Daughters Blanket Chest for Wedding

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Project by shopmania posted 11-21-2013 02:00 AM 3269 views 11 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A late wedding gift for my daughter and her husband for their wedding. Was made primarily from rough cut walnut that spent the last 20 years is someones attic to prevent them from stepping through the sheet rock when they put the Christmas lights away. Fortunately it was rescued and made it’s way to my shop, where it turned into several boxes and two blanket chests. The panels ar 1/4” walnut ply, with a 1/2” birch ply bottom, and solid walnut top. I used the Rockler torsion hinges. They are nice, and mounted easily. However, they don’t allow the top to quite close completely. It wants to stay open and leave a 1/2” or so gap. Does anyone have an idea of how to fix that problem??

The finish is 2-3 coats of garnet shellac, with another 2-3 coats of clear shellac on top. Thanks for looking.

-- Tim, Myrtle Beach, [email protected] Just one more tool, that's all I need! :)

16 comments so far

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

23182 posts in 3581 days

#1 posted 11-21-2013 02:48 AM

Beautiful chest, Tim. I love the panels in it!!...............Jim

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

View slotman's profile


115 posts in 2933 days

#2 posted 11-21-2013 02:54 AM

Beautiful work! Wish that Walnut had found its way a little farther up the road! Lol

-- Roger

View BusterB's profile


1970 posts in 2484 days

#3 posted 11-21-2013 02:57 AM

Wow what a save…that is a beautiful chest. Can see the mentioned gap and that is a puzzlier. Looks like you notched the back for the hinges…are they maybe too low?? Some shims under the hinges might fix it but that is a WAG (wild arsed guess) ... super nice job regardless

-- Buster, Ocoee TN (Critics are men who watch a battle from a high place then come down and shoot the survivors - Hemingway)

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3784 days

#4 posted 11-21-2013 04:09 AM

What an awesome blanket chest…! Looks like your walnut was a great find and found a good use. I know your daughter and her husband will treasure it forever

View mustang958's profile


62 posts in 3623 days

#5 posted 11-21-2013 09:54 AM

That’s a great looking chest. Love the way you kept the panels a lighter color on the inside. I have a new appreciation for these since I built one for my daughter a few years ago. I’m sure she’ll love it especially since it came from you.

View aussiedave's profile


3114 posts in 2300 days

#6 posted 11-21-2013 10:58 AM

Very nice blanked chest…the wood, design and craftsmanship is excellent….nicely finished….great job.

-- Dave.......If at first you don’t succeed redefine success....

View Ribeye's profile


8 posts in 2632 days

#7 posted 11-21-2013 03:51 PM

Nice looking piece. I added this to my favorites since I plan to build a frame and panel blanket chest soon. I really like the look of the base. Is it just a mitred frame with a clete to set the chest on? Did you have a pattern for the curves, or just wing it? Thanks for sharing.


View a1Jim's profile


117708 posts in 4053 days

#8 posted 11-21-2013 04:00 PM

I like it Tim, beautiful work,a special gift made from special wood.

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3342 days

#9 posted 11-21-2013 04:01 PM

You sure did a great job on this. Congratulations.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View hoss12992's profile


4149 posts in 2369 days

#10 posted 11-21-2013 06:55 PM

Absolutely love this one. Im sure it will be a cherished heirloom that you daughter will no doubt pass down through out the years. Great job.

As for the gap, I always use some business cards, or playing cards to put between the top and the chest where Im attaching the hinges. I want the top to sit a bit higher at the hinges, that way with the finish on, and the expanding wood in warmer humid months, the top will always lay flat.

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View LarryB's profile


109 posts in 3104 days

#11 posted 11-21-2013 08:39 PM

Tim, what a wonderful gift – a real family heirloom! Nice job.
Did you mean the lid stays open at the front? Hinges may be too low.
Or did you mean the lid stays open at the rear?
Notching the back (not the lid) should have caused the hinges to fold flush with the back if you made the notches wide enough to accommodate the full width of the hinge but the lid won’t be level.
I use these hinges on all my chests and they normally leave about a 1/4” of space at the back, which I feel gives the contents a chance to breathe, and allow for a tiny bit of air circulation.

View shopmania's profile


701 posts in 3658 days

#12 posted 11-21-2013 09:08 PM

Thanks to all for the nice comments!

Ribeye, it is just a mitered frame I added to the bottom after I built the chest, I felt it added “Character”. I didn’t have a template. I marked the curve by marking the center and where I wanted to start, and used a french curve and a pencil to mark it out. I cut it out on a piece of 1/4” ply first, got it how I wanted it, smoothed out out on the spindle sander, and then traced it onto the workpieces. I just made it look good to me. I made a second one that has higher arches in the long front and back pieces. I thought the sides came out better. I set the chest on blocks the appropriate height and glued/pinned the frame on. Then I added cleats to the bottom after for strength. Maybe that’s not the official way to do it, but that’s what I did. Hope that helps!

I notched/mortised the back for the hinges, exactly the height of the hinge, and wie enough for the sides of the hinges to fold into the mortise. It is definitely the stiffness of the hinge that keeps it from closing. It wnats to spring back just 1-2 degrees, which makes it pop open just 1/4”-3/8” in the front. I’m thinking of putting a magnetic latch in the front to hold it down. The hinges may loosen a bit with use as well.

-- Tim, Myrtle Beach, [email protected] Just one more tool, that's all I need! :)

View nonickswood's profile


560 posts in 2863 days

#13 posted 11-22-2013 01:35 AM

Thats Very Nice! Tim, I’m sure your daughter will treasure it for a lifetime.
Beautiful job!

-- Nick, Virginia,

View Richard's profile


11296 posts in 3509 days

#14 posted 11-22-2013 03:17 AM

Very Nice Work Indeed! Thanks For Sharing!


-- Richard (Ontario, CANADA)

View cracknpop's profile


353 posts in 2825 days

#15 posted 11-29-2013 05:57 AM

Very nice! Good job.

Regarding the lid not staying shut, did you weigh the top and then calculate the appropriate amount of “inch-pounds” needed for the top? Could be you have stouter hinge/lid support in the torsion hinges than you need. If you calculated close, then as you said, hopefully they will loosen up with use.

-- Rick - I know I am not perfect, but I will keep pressing on toward the goal of becoming all I am called to be.

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