Cedar lined chest of Cherry & Bird's Eye Maple

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Project by sras posted 05-15-2021 05:28 PM 1022 views 3 times favorited 27 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I finished this one a couple years ago. It may seem like this is a long time to get the project posted, but it took me 4 1/2 years to complete the build. So at least my pace is consistent :)

Here are the build pics.

I had just enough cherry for this project. Took a bit of time to lay out all the pieces.

Not a great pic but I set up an extra long trammel to cut the arc for the arch templates.

Shot of the template in use.

Shot of all the bird’s eye panels. I was lucky enough to have a plank wide enough for single board panels. The wall panels were resawn to 1/2” thick while the top panels were kept a full 3/4” thick.

Cut a profile on each panel with a tall fence on the router table.

It took multiple passes to get the cut to full height.

Panel grooves were cut into all the rails & stiles.

Dry fitting.

Glue up. The maple panels were pre finished.

The wall panels are 1/2” thick for 2 reasons. One was to save weight. The other was to provide room for a filler piece of cherry on the inside. This piece covers the arches on the inside and gives a clean look for the sliding tray.

Wall and top assemblies squared up with the crosscut sled

Final glue up. The floor is 1/2” plywood with a rabbet.

The torsion hinges were located and notches cut. The frames are 13/16” thick so I had to provide clearance for the hinge barrel.

The cedar lining is made up of 1/4” thick pieces.

The pieces are spaced slightly to allow for expansion. Cherry retaining cleats are held in place with brass nails.

The edges of each cedar piece have a 1/8” chamfer.

The sliding tray is cherry with a cedar plank floor. The tray slides on the retaining cleats.

The cedar is unfinished and is masked off while the cherry gets a couple coats of potassium dichromate and then water based polyurethane.

Hinges installed on the chest first.

Then the top gets located for the hinge mounting.

This was originally going to be a wedding gift but by the time I finished it was a wedding/house warming gift!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

27 comments so far

View LeeRoyMan's profile


1838 posts in 846 days

#1 posted 05-15-2021 05:38 PM

Good lookin Chest.
Nice work, and enjoyed the build pics.
I knew you were more than just a Corvette driver….

View sras's profile


6175 posts in 4248 days

#2 posted 05-15-2021 05:39 PM

Thanks LeeRoy! I need to spend more time driving the Vette :)

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View 987Ron's profile


1381 posts in 435 days

#3 posted 05-15-2021 05:41 PM

Really great looking chest and the build pictures are awesome. Good craftsmanship.

-- Ron

View Desert_Woodworker's profile


7046 posts in 2333 days

#4 posted 05-15-2021 05:47 PM

+1 nice project and the pic’s were a great addition.

-- Desert_Woodworker

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


9589 posts in 3528 days

#5 posted 05-15-2021 06:17 PM

Beautiful build. Sure it may have taken a while but end result is spectacular.

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

View sras's profile


6175 posts in 4248 days

#6 posted 05-15-2021 06:31 PM

Thanks guys! I took lots of pictures thinking I would do a build blog, but finally needed to just get the project posted. At least I put all those pics to use!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View pottz's profile


17568 posts in 2103 days

#7 posted 05-15-2021 09:01 PM

beautiful chest steve it’s nice you took all those build pic’s really tells the let me ask, based on this we wont see another project for 6-1/2 years-lol.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View therealSteveN's profile


8009 posts in 1693 days

#8 posted 05-15-2021 09:14 PM

Nice work Steve, That BE is diseased, looks famous. Liked that tall router table fence, safety in height. Great build along.

-- Think safe, be safe

View sras's profile


6175 posts in 4248 days

#9 posted 05-15-2021 09:20 PM

pottz – you might be right in terms of another cedar chest!

SteveN – I have retired that router table and I’m going to have to build another tall fence. They are very nice to have

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View OzarkSawdust's profile


147 posts in 917 days

#10 posted 05-15-2021 09:45 PM

Beautiful chest, awesome work!

-- Gary -

View lew's profile


13366 posts in 4874 days

#11 posted 05-15-2021 10:28 PM

That is gorgeous, Steve!

I’m curious how you routed the profile on the “arched” tops of the front panels. It doesn’t seem like it could have been just a straight pass through the router table setup.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View crowie's profile


4664 posts in 3070 days

#12 posted 05-15-2021 10:54 PM

Four and a half years is a labour of love in anyone’s books BUT this chest has turned out gorgeous and very much well worth all the patience time, effort and craftsmanship!
Top marks!!

-- Lifes good, Enjoy each new day...... Cheers from "On Top DownUnder" Crowie

View BurlyBob's profile


9009 posts in 3384 days

#13 posted 05-15-2021 11:00 PM

Outstanding design and execution! I am particularly drawn to the wood combination and arch panels.

View sras's profile


6175 posts in 4248 days

#14 posted 05-15-2021 11:05 PM

Thanks everyone!

lew – good observation! I routed the curved profile using the setup shown. The only difference is I held the panel against the tall fence and rotated it while keeping contact with the table in line with the router bit. Hope that makes sense.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View wildwoodbybrianjohns's profile


2774 posts in 666 days

#15 posted 05-16-2021 12:23 AM

First rate bit of craftmanship there, Steve. Very impressive! Looks like you used every clamp you have on this one.

-- WWBBJ: It is better to be interesting and wrong, than boring and right.

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