LumberJocks Woodworking Forum banner
  • Please post in our Community Feedback thread for help with the new forum software! If you are having trouble logging in, please Contact Us for assistance.

Project Information

I finished this on April 14. Many folks have written very gracious comments about the dovetails. Thanks, ironically, given that I'm figuring this out as I go, they turned out to be the easiest part. What drove me crazy was getting the lid right. Since the hinge isn't external and the lid is heavy (although lighter than lid #1!), it was a bear.

One thing I pulled off (that isn't visible) is that instead of screwing braces to the lid, I made a sliding dovetail for both and pegged it near the front of the lid with one 1/4 dowel.

As my grandmother would say, "There's no rest for the weary." I've already started prepping the lumber for daughter #2's chest.

Pics from the whole project are at http://web.mac.com/tallen



I'm getting close to the "finish" line.


A few years ago, while reading a story on "hope chests" to my three girls, they asked if I'd make one for each of them. I naively said, "Sure, how hard could it be? It's just a box."

The truth: At the time, I barely knew the difference between an airplane and a hand-plane. I went to the library and happened upon a book by Krenov in which he said, among many other things, that he didn't let his apprentices use power tools until they'd mastered the hand-tool that the former replaced. I thought, "Well if that's good enough for them…"

That catapulted me into the world of "old-school" woodworking, antique stores, ebay and, of course, a garage that is full of tools and sans cars.

This chest, for my oldest daughter (turning 13 soon), is the result of about a year's work (30 minutes at a time, when I could find the time) and about 2 years, before that, of late nights practicing dovetails (cut a pair, see where I screwed up, saw them off, start again…lather, rinse, repeat).

I'll post a final pic, I "hope" soon.

Gallery

Comments

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,009 Posts
Welcome aboard Tommy! You have some pretty lucky girls. That looks like a wonderful labor of love.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
229 Posts
Beautiful man, just beautiful, welcome abord my fellow jock.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,890 Posts
and do they know how much you love them?
wow - that's quite the commitment you have made
can't wait to see the final product
 

·
In Loving Memory
Joined
·
10,667 Posts
I've been working on one for my daughter since August, and it does'nt have any dovetails so good luck. It will be worth it to see their faces light up when you give it to them. Mark C. gave me some good advice, which was to write something mushy on the bottom for them to remember you by, great idea, and welcome to the lumberjocks. jockmike 2.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,222 Posts
Wow… dovetails by hand. Very Nice Work. And Welcome to the Shop
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35,383 Posts
Very nice welcome to Lumberjocks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,569 Posts
Where's the router and dovetail jig? Three of them, all with handmade dovetails. What a Dad!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,616 Posts
Tommy, this is a wonderful undertaking. Your daughters may never know what an expression of love this is.

Without stealing your thunder, it's something very much like this that also got me into woodworking. My father built a cedar lined chest for my first daughter as a wedding gift. My second daughter was married three years later and my dad had started one for her also. But unfortunately, he became ill and never finished it before he went home to God.

I just didn't have the necessary skills, or tools at that time, so commissioned a man to finish the work. He as a cabinet maker and commented to me that "your dad was an old-world craftsman". Looking back on this, I would say it was this experience that motivated me to learn the skills my Dad had.

Thanks for showing this. Please keep posting work-in- progress hots.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,798 Posts
I have to hand it to you Tommy, I have three daughters and one of my goals is to make a blanket chest for each one of them. I went out and bought the Leigh dovetail jig to do the job though. So far, you are way ahead of me! I should follow your lead and learn to cut these dovetails by hand.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Hey guys…

Thanks SO much for all the comments and encouragement.

Tommy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,222 Posts
O.K. So now I guess Iit's my turn to do that hand made dovetail thingy, huh? I made a 24" jig out of 2 (two) 1/4" pieces of mahogany plywood glued together, so I think I can figure it out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,890 Posts
isn't this beautiful (in more ways than one).
Bravo.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,589 Posts
Wow, hand made dovetails! That is truly a work of art. I am sure they will appreciate the chests for years to come.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,861 Posts
Beautiful work, your daughters will love these forever.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,975 Posts
I like the comment "how hard could it be? It's just a box . . . "

I really enjoy making chests so this struck a chord with me. I like the dovetails and the inlaid cross. Looking forward to more photos. Very nice work!

Can you share details of the inlay?

These will be real treasures for your daughters to enjoy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Tommy, Holy cow! (Pun not really intended until I wrote it :)) Nice dovetail work. I am brand-new to the lumberjocks website and have been surfing around the projects. This one really stands out to me. I have been trying my hand at hand-cut dovetails as well. I made a knitting basket for my wife (ooh, I should post that one) that features hand-cut dovetails. I'm getting better at them.

I'm also learning how to fix my mistakes, which is invaluable when you are working with such a large piece.

Thanks for the inspiration!
 
Top