Early American style chest-on-chest

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Project by MonteCristo posted 06-11-2012 06:37 PM 1437 views 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I am supposed to be building furniture for my wife but, as my other projects show, I get off track easily. This is my most ambitious piece to date, based on a very similar piece in Glun Huey’s Tauton Press book “Glen Huey’s Illustrated guide to Building Period Furniture”. The book does a fair job of outlining some of the steps and techniques involved but does not give detail that would be really helpful to a first timer. There also seemed to be a number of measurement errors on the main diagram.

The main wood is American Black Walnut, with Old Growth vertical grain Douglas Fir for the body of the drawers, including drawer bottoms. You’ll note that the drawers are finger jointed and not dovetailed – Douglas is notoriously splintery and while I have dovetailed it before, finger joints seemed to make a lot more sense. On the plus side, OG VG Douglas is very stable.

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

9 comments so far

View Pdl's profile


89 posts in 3059 days

#1 posted 06-11-2012 06:47 PM

WOW! This is not a refinished antique? It is amazing!!!

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3138 days

#2 posted 06-11-2012 06:49 PM

Very nice piece and nicely done. Congratulations.


-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Oldtool's profile


2751 posts in 2462 days

#3 posted 06-11-2012 09:03 PM

I like, well done. Same type of projects I prefer. I too used Glenn Huey’s books for projects, and I too found mistakes in the drawings. You can let him know, you’ll get a thank you email.
What finish did you use?
Thanks for posting,

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View MonteCristo's profile


2099 posts in 2460 days

#4 posted 06-11-2012 09:34 PM

Oldtool: confession time – finishing is not my strongsuit (not yet at least). I think it was just tung oil on this piece. Sometimes I use polyurethane as an overcoat. I like tung oil because it really brings out the grain and color of the wood and it’s easy to apply. I recently tried the polymerized stuff and found it not as friendly (but it has higher luster which appeals to some).

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View Gshepherd's profile


1727 posts in 2473 days

#5 posted 06-12-2012 07:24 PM

Beautiful Job….. I have been eyeing a few projects from the same book and I will be sure to double check measurements as well….

-- What we do in life will Echo through Eternity........

View TestDepth's profile


10 posts in 2487 days

#6 posted 06-13-2012 08:41 AM

Wow… Just wow. This is the kind of stuff I hope to be making someday soon. Congratulations on an impressive piece.

-- "We don't make mistakes here, we only have happy little accidents." - Bob Ross

View MonteCristo's profile


2099 posts in 2460 days

#7 posted 06-13-2012 04:27 PM

One thing about Glen Huey’s book I liked – he is pretty clever at finding relatively easy ways to do a good reproduction of these period pieces. It’s still difficult (for me at least) but some stuff wasn’t as bad as I thought it wolud be.

One idea I added when building this piece: the top and the bottom are separate pieces that come together at the moldings in the center. This makes the thing a lot easier to pack around when it has to be moved.

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View a1Jim's profile


117474 posts in 3848 days

#8 posted 06-13-2012 05:26 PM

Super looking Chest on chest, very nice work.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View shipwright's profile


8223 posts in 3069 days

#9 posted 10-13-2012 10:59 PM

Very Nice Dwight.
The detail work stands up nicely in the close up.
Nothing wrong with that joint, dovetails are overrated in my opinion and overused.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

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