Blanket Chest #17: Torsion Lid-Stay Hinges are On: This Project is Completed

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by HappyHowie posted 01-05-2016 11:26 PM 1660 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 16: Last Finish Coat Part 17 of Blanket Chest series Part 18: Chest Delivered to New Owner »


Although installing the hinges was a simple process, I wanted to be sure that it went on without any mistakes. I wanted the lid to be centered on the case with just the right overlay. Of course, the right amount of overlay with the hinges I was using was set in motion weeks ago. That is when I cut the lid panel to its final dimensions. It was that long ago that these steps today where easily processed.

The steps I took to install the hinges were these:

1) I marked the center of the lid along its back edge.

2) I marked the center of the case along its back edge.

3) I had glued a shim for the hinges on the inside back panel a couple of weeks ago. It was then that I determined the distance the center of the hinges were going to be placed from the outside ends of the case. I confirmed that this morning; this distance was 7 1/4 inches from the outside edge of the case.

These photographs confirm the center marks for the hinges. This one is for the right side. The left is marked in a similar fashion.

4) I then simply followed the hinges’ installation instructions. Since I most likely will be using these torsion hinges in other projects, I bought the Rockler JIG that can easily place the fasten screws in the right place on the lid.

5) Once the hinges were fastened to the lid each with four 3/4 inch #6 screws, the lid was ready to be fasten to the case. With the pencil mark still present on the shims showing the hinges’ center line, I simply dropped the lid with the hinge down on the back panel of the case. I used a rubber mallet to knock the hinge down firmly and flat on the case.

6) Now with the hinge in its position, I pre-drilled holes for the screws with self-centering drill bits. I used a drill to fasten the screw to a point. I finished fastening the screws by hand so I could get the feel feedback knowing the screw was firmly fastened.

Now with the two hinges fastened, this project was completed.

I enjoyed making this Shaker style blanket chest very much. It is my gift to a very sweet granddaughter. She is carrying twin girls that will be joining us in a few weeks. What a blessing they will be in our lives like this granddaughter has been to Ann and myself.


I have provided a link to the Poplar Woodworking Magazine’s article that I used as a guide for my build. I deviated some from the period piece that the magazine’s editor built. Those were: (1) not making a till inside the case, (2) changing the back panel of the plinth to match the curve in its front, (3) I made the bottom with ship-lap panels for wood movement instead of installing one large panel bottom board, and (4) I did not worry about making each detail the same as the original Shaker blanket chest made in the mid-1800s: such as getting the exact quantity of dovetails on the case and plinth with the exact same angle for the dovetails, etc.

I apparently had a subscription to this magazine when this article was published October 2013, pp. 24-31, Issue #206. The author was Megan Fitzpatrick, the magazines editor. You can read about the article in this link I have provided here, click here to read it.


I have provided here a few photographs displaying the finished blanket chest. I made it with what I thought would be a very interesting hardwood: wormy maple. I believe it turned out great. Better than I originally thought.

This last photo shows the overlay of the lid on the Rockler hinges.

This chest will rest here for 10 days to “gas-off” as Charles Neil wrote instructions to me. This way with coats of finish applied to all surfaces, the smell of finish will dissipate. Then Ann and I will take it to our sweet Brittany’s home where we hope it will stay in the family for generations to come…

-- --- Happy Howie

4 comments so far

View Reaperwoodworks's profile


94 posts in 840 days

#1 posted 01-05-2016 11:36 PM

Gorgeous chest HappyHowie. I’m sure it will be loved!

-- Website:, Youtube:

View Bobsboxes's profile


1333 posts in 2570 days

#2 posted 01-06-2016 12:00 AM

Very nice chest, has been fun following your build. Great piece.

-- Bob in Montana. Kindness is the Language the blind can see and deaf can hear. - Mark Twain

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2596 days

#3 posted 01-06-2016 01:14 AM

Chest turned out perfectly! Those hinges have always intimidated me (but I am too cheap to buy the jig). Congrats on the twins grandgirls.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View BurlyBob's profile


5247 posts in 2171 days

#4 posted 01-06-2016 01:16 AM

That is some fine craftsmanship. The wood is magnificent, such character is awesome.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics