Blanket Chest with reclaimed flooring

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Project by mustang958 posted 12-21-2014 12:59 PM 1990 views 3 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Blanket chest using reclaimed oak flooring for the lid and panels. My sister-in-law’s first floor of her house was flooded by Hurricaine Sandy. The first floor, which is several feet above ground level had about a foot of water in it. Needless to say everything at floor lever had to be replaced, flooring, plaster walls with sheetrock, kitchen cabinets, appliances, etc. The red oak flooring was original to the house and it seemed a shame that it would be ripped up and just thrown away. It seemed to be in good shape despite being submerged and had a beautiful patina to it. You could tell the floor had been refinished several times but only after it was ripped up. The 2 pictures are the before and after planing photos of the planks. In the before photo you can see some of the ends still have the area that was never touched because it was under the molding or the radiators. I thought I’d like to grab some of the wood and use it for something so she’d always have some of the flooring for remembrance. I came up with the blanket chest. The plans are the Wood Magazine plans which I adapted in order to use the flooring. I tried to use as much of the floor as possible and was bummed when I realized I had to rip the tongue and grooves off in order to get a good glue up. I tried several ways of keeping the flooing intact but it was never stable enough so I had to cut the planks down. For the lid I planed the tops but left the underside original. The manufacturers markings are visible and the uneveness gives it some character. The planks that make up the panels had the tops planed just enough to even them out and the underside planed to reduce the thickness so they would fit in the rails and stiles. The exception were the panels on the back side. I left the origial finish on the planks and planed only the underside. I cleaned the tops up with a Mr. Clean magic eraser and gave it a very light coat of shellac to protect the original finish. I wanted to preserve the original finish again so she would be able to remember how it looked. The rest was pretty straightforward. The rails and stiles are made from poplar and the bottom, although not visible was made from 2 pieces of ash I had leftoever from another project. The interior is lined with aromatic cedar. I found some beautiful pieces at my lumber supplier which were way nicer and less expensive than the type you find for closets in the big box stores. I planed one side of the boards to smooth it out and put the tongue and groove on them with the router table. Finish on the panels and lid is Minwax Ipswich Pine which was as close as I could get to the original color. The rest is Minwax Red Chestnut followed by 3 coats of thinned out Zinsser Bulls Eye clear shellac. Was a great project to work on and looking forward to her reaction when she receives this on Christmas. I have a good amount of the flooring left and will be coming up with other ways to utilize it. Thanks for looking.

6 comments so far

View toolfooldan's profile


67 posts in 2700 days

#1 posted 12-21-2014 01:09 PM

That’s a nice piece. I’m sure your sister will love it.

View Todd Swartwood's profile

Todd Swartwood

258 posts in 2786 days

#2 posted 12-21-2014 01:34 PM

Very nice blanket chest, maybe more of a memory chest.
I like the way you left the flooring as natural as possible, your sister should love it.

Have a blessed day and Merry Christmas, Todd

-- Todd Swartwood (Todd Swart-Woodworks)

View MadeinMT's profile


295 posts in 3221 days

#3 posted 12-21-2014 03:24 PM

Beautiful piece and a great story behind it. Well done.

-- Ron, Montana

View Ocarp's profile


37 posts in 3379 days

#4 posted 12-21-2014 07:33 PM

Great work. I love seeing “recycled” materials being used in projects.

-- Geoff

View BerBer5985's profile


445 posts in 3481 days

#5 posted 12-22-2014 12:33 AM

That’s awesome!! I own a flooring store and constantly an using leftovers or taken up wood floors for different projects! That turned out well! Good use of materials!

-- Greg, Owner, Quality Carpet One,

View Mustang67's profile


111 posts in 2615 days

#6 posted 12-22-2014 12:55 AM

Nice chest. Not only do I love that it is from recycled material, but you brought back something good from Sandy. Besides, how can you go wrong with a name like Mustang.

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