Keepsake Chest for Grandson's 8th Birthday

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Project by grace123 posted 02-06-2016 09:33 PM 1876 views 5 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My grandson has had his 8th birthday. Now that he has achieved this mile stone, he will be baptized. I wanted to give him a keepsake chest in commemoration of this event.

Many of you probably recognize details from Darrell Peart’s wonderful plans for his blanket chest, which is turn was inspired by the work of the Greene Brothers. I used the oversized and proud finger joints and wood trim on the base of the chest to mimic the leather straps seen on some of the Greene brothers’s work. The overall dimensions of the chest are 15 inches long, 12 inches wide, and 12 inches high.

Here is a picture after I cut the finger joints and did a test fit. I used cherry. The traditional wood favored by the Greene brothers was quarter sawn white oak. My local hardwood dealer had two wide, lovely cherry boards that I could not resist and I made the chest from the cherry. Also, the pegs used in Greene and Greene furniture traditionally are made from ebony. I opted to go with cherry simply because my last fragment of ebony in my shop was not big enough for all the pegs I needed.

This picture shows my novice attempts at letter carving. My heart was in my throat while I was carving. I kept hoping and crossing my fingers that I would not mess up this board. I think it turned out fine.

Here is a picture of final test fit of all the peices before gluing, staining, and placing the plugs.

This shows the stop block I placed on the back of chest. If I used a chain to keep the lid from opening too far and possibly breaking the hinges, I would need to make the top tray shorter in length, and I don’t especially like the chain idea. So the stop block is there to allow the lid to stay open and keep the lid from going too far back.

This evening I will give my grandson this chest. Since he is only 8, I suspect it will initially be filled with action figures and maybe Cub Scout stuff. The lift out tray in the top is sized to hold standard 8 1/2×11 inch paper. It is my hope that he may someday keep documents or pictures there that are meaningful to him.

Once again, to all the wonderful Lumberjocks, thanks for looking.

15 comments so far

View becikeja's profile


1133 posts in 3700 days

#1 posted 02-06-2016 10:49 PM

Great job. This will be a keepsake for generations

-- Don't outsmart your common sense

View DaleMaley's profile


541 posts in 3123 days

#2 posted 02-06-2016 11:28 PM

Nice job!

-- Dale, Illinois,

View Northwest29's profile


1704 posts in 3377 days

#3 posted 02-06-2016 11:52 PM

Very nice job and the color is perfect. IMHO

-- Ron, "Curiosity is a terrible thing to waste."

View Mean_Dean's profile


7057 posts in 4034 days

#4 posted 02-07-2016 02:12 AM

Great looking G&G box! You got all the details, without going overboard—I’m sure your grandson will love it, and pass it down to his kids.

(I suppose he’ll have to name one of them Joseph…..!)

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" Capt James Lawrence USN

View BB1's profile


1689 posts in 1735 days

#5 posted 02-07-2016 02:54 AM

Beautiful keepsake chest. The best woodworking projects are those made from the heart.

View Ivan's profile


16329 posts in 3754 days

#6 posted 02-07-2016 04:48 AM

I’ve done overlaping fingerjoints by myself also, I must admit my favourite corner joinery technic. This box looks awesome with squared dovels. This handle is incredibly match to this box.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View Gary's profile


1465 posts in 5211 days

#7 posted 02-07-2016 12:48 PM

Great looking chest. Your grandson now owns an heirloom.

-- Gary, Florida

View Roger's profile


21030 posts in 3691 days

#8 posted 02-07-2016 02:11 PM

This is very nicely done. I like how you did the stop on the back side for the lid. All the other details are just super.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View hoss12992's profile


4177 posts in 2780 days

#9 posted 02-07-2016 05:21 PM

Sure to be a heirloom that will be passed down thru the generations. Great job

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View JoeinGa's profile


7741 posts in 2894 days

#10 posted 02-07-2016 06:20 PM

Wow, beautiful box. I can imagine it being passed down to HIS grandchildren!

Oh and great job on the name carving !

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View ravensrock's profile


513 posts in 2529 days

#11 posted 02-07-2016 06:55 PM

Beautiful box! If at 8 years old he doesn’t appreciate the craftsmanship that went into this now, he sure will as he gets older. I figured you used a CNC to do the name. But carved it by hand? Looks great!

-- Dave, York, PA, Wildside Woodworking

View TravistheNewb's profile


68 posts in 1987 days

#12 posted 02-07-2016 07:56 PM


View BigMig's profile


508 posts in 3500 days

#13 posted 02-07-2016 08:13 PM

Its GREAT work, my friend. The craftsmanship and carving are terrific; well done !

-- Mike from Lansdowne, PA

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3753 days

#14 posted 02-07-2016 08:27 PM

This is a real beauty. Congratulations.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Kurtis Foote's profile

Kurtis Foote

14 posts in 3021 days

#15 posted 02-09-2016 03:39 AM

Looks great Grace, I am sure he will cherish this chest for many years.

-- Kurtis, North Dakota,

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