Linens Chest - or perhaps a 'Group Coffin'

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Project by GnarlyErik posted 12-08-2017 11:42 AM 1289 views 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My wife asked me to build her this chest, and it was a bigger challenge than I thought. That was mostly because of its size and weight, and difficulty of handling such a large item. My guesstimate is that it weighs about 100 pounds as completed. (2 sheets of 1/2” birch ply, plus one at 1/4”, plus the ash frame and trim, etc.) I could not even get it on my hand truck to move about unless I added a stout plank under its feet.

This piece is made from 1/2” birch plywood and white ash trim. I calculate the interior volume to be about 35 cubic feet. It is overall 4’ wide by 2’ deep by 5’ – 3” high. My wife specified a clearance of 8 inches at the bottom so she might vacuum beneath it. There is one fixed shelf and one height-adjustable shelf, supported by movable pins which fit into holes drilled into two ‘runners’ to a side. Hardware is simple brass plated hinges and store-bought door pulls from Lowes.

The finish is a high-quality Glidden latex-based paint, as specified by my wife to match a room color, but I will never make that mistake again!  Latex turns out to be messy, soft and virtually impossible to sand smooth. I suppose it is designed mostly for ease and coverage, and not for furniture finishing. But, it was very frustrating for me.

However, my wife likes it, so that’s all that counts in the end. That plus, I am heartily glad to finally get this beast out of my small shop area!

-- "Never let your dogma be run over by your karma!"

5 comments so far

View John Stegall's profile

John Stegall

558 posts in 5011 days

#1 posted 12-08-2017 12:15 PM

I wholeheartedly agree! Latex is not meant for furniture. In my climate (near San Antonio) items left in contact with it tend to try and permanently attach themselves. I finished a late-hour television shelf for a client and he furnished the paint. To this day he doesn’t know that I had to switch to oil base and use two heaters to get it dry, but nothing is permanently anchored.
Good luck!

-- jstegall

View shipwright's profile


8821 posts in 4292 days

#2 posted 12-08-2017 02:15 PM

That is a beast Erik but it does look very nice. With you on latex paint too. Give me a good yacht enamel every time.
BTW, I just noticed your signature line, love it.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 4361 days

#3 posted 12-08-2017 02:52 PM

You certainly did a fine job on this piece and I’m sure that your wife was well pleased with it.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View ralbuck's profile


6808 posts in 3761 days

#4 posted 12-08-2017 07:48 PM

Oh! Oh! Now the “Honey-DO!” list is going to get much bigger; great job!

-- Wood rescue is good for the environment and me! just rjR

View TungOil's profile


1384 posts in 1989 days

#5 posted 12-08-2017 10:28 PM

Looks great, and I agree with you on the latex paint also. Years ago I built a floor mirror for someone and painted the frame with latex paint. It was a great project up until that point…

-- The optimist says "the glass is half full". The pessimist says "the glass is half empty". The engineer says "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"

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