber), the addition of drawer locks, and different hardware. The chest is walnut, walnut crotch, and poplar as the secondary wood. The dovetails, and mortices on the case, and for the locks were done by hand. I must say that dovetails on a large thick case is much harder than doing a two or three on a half inch thick drawer (I had to make the back over after I lost my patience and chopped and chopped). At first, I wanted to bleach the walnut and dye it to make the colors more uniform. I practiced on a few boards, but in the end, I lost my nerve and decided to try it out on a much smaller project. The finish is Danish oil, several coats of clear shellac, and wax. The strap hinges are from Ball and Ball Hardware. In the end, I am proud to say I made it, and hopefully my brand new granddaughter (1month old) will one day be proud to own it.

-- Ben in Va

24 comments so far

View Don Broussard's profile

Don Broussard

4079 posts in 3538 days

#1 posted 08-05-2014 03:16 AM

Very nice, Ben! Your dovetails look pretty tight and the finish looks very smooth. I like the drawers and the hardware, as well as the curvy legs. I’m sure your granddaughter will be very proud to own that treasure her Grandpa made. Are you planning to put your mark on it so you can be properly credited as the maker?

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


22830 posts in 4962 days

#2 posted 08-05-2014 07:23 AM

Looks like it turned out very well.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Ken90712's profile


18081 posts in 4475 days

#3 posted 08-05-2014 09:26 AM

Very nice, Great color as well.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View jinkyjock's profile


488 posts in 2861 days

#4 posted 08-05-2014 10:11 AM

outstanding piece of traditional cabinetmaking.
The dovetailed feet are a thing of beauty.
Would be great if you had more pics of the processes you used.
Well done.
Cheers, Jinky (James).

View doitforfun's profile


199 posts in 2894 days

#5 posted 08-05-2014 10:32 AM

Incredibly beautiful and sure to be a family heirloom.

-- Brian in Wantagh, NY

View SPalm's profile


5338 posts in 5168 days

#6 posted 08-05-2014 12:06 PM

Wow. Very nice.
A lot of nice details in there.
Good job.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View MadeinMT's profile


299 posts in 3446 days

#7 posted 08-05-2014 12:37 PM

I would say there’s a decent chance she’ll treasure it.

-- Ron, Montana

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 4153 days

#8 posted 08-05-2014 02:07 PM

This is beautiful, Ben. You did a fine job on it.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View OggieOglethorpe's profile


1276 posts in 3396 days

#9 posted 08-05-2014 04:17 PM

Very nicely done!

View Matt Stauffer's profile

Matt Stauffer

110 posts in 4051 days

#10 posted 08-05-2014 04:32 PM

Good job! Nicely executed.

-- Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. ~ John 5:24

View drewm873's profile


83 posts in 3816 days

#11 posted 08-05-2014 04:41 PM

Looks amazing. Building a Pennsylvania Blanket Chest has been on my to do list, only hope it turns out half as nice as the one you made.

-- Http://

View BigRedKnothead's profile


8581 posts in 3268 days

#12 posted 08-05-2014 05:38 PM

Just fantastic. The dovetails are dreamy.

An heirloom for sure my friend.

-- "At the end of the day, try and make it beautiful....because the world is full of ugly." Konrad Sauer

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


17571 posts in 3905 days

#13 posted 08-05-2014 05:49 PM

Very, very nice. I hope to build something as nice someday…

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. - OldTools Archive -

View palaswood's profile


1061 posts in 3037 days

#14 posted 08-05-2014 06:00 PM

awesome work there :)

-- Joseph, Irvine CA, @palas_woodcraft on Instagram

View Michigander's profile


220 posts in 3705 days

#15 posted 08-05-2014 08:36 PM

Ben, Beautiful chest, you should be proud. Having just recently started to learn to cut dovetails by hand, I can appreciate the difficulty in making this chest. I wish my dovetails looked as good!
Your granddaughter will be proud to own this piece of her grandpa’s heart!

showing 1 through 15 of 24 comments

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