Hope Chest - My first 'real' woodworking project

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Project by MadGerman posted 12-30-2012 04:45 AM 2235 views 2 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here’s the Hope Chest that I’ve been working on for the last several weeks for my girlfriend. Like the title says, this is the first real woodworking project that I’ve made. I’ve tinkered around a little in the past, but never made anything of substance.

I never made any raised panels before this project, so I did what most people do…I went to youtube! I actually found some great videos from the folks at Freud, and they really helped a lot. However, when it came time to actually cut the wood, I was nervous. I used walnut for the outside because she likes the look of darker wood. I think walnut looks really nice as well. Even when the wood was raw/unfinished while I was making the chest, I thought it looked good. I couldn’t wait to get the poly on it because I knew the grain would really pop.

I used three of the Rockler torsion hinges, but didn’t use their recommended weight ratings. Per their calculations, I would have needed 205 or so inch pounds of support. I ended up using three 40s and am very happy with it. The lid stays open from about 35 degrees or so onward. When it closes, it doesn’t slam, it closes nice and smooth. It’s not a toy chest, so I’m not worried about little toddlers smashing their fingers on the chest. I let it hit my hands as it closes and it just closes nice and smooth, no pinching at all.

I made the floor out of cedar. I made it tongue and groove and put a profile on the edges so it looks like planks when looking at it from above. I also made the lining out of cedar as well. However, that’s not T&G. I used 1/4” cedar and routed a profile on the edges to mimic the floor.

The finish is Minwax Wipe On Poly, glossy. I started out using their satin, but was disappointed with it. It looked too flat. So I switched to glossy and it came out great. The pics make it look a little more glossy than what it really is. Regardless, I’m very happy with it.

Anyhow, back to the chest. I learned quite a lot during the construction and finishing of this chest. I’d definitely make another one if I had a reason to.

Like I said in my other Project posting, please be kind with your comments. Keep in mind that this is my first attempt at such a large project and am still learning. Thanks in advance for any comments, constructive criticism, suggestions, etc. you fine folks can offer.


12 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


118153 posts in 4546 days

#1 posted 12-30-2012 04:49 AM

Fantastic chest Scott ,hard to believe this is your first piece of furniture.WAY COOL!!!


View OldYork's profile


6 posts in 2952 days

#2 posted 12-30-2012 12:54 PM

You certainly have a piece to be proud of there, and the walnut looks fantastic.

Top work!!!

View pantango's profile


51 posts in 3009 days

#3 posted 12-30-2012 04:31 PM

this is your first piece? Wow, amazing. I can’t wait to see your next project. Great job!!!!!

-- Hate how work gets in the way of my hobby!!

View doncutlip's profile


2832 posts in 4525 days

#4 posted 12-30-2012 05:23 PM

First project, you gotta be kidding me. Wow. Keep going, you have real talent. I’ve been doing this a while and doubt I could turn out something like that.

-- Don, Royersford, PA

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3836 days

#5 posted 12-30-2012 05:41 PM

For your first project you really did a nice job. I’m sure that it won’t be your last.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View MJCD's profile


606 posts in 3340 days

#6 posted 12-30-2012 07:40 PM

This demonstrates incredible talent, and Taste.

I particularly like the interior ‘planking’ – adds quiet a bit of texture.

Keep them coming.

View dshute's profile


221 posts in 3655 days

#7 posted 12-30-2012 10:14 PM

Nice job, chests are great projects and serve many needs. Walnut is a great wood to work with and it suits your project perfectly.

-- dshute, Warsaw, New York

View Russ's profile


357 posts in 4046 days

#8 posted 12-31-2012 05:09 AM

Nice work on chest. Very good opening performance.

-- Russ

View grosa's profile


1037 posts in 3798 days

#9 posted 12-31-2012 10:32 AM

It came out really good, I like it.

-- Have a great day.

View kizerpea's profile


775 posts in 3336 days

#10 posted 12-31-2012 12:02 PM

Great first project!!!!


View MadGerman's profile


48 posts in 3031 days

#11 posted 12-31-2012 09:22 PM

Thanks for the compliments everyone. I’m looking forward to my next projects, two chests/foot lockers. One for my son and one for my girlfriend’s son. My son’s looking forward to helping me.

View robscastle's profile


7654 posts in 3173 days

#12 posted 12-07-2018 12:17 PM

I think for a Crazy Kraut I will have to give you a tick for that effort.

I hope JADobson is not watching or he will have me in foxhole near the Maginot Line this time!!

BTW as an aside, how many people own a five drawer filing cabinet?

-- Regards Rob

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