Chippendale Small Chest in Black Walnut

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Project by matt garcia posted 11-29-2009 08:57 PM 5710 views 3 times favorited 29 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Well here she is in all her glory! I really like the way this project turned out. When I originally saw the 16” wide walnut at Rockler’s, I knew this piece was destiny! Now on to construction.
The case is dovetailed at all four corners. The draw dividers are dovetailed into the sides, and the runners are mortised and tenoned to the dividers, then just squared to the frame, and screwed in place. The base is mitered in the front two corners, and squared in the back with a straight piece of pine (this was a Frankenstein!!) mortised and tenoned together. The feet were rough cut on the bandsaw, then the concave curves were sanded to the line. I have trouble with my spindle sander when it comes to convex curves, so those were final shaped with a #49 and #50 hand rasp, mill file, and finally sandpaper (how about that Chuck!!). The feet were then mitered on the tablesaw, and glued together, then glued to the base. The rear feet were rabbeted to the back feet, then glued to the rear case.
The base is then routed on the edge with a classic bit, then the transition moulding is routed with a larger classic bit, then installed inverted to the base. Since all the parts of the base were in the same direction as the mouldings, they were all just glued and clamped in place. The case is then just screwed to the base. The upper moulding was routed with the same bit I used on the waist moulding of the Highboy, then installed inverted to get a different profile. The drawers are rabbeted half blind dovetail, and through dovetail construction done on the Leigh D24R. The finish is Watco Danish Oil Black Walnut, “fogged” on shellac and wipe on polyurethane. The brasses were from Horton Brasses.
If you look closely in pics one and three, you will see my top and side panels glued up for the tiger maple version of this chest. This was a very fun project, and I am quite pleased with the outcome. The plan was from Glen Huey’s DVD which is very detailed, and has tons of tips and techniques for this project, that will easily transfer to other projects. I hope you all enjoy! Now it’s back to work for me, vacation is over. : (

Updated 11/30/09:
Thanks for all the kind words everyone! Just an update on the dimensions. The chest is 28.3/4” tall, 27” wide, and 16.1/2” deep. The brasses were from Horton Brasses.

-- Matt Garcia Wannabe Period Furniture Maker, Houston TX

29 comments so far

View griff's profile


1207 posts in 4271 days

#1 posted 11-29-2009 09:19 PM

Matt. This is a gorgeous piece. The walnut is amazing. The craftsmanship is superb. you did another smooth build.

-- Mike, Bruce Mississippi = Jack of many trades master of none

View rozzi's profile


323 posts in 3831 days

#2 posted 11-29-2009 09:23 PM

Very Nice. A piece to be proud of. You did an outstanding job.

-- Duane, Iowa

View a1Jim's profile


117722 posts in 4087 days

#3 posted 11-29-2009 09:38 PM

Matt great workmanship and wood selection beautiful. Were the dimensions listed?

View CharlieM1958's profile


16284 posts in 4728 days

#4 posted 11-29-2009 09:43 PM

Fantastic job, Matt! You really did that walnut proud.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View SnowyRiver's profile


51458 posts in 3990 days

#5 posted 11-29-2009 10:13 PM

Great work. Very nice piece.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View Grumpy's profile


25623 posts in 4361 days

#6 posted 11-29-2009 11:21 PM

Great job Matt. Nice style & design.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View degoose's profile


7258 posts in 3864 days

#7 posted 11-29-2009 11:46 PM

Outstanding… construction notes are awesome and the finish is excellent… looks the part..

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View mynoblebear's profile


722 posts in 3617 days

#8 posted 11-29-2009 11:48 PM

Well done keep up the good work.

-- Best Regards With Personalized Rocking Chairs And Furniture On My Mind,

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4498 days

#9 posted 11-30-2009 12:14 AM

Fantastic Matt! Very good job on the finish also.

Where did you get the hardware?

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View DavidH's profile


519 posts in 4252 days

#10 posted 11-30-2009 12:34 AM

turned out great Matt! cant wait to see the tiger maple one :)

-- David - Houston, Texas. (

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 4449 days

#11 posted 11-30-2009 12:51 AM

Absolutely beautiful. True craftsmanship.

-- Working at Woodworking

View Ben 's profile


164 posts in 3874 days

#12 posted 11-30-2009 03:04 AM

Walnut is my favorite wood. You definitely did the wood justice. Great Work.

View Bob A in NJ's profile

Bob A in NJ

1251 posts in 4508 days

#13 posted 11-30-2009 04:27 AM

Matt, Another great job on design construction and finish!

-- Bob A in NJ

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4182 days

#14 posted 11-30-2009 04:28 AM

Nice work,Matt.

View Dusty56's profile


11852 posts in 4197 days

#15 posted 11-30-2009 04:54 AM

INCREDIBLE !!! Great job , Matt…..that Walnut is just soooo purdy : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

showing 1 through 15 of 29 comments

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