birch blanket chest

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Project by jdh122 posted 05-06-2012 11:52 PM 2098 views 3 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here is a blanket chest I finished recently. The top, front and back are birch (including a bit of leftover flooring) and I don’t know what the sides are made from (recycled the top of a very beat up child’s school desk I found in the garbage) – maybe birch too, but a lot darker than the other, yellow instead of white birch, maybe? The secondary wood (for the bottom) is SYP out of a pallet I scrounged at the University where I work (I got some weird looks from students and colleagues that winter evening that I was there with my hammers and pry bars taking them apart in the parking lot). I cut the dovetails by hand and am reasonably happy with how it turned out. One thing I’d do differently: I dovetailed the legs and I think the chest would look better if the legs had miter joints instead.
On the top I used highly figured wood with a few knots and (I think) some spalting.
Finish is polymerized linseed oil and wax.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

8 comments so far

View just_adam's profile


24 posts in 4197 days

#1 posted 05-07-2012 12:29 AM

I think it’s a handsomely proportioned work. you’ve elevated humble wood from disparate sources into a special piece and htat’s an idea that resonates with me and the kind of work i like to do, too.

Regarding the legs, I can see what you mean, i like the dovetailed feature but maybe miter dovetailed legs should be part of your next case work. i would like to know more about how you attached the legs to the rest of the case at some point. maybe they only want that kind of documentation in a blog post, though.


-- Oakland, CA

View a1Jim's profile


118161 posts in 4632 days

#2 posted 05-07-2012 12:39 AM

Nice looking chest very nice work.


View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3745 days

#3 posted 05-07-2012 12:41 AM

That chest shows a lot of craftsmanship with all the hand cut joinery. The fact that it is all reclaimed/salvaged wood makes it even more special. Good job!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View ChrisMc45's profile


117 posts in 3915 days

#4 posted 05-07-2012 10:54 AM

As Adam said above, making useful/handsome from castoffs is a good thing. Frugality counts as a plus, handwork a bonus. Nice piece.

View Martyroc's profile


2712 posts in 3361 days

#5 posted 05-08-2012 01:04 AM

I think the dovetails carried on to the feet are a great design feature, this looks very good to me.

-- Martin ....always count the number of fingers you have before, and after using the saw.

View jdh122's profile


1234 posts in 3873 days

#6 posted 05-08-2012 09:11 PM

Thanks for the compliments. One thing – it’s not entirely made of recycled wood. The front, top and a third of the back are wood I bought from a local guy with a small bandsaw mill.

After cutting a rabbet on the top of each of the 8 feet I then glued each set up to get four. Then I screwed and glued a piece of blocking on the diagonal. I put glue in the rabbet, but was not really confident that would hold, so I screwed the blocking to the underside of the chest. Not sure if you can picture what I mean. It’s already on its way to my sister’s house so I can’t easily get a picture of the underside, unfortunately.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

View Richard 's profile


394 posts in 4177 days

#7 posted 05-08-2012 11:28 PM

Nice use of recycled wood. I build and donate my chests and trunks to silent auctions and I usually include pictures of the assembly and a short story on where I got the materials. People seem to like this and is usually a big hit at the auctions.

I really like how you did the legs on the chest. I’ve tried to make some fancy legs in the past but they didn’t quite fit the design. I will have to borrow from your design for my future projects. Please feel free to borrow from mine.

p.s. It kills me when I am taking trash to the dump and I see all this great material people are throwing away and the dump won’t let me salvage any of it do to liability issues.

-- Richard Boise, Idaho

View jdh122's profile


1234 posts in 3873 days

#8 posted 05-09-2012 01:01 AM

It’s Spring cleanup week here where I live (trash collection takes anything only once a year). I got half of a table top and a bunch of maple flooring (3 inch wide) so far.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

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