Wormy Chestnut Shaker Chest

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Project by Bertha posted 11-09-2016 03:38 PM 2096 views 2 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This was supposed to be a linen press but I ran out of wood. So I took the linen and the press out and made a chest. I wrote a blog about it here so you can check it out if you’d like details. This chest is salvaged wormy chestnut from a barn teardown. It was in rough shape and milling consumed at least half of it (hence the running out of wood). It was built with a combination of hand and power tools and there are no fasteners whatsoever. It has hand cut sliding dovetail rail/stile drawer dividers with dust panels. The drawers are 3/4 with halves on the front and 1/2 with fulls on the back. Drawer bottoms are 3/8 raised panels. The rail and stile construction was done with power. The feet are small brackets with a laminated core. Everything is hide glue except the feet. The back is shiplapped and beaded. The back, drawer bottoms, and feet are pinned with dowels. The finish is tung oil, burnished with wax. Oh yeah, there are leather pads on the feet. It was a fun/long project and I made four 55 gallon drums worth of shavings. Thanks for looking!

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

20 comments so far

View AnthonyReed's profile


10107 posts in 2974 days

#1 posted 11-09-2016 03:48 PM

Perfection in the details. Well done.

It’s beautiful.

-- ~Tony

View Porchfish's profile


851 posts in 3066 days

#2 posted 11-09-2016 03:51 PM

Very impressive work. You can be proud and pleased…so many dovetails…so much effort…goodon’ya

-- The pig caught under the fence is always the one doing all the squealing !

View ShaneA's profile


7084 posts in 3132 days

#3 posted 11-09-2016 03:56 PM

Yep, pretty sweet. The fine results look worthy of the effort.

View chrisstef's profile


17973 posts in 3540 days

#4 posted 11-09-2016 04:09 PM

You build even slower than I do!

That chestnut finished with the tung oil gives off a nice warm appearance, very appropriate for its usage and its origins.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

23506 posts in 3639 days

#5 posted 11-09-2016 04:23 PM

WOW! Beautiful chest and super job on those dovetails. We talked about blind dovetails last night at the guild meeting an again this morning. I definitely need to perfect that !!

Thanks for sharing…..............Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Brit's profile


7821 posts in 3376 days

#6 posted 11-09-2016 04:45 PM

It might have taken you a while Al, but you got it done and that is something you should be very proud of. It looks great to my eyes.

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View gargey's profile


1013 posts in 1309 days

#7 posted 11-09-2016 05:06 PM

How did you do the handcut sliding dovetails? Any pictures?

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30458 posts in 2872 days

#8 posted 11-09-2016 05:12 PM

That’s really awesome. Great work and beautiful wood.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Bertha's profile


13567 posts in 3227 days

#9 posted 11-09-2016 05:26 PM

Thanks, guys. Hey Gargey, check out my blog. I screwed it up and added it to the end of another. I changed the name to Wormy Chestnut Shaker Chest (was linen press). When I say sliding dovetails, I really only mean the front rail of the drawer dividers. I simply mark out the tail on the front rail and cut the dovetail at 1:5. I transfer to the case dado and cut like you would a half blind. They looked great when I first installed them but with multiple dry fits, they kind of broke down. They still serve their purpose to anchor the drawer panel, but they just don’t look so tight anymore. Of note, using a panel system requires that you trim away a portion of any vertical divider to allow the groove for the panel to continue uninterrupted.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Bertha's profile


13567 posts in 3227 days

#10 posted 11-09-2016 05:30 PM

OK, I guess. It is a hard joint for me to execute. I should have made them much wider and maybe even deeper. I’m not sure why I chose only 1/8” for the case dados. I had a reason at the time. Maybe I was worried that I’d run out of room for the dovetail if the dado was much deeper. I don’t like fooling around with odd fractions involving 1/16” (5/16 etc.) because my brain keeps screwing up the math.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View woodcox's profile


2367 posts in 2545 days

#11 posted 11-09-2016 07:35 PM

Amazing work Al. That material finished is quite awesome.

-- "My god has more wood than your god" ... G. Carlin.

View Purplelady's profile


86 posts in 1493 days

#12 posted 11-09-2016 09:32 PM

That is absolutely beautiful. I love all the dovetails. Great job!

-- Marsha, Northeast Ohio

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

2649 posts in 1181 days

#13 posted 11-10-2016 12:11 AM

Beautiful … the chestnut, the design, the construction, the photos … just beautiful!

View BigRedKnothead's profile


8547 posts in 2516 days

#14 posted 11-10-2016 01:31 AM

Decent for a hack;-P

Pretty sweet build man.

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

View CampD's profile


1791 posts in 4020 days

#15 posted 11-10-2016 12:58 PM

Sweet! Beautiful piece and yeah, what everyone lose said.

-- Doug...

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