Cutlery Chest, sort of . (A Greene grin)

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Project by fernandoindia posted 05-27-2012 03:39 AM 6107 views 14 times favorited 51 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Inés received a heirloom silver cutlery set from her husband family. (The one in the main photo is her mother, or SWMBO) The set had previously been divided between her husband´s family. They received a fancy shoe box with half of the original 12 piece set tidy individually wrapped.

Guess what!.

Right. For sure I can make a chest for it.

Even I am by no mean an artist, I do not like building anything custom with all the details and specifications. The only condition accepted was to use a clear wood. So I just drank twice and start thinking about it.

Ines lives in Rio (Brazil). She asked my not to send any photos of the chest, until finished and delivered. So for the time being she doesn´t know the outcome of the project.

I started in April 3. Wood used are lignun vitae for cutlery dividers, ebony for the plugs, and wood of flooring which I am still in process of finding out what it is.

Measures (h x w x d) 30×43 x 37 cm ( 12” x 17 1/4” x 14 13/16”)
and each drawer 4×36x 30 cm ( 1 5/8” x 14 3/8” x 12”)

FInished with sealer an nitro laquer.

Quite frankly, I was not keen of G &G style. Watched some YT videos, surfed the web, and dove into LJ Thorsen Table Challenge entries, and finally decided to tackle a G&G stye. During the process I found Don´s blog on the Aurora table, that also helped a lot (Thanks everybody !)

A couple of years back, my wife found some flooring scrap in the street, and she just picked up and filled her minivan with all the wood she could. Still after some boxes made, there is some stock left.

Of course, the wood needed some cleanig, planning, and cutting to length..

After cleaning and planning the width barely was 3/8”. So I decided to try my new Rockler doweling jig and start making side and back panels.

I still use my ipaper sKetch up for designing. So far so good.

But I also found in the file section of a Yahoo G&G group, a good pdf sketch of a table, which I used to cut the cloud front divider.

But at the time of cutting to length the panel, I didn´t take into account where the dowels were. With such a fortune that after routing the raised panel the dowel popped out !!

So finally I found a place for the signature

Since the wood was only 3/8” , I glued 3 previously rounded pieces for the handles. At the end is pretty much easier than carving a whole piece.

I have a metric set of chisels. 6mm would be fine for the peg squares I thought. Didn´t account that there were only 38 small 6mm sqaures to mortise !!. Made the first 6 of the drawers.

Almost half an hour for the first one. OK. A more clever way should be around LJ or google. There I went.

I finally bought from Rockler a 1/4” mortiser chisel. What a breeze. I finished the mortises in half an hour.

The pegs are another story. As someone said, making 40 of anything is a pain in the A. Fortunaltely I found a Ytube video by William of explaining how to speed up the process with a drill and several grades of sanding paper. I use 220 up to 1500, and then a buffing wheel.

The lid has a small lock. And to simultaneously close the drawers, I included a rudimentary mechanism at the back. When the lid is closed, the drawers back are catched by the aluminium foil, and cannot be opened. Pretty simple. The drawback is that even if the lock is unlocked, you need to open the lid in order to open any drawer. So is a two step process.

I use some lignum vitae wood for holding the cutlery inside the drawers. I think it weights the same as all the chest.

This was the hardest and most time consuming part of all. Not cutting, but designing it. Actually was the first step. The dimensional of the chest and each drawer was a result of how the cutlery were to be ordered.

OK, that´s all folks,

Thanks for passing by

-- Back home. Fernando

51 comments so far

View patron's profile


13722 posts in 4839 days

#1 posted 05-27-2012 04:22 AM

excellent work

and a great build
and build blog

very nice

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View redryder's profile


2393 posts in 4600 days

#2 posted 05-27-2012 04:43 AM

My hat’s off to anyone who can make recycling look this good…..................

-- mike...............

View ruddy's profile


552 posts in 4437 days

#3 posted 05-27-2012 04:53 AM

Love this project. A splendid job Fernando.

-- And my head I'd be a scratchin'

View Wolffarmer's profile


407 posts in 4736 days

#4 posted 05-27-2012 06:43 AM

Absolutely beautiful.


-- That was not wormy wood when I started working on it.

View Brit's profile


8520 posts in 4341 days

#5 posted 05-27-2012 07:03 AM

Wow Fernando! There’s a lot of work in that and I bet it was quite a challege. Nice build my friend.

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View SPalm's profile


5338 posts in 5380 days

#6 posted 05-27-2012 11:31 AM

Zowie. Way to go Fernando!
Just a super project, and yes, 40 of anything is a pain.

A whole bunch of surprises on this one: the locking drawers, the cloud lift, the signature, the cutlery holders…...

Very nice,

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

27834 posts in 4604 days

#7 posted 05-27-2012 11:35 AM

Fernando, that is one beautiful chest!!! And thanks for including the build photos. that is always neat to see how a piece comes together. and just think, that wood would have probably been burned. See all that flooring reminds me of the project Tyskkvinna (LJ) has. She has a room piled high with old maple flooring that needs to be recycled as you did.

Thanks for sharing!!.....................Jim

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

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30679 posts in 3836 days

#8 posted 05-27-2012 12:08 PM

Beautiful job. Shows what a real craftman can do!

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 3791 days

#9 posted 05-27-2012 12:42 PM

Absolutely outstanding in every aspect—design, detail, execution and delight in the lady’s eyes,

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View terryR's profile


7733 posts in 3807 days

#10 posted 05-27-2012 12:54 PM

Very impressive, Fernando! The skill and time you spent on this beauty sure shows! And the pretty smile on SWMBO’s face says it all…

Thanks for sharing so many photos of your build…

-- tr ...see one, do one, teach one...

View Woodbridge's profile


3755 posts in 3916 days

#11 posted 05-27-2012 01:08 PM

Beautiful chest. There are so many wonderful details.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View CharlieM1958's profile


16292 posts in 5717 days

#12 posted 05-27-2012 01:13 PM

A beautiful chest, and great description of how it was built!

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

View jeepturner's profile


947 posts in 4291 days

#13 posted 05-27-2012 01:33 PM

That is a beautiful build. I like the drawers, and the way the joinery meets the slides. I like the drawer lock, keeping everything in place.
I think it’s fantastic the way you recovered from the dowel “popping out”. I have had similar experience with a table top I made, except it was a biscuit that popped out.
I am forever jealous of the casual use of Lignum Vitae. It is a great choice of course, and it will be perfect there, where you used it. I am only jealous due to you have it and I don’t. :-)

Thanks for the post and a special thanks for all the pictures!

-- Mel,

View JL7's profile


8793 posts in 4463 days

#14 posted 05-27-2012 02:35 PM

Hey Fernando – this is quite an epic build! It turned out beautiful – the details are superb. Love the handles, the signature, the re-purposed flooring :) and the lock buried in the thin panel. I am curious what kind of wood this is and good for your wife to load up the van!

Nice to see the build photos also – thanks my friend!

-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

View nomercadies's profile


590 posts in 3837 days

#15 posted 05-27-2012 03:22 PM

Now I am going to have to find an actress or model to display my projects. You have set the bar very high Mr. India. I get the feeling, even though I have witnessed the pictures, that no human could have built your chest It seems like the parts just blend into each other, although my logic and the pictures tell me otherwise. I must go back and look again. Very, very nice.

-- Chance Four "Not Just a Second Chance"

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