Small Chippendale Chest In Curly Maple

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Project by matt garcia posted 02-04-2011 02:55 PM 4560 views 8 times favorited 26 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Well this Winter storm has really kept me from installing the back boards, but other than that, this project is finished. I had originally had it planned to finish the back boards, until I got all that curly maple blogged earlier. I can’t get my table saw out because of all the long boards, and my new lumber rack is all filled up!! My new rack is snow bound in Kentucky!! Oh well.

This chest is constructed in the same manner as the walnut one, with one exception. I hate nails. So instead of nailing the upper moulding to the case, I chose to drill a pocket screw hole through the pins of the dovetails on the top, in order to attach the upper moulding to the sides of the case. The front upper moulding is just glued since it is long grain to long grain.

The finish is something new for me, and I’m very proud of my official first stained project with a dye. The color is Transtint Medium Brown. Then after drying a day I applied boiled linseed oil to the piece and let it stand wet on there for 10 minutes, then wiped dry and allowed to dry for 24 hours. Then 6oz’s of garnet shellac was sprayed on in 3 different applications, which really made this piece’s color come alive, in my opinion. Then hand wet sanded with 400 grit and mineral spirits to level the shellac, and then sanded with 1200 grit and mineral spirits, then finally rubbed out with a grey super fine scotch brite pad with mineral spirits and 2 coats of wax. The hardware is once again, Horton Brasses. It is the same size as the walnut version.

I had a few repairs already to this chest. I had the drawers off the floor on my jointer while I was working on the finish of the case, and 2 of the drawers fell off, and both suffered cracks. One drawer I was able to glue back perfectly, the other has the appearance of repair. There was also an issue with my dovetail jig while dovetailing the half blinds on the upper drawer. I managed to cut out the bad rout, and glue in a block, sand it flush, and re- milled the half blinds (I’m very proud of the repair!!). More pictures to come. Enjoy!!

-- Matt Garcia Wannabe Period Furniture Maker, Houston TX

26 comments so far

View Rev. Jim Paulson's profile

Rev. Jim Paulson

120 posts in 3786 days

#1 posted 02-04-2011 03:11 PM


An awesome piece! I love the grain and how the dye beautifully enhanced the look of that curly/figured maple. Wow! How long did take you to make it? You are inspiring the rest of us. Blessings on all your woodworking endeavors. It takes an artist to hide mistakes and that is what you are.



View steiner's profile


284 posts in 3860 days

#2 posted 02-04-2011 03:34 PM

Glad to see you’re back on your feet, Matt. This project is beautiful. A fine piece of furniture. Hope you’re staying off all that ice out there. I’m certainly not about to get out there on that skating rink! This city just isn’t equipped for any of this.

-- Scott

View Dennis Zongker's profile

Dennis Zongker

2796 posts in 4102 days

#3 posted 02-04-2011 03:40 PM

Very well done! I really like the curly Maple, The color looks great, especially for the first time using a dye.

-- Dennis Zongker

View michelletwo's profile


2783 posts in 3526 days

#4 posted 02-04-2011 04:02 PM

superb piece. The curly maple sure sends this fine craftsmanship over the top. thanks for sharing this exquisite piece with us

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4183 days

#5 posted 02-04-2011 04:03 PM

Nice looking chest.

View RogerBean's profile


1605 posts in 3463 days

#6 posted 02-04-2011 04:04 PM

Great looking piece. As a fan of traditional furniture, I am delighted to see more of it on LJ. I look forward to seeing more from you.

-- "Everybody makes mistakes. A craftsman always fixes them." (Monty Kennedy, "The Checkering and Carving of Gunstocks", 1952)

View CharlieM1958's profile


16284 posts in 4728 days

#7 posted 02-04-2011 04:21 PM

Matt, that’s one beautiful chest! Fantastic job!

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

View Julian's profile


884 posts in 4035 days

#8 posted 02-04-2011 04:32 PM

Beautiful!! I love the finish on it. It really woke up that curly maple.

-- Julian, Homewood, IL

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4498 days

#9 posted 02-04-2011 04:45 PM

Looks fantastic! That maple is a great wood for such a project.

What did you make the drawer sides from?

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

View superstretch's profile


1531 posts in 3203 days

#10 posted 02-04-2011 04:47 PM

Wowowow That color in the curls is mindblowing. It really does look like a tiger’s stripes.

Fantastic piece and clever repairs..

-- Dan, Rochester, NY

View PCM's profile


135 posts in 3555 days

#11 posted 02-04-2011 04:49 PM

Nicely proportioned with beautiful grain. Overall an excellent job!

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 4284 days

#12 posted 02-04-2011 04:50 PM

Beautiful piece. Excellent job. Thanks for posting.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View Bertha's profile


13567 posts in 3203 days

#13 posted 02-04-2011 05:46 PM

Wow! She is absolutely breath taking.

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

View Mary Anne's profile (online now)

Mary Anne

1058 posts in 3718 days

#14 posted 02-04-2011 06:04 PM

Wow, Matt, that is simply gorgeous! It must be hard to take your eyes off of it.
Thank you for sharing your finishing technique. Great job with the dye, and the reflections seen in the top are amazing!

View supervato's profile


153 posts in 3439 days

#15 posted 02-05-2011 12:31 AM

Hey bro that is absolutely stunning work. The finish is something I’m going to have to try. The rays look killer on the drawer fronts. Good job

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