Cherry Blanket Chest

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Project by Luddite posted 07-11-2018 02:25 PM 2056 views 4 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Jul 2018

Completed this for ourselves other than family or clients. It was bittersweet in that I’ve finally run out of space in the house for anymore substantial pieces unless I replace a current one. It’s happened before. :)

The chest is made for the foot of the bed with room to pass by. Construction. Size 51 L, 22 H & 15 D. Frame and panel with mortise and tenon, pinned with cherry and mesquite. Raised panels. Top with breadboard ends and inlayed keys of mesquite. Torsion hinges. Baltic birch lift outs dovetailed. Front and back interior lined with thin strips of red cedar. Finished with Watco natural oil and Waterlux glossy rubbing varnish.

Started with some very nice cherry boards. Light looking but with a test piece in the sun for a week or two it turned a deep red so I’ve hope for it. Milled legs, cut tenons and bored mortises.

During the layout I had intended for all panels front and back to be the same dimensions but after marking them out I realized I liked my mistake I’d just made with the 2 middle being smaller than the end panels.

I wanted the panels to have a reveal above the plane of frame with a nice ogee edge. I made appropriate size panels, thick. Using a classic roman ogee bit I routered, on edge the panels then planed the back till the flat edge fit the dado’s on the frame.

Completed the frame with the panels. Planed down the stiles to create a reveal from the top and bottom rails as well as the panels. Assembled as a dry fit, placed 1/2 in baltic birch for the flooring. Sanded and glued up front and back frames.

Made the top piece, added breadboard ends and pinned. Since the boards were difficult about joining I added extra biscuits and decided to put in a few butterfly keys to help keep things together. Using a template and plunge router I milled out a set of keys from mesquite. Loved it, smelled like a campfire or bbq.

Using some left over baltic birch ply I made the lift outs using a Kellor dovetail jig. Interesting using plywood since after the first cut I realized I needed a facing piece in order to prevent rip out. Live and learn. Overall I was real happy it all worked out.

Did a dry fit and attached top after mortising the torsion hinges into the back rail. Once all looked good, disassembled and began oiling and varnishing.

Added cedar closet strips to the front and back frames after the oiling was completed.

Well, that’s all folks!

-- T Loftus -- Just on the edge of common sense

12 comments so far

View MadeinMT's profile


286 posts in 2939 days

#1 posted 07-11-2018 02:49 PM


-- Ron, Montana

View EarlS's profile


3739 posts in 3127 days

#2 posted 07-11-2018 03:34 PM

Really nice. So many great details.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

24806 posts in 3884 days

#3 posted 07-11-2018 04:26 PM

That is beautiful chest, Terry…and very well made. It will be a family heirloom for sure!!!!!!

Cheers, Jim

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

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


6069 posts in 3188 days

#4 posted 07-11-2018 04:54 PM

Incredible looking chest.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3645 days

#5 posted 07-11-2018 04:56 PM

Wow! This is a very nice piece. It shows a lot of nice details and craftsmanship.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View therealSteveN's profile


5778 posts in 1353 days

#6 posted 07-11-2018 06:11 PM

That’s a very nice chest there. I love Cherry to begin with but you used all the board. I see a bark inclusion? or some strange gum streak, not sure which but you point it out in a pic, also go to sapwood at the end of that board, love it. Embrace the imperfections, it always makes for a lot better visual interest. Bowties, always a winner to dress for success.

Great chest, thanks for posting it, and Congrats on your 3.

-- Think safe, be safe

View AandCstyle's profile


3283 posts in 3036 days

#7 posted 07-11-2018 09:26 PM

Terry, this is a great looking project with lots of interesting details. I’m really happy that I didn’t have to move it, however. :)

-- Art

View Luddite's profile


238 posts in 2017 days

#8 posted 07-11-2018 10:31 PM

Thank you all for your comments.

Thank you ‘therealSteveN” I truly do embrace the imperfections of the wood.

Art—Surprisingly not too heavy, well in relationship to the past projects of oak & mesquite this was way lighter.


-- T Loftus -- Just on the edge of common sense

View bd1886's profile


34 posts in 742 days

#9 posted 07-12-2018 12:09 AM

Very nice detail!

View Peteybadboy's profile


1969 posts in 2728 days

#10 posted 07-12-2018 12:50 PM

Real good! The keys look great from a template, I did not think that was possible. Where did you get the template?

-- Petey

View Luddite's profile


238 posts in 2017 days

#11 posted 07-12-2018 01:24 PM

Real good! The keys look great from a template, I did not think that was possible. Where did you get the template?

- Peteybadboy

Try woodcraft or rockler. Be sure to get double sided tape as well.

-- T Loftus -- Just on the edge of common sense

View NormG's profile


6506 posts in 3783 days

#12 posted 07-15-2018 10:15 PM

You did a whole lot of work on this very detailed piece, looks wonderful

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

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