Milk painted chest

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Project by hickeymad posted 10-31-2012 04:00 AM 2767 views 2 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I built this with the help of my 4 year old, Madeline. She helped saw dovetails, and also helped during the glue-up. It is her toy box, and (I hope) later to be her “off to Stanford U” box. I wish I could find good looking soft-close lid hardware. Everything available I can find is plastic and not at all appropriate for fine furniture. Though the lid is not very heavy (it’s of southern yellow pine – as is the rest of the box), I still fear for pinched fingers.
The carcase is dovetailed and it has a frame and panel lid. I did a dovetail/miter joint on the lower skirt, which was a first for me. The purpose was to avoid end-grain during shaping of the skirt. I’d hoped to do something with an old 1/2 set of hollow and rounds, but couldn’t get them tuned up in time. Ended up with a simple chamfer.
I can say without hesitation that this is the favorite item I’ve made so far. Milk paint rocks. One layer of lamp black under two of brickhouse red, then oiled and waxed. Made a few interior boxes as well of cherry. I’d like to build more of these if I ever find the time.
By the way, southern yellow pine works beautifully by hand. I can’t wait to use this stuff again – perhaps dresser drawers…

12 comments so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30475 posts in 2901 days

#1 posted 10-31-2012 04:08 AM

Nice build. Something both of you can share.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View balidoug's profile


497 posts in 3041 days

#2 posted 10-31-2012 11:15 AM

Great piece. And a terrific apprentice.

-- From such crooked wood as that which man is made of, nothing straight can be fashioned. Immanuel Kant

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 3419 days

#3 posted 10-31-2012 11:57 AM

Madeline sure put that extra professional touch to the chest

She will be filling it with toys/tools before long.

Nothing better than getting help from the kids

it will be something she will treasure for ever. That is both

the box and working with Dad


-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View bonobo's profile


297 posts in 2619 days

#4 posted 10-31-2012 01:08 PM

I’m not sure if it would suit your purposes but LJ CartersWhittling has a couple of very unobtrusive soft close pistons that mount in the corners of his toolchest.

-- “The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” ― Mark Twain

View ~Julie~'s profile


617 posts in 3597 days

#5 posted 10-31-2012 01:59 PM

Beautiful toy box. I love pine, it’s my favourite wood!

-- ~Julie~

View horsch's profile


43 posts in 3227 days

#6 posted 10-31-2012 02:32 PM

The chest looks really nice. I love the look of the milk paint. Did you find the oil changed the color of the paint much? What type of oil did you use? You have probably seen theese, but rockler has a nice looking torsion hinge. They don’t look like they are made of plastic, but I’ve never actually used them either.

View hickeymad's profile


158 posts in 3572 days

#7 posted 10-31-2012 03:31 PM

bonobo- those Blum inserts look perfect! Thanks for the recommendation! borsch; the oil softened the color a bit. I used a furniture oil I get from a local furniture maker here in Portland, they call it joinery oil and I’m not at all sure what’s in it but it smells like citrus. Good stuff! Those Rockler hinges look like a great possibility for my next chest. Thanks for the recommendation!

View TexasJim's profile


86 posts in 3799 days

#8 posted 10-31-2012 05:43 PM

I think I may be linking to the same thing horsch recommended. I used these on a blanket chest and they are great. A little pricey and you need to figure out the approximate wight of the lid but no worries about smashed fingers.

-- If the world was a logical place, men would be the ones who ride horses sidesaddle.

View Ben's profile


273 posts in 4276 days

#9 posted 10-31-2012 06:58 PM

well done. i’m sure it’ll keep your tools safe for quite some time.

-- Do something nice for somebody

View chopnhack's profile


375 posts in 2957 days

#10 posted 10-31-2012 09:35 PM

The chest came out great, I am sure she will get long use out of it! I recently completed a chest and used a lid support from Home Depot, works well and has adjustable tension. Cheap, effective and readily available ;-)

-- Sneaking up on the line....

View Woodknack's profile


12945 posts in 2942 days

#11 posted 11-01-2012 08:23 AM

Nice. Reminds me of Schwarz anarchist’s tool chest.

-- Rick M,

View HorizontalMike's profile


7804 posts in 3476 days

#12 posted 12-02-2012 02:54 PM

Wow, sometimes we just forget how nice milk paint looks on different pieces/projects. Very nice job!

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

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