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A pair of blanket chest

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Blog entry by Don W posted 12-23-2011 02:58 AM 2584 reads 3 times favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My daughter has 2 friends who are expecting. One of them she has been friends with forever. It started when my daughter asked me if I would make her friend a porch swing for her. I agreed as long as she helped. I got a chance to spend some time doing woodworking with my daughter, but she wasn’t much help. She didn’t take much interest, but it was worth a try. I’ve been making stuff for her friends ever since. When my daughter recently asked her friend what she wanted for her baby shower she said she really didn’t care as long as it was custom made by your dad. That make it a little hard to turn down.

This will be two Blanket chest that may double as toy boxes. I haven’t thought the whole thing through yet, but I have an idea in my mind what they are going to look like. I have some time to build them, but my job will have me pretty busy after the new year, so I wanted to get a jump on them.

I’ll be posting as I go so you’re welcome to follow along.

Edit Note: Somewhere throughout the project I decided to make my daughter a blanket chest as well, so the 2 became 3.

The frame will be poplar. This is wood I cut and milled from a tree that blew over in a neighbors hay field. Its air dried about 2 years. The panels will be 1/4” oak plywood and I’ll have some oak trim here and there.

I got the lumber down today, squared the live edges and planed it. Its ripped into 3” framing. The dimension will be about 36” x 20” x 22”.

Next I thew a 1/4” bit in the shaper. This will be the first project since I got the shaper back up and running and added the dust collection. I couldn’t find the stile bits, so using just the 1/4” flat is plan b.

I like the square look better anyhow, so I’ll soften the edges with some sandpaper on the front and back face.

I added a mark for the frame pieces where the groove would not go straight through. I had thought about using a spline, but opted for doweling. I will dowel the frame together.

I also decided I wanted dovetails in this design, but I didn’t know how to add them with this type of construction. I decided the top and bottom frame would be dovetailed, the upright frame will be screwed and plugged, probably with oak plugs since the 1/4 panel is oak, and I plan to have oak breadboards on the top. I may even do an oak skirt, but I’ll need to see how that looks.

Before i cut the dovetail I decided it was time for a dovetail marker. Here’s what I came up with. I’ll clean it up at some point, but for now it’ll just need to work. This one is 14 degrees.

I have some problems getting the scroll saw to turn when cutting out the waste. I bought this new Lee Valley version and it does work better than my old craftsman, but I found if I make a second cut I can cut that piece out easier. I can then get the saw flat and do a better job getting a straight flat line.

And thats not saying once in a while some chisel work is needed. OK, maybe more than once in a while.

That’s it for today. I hope tomorrow I can get the dovetails all cut and the box together on the two.

Thanks for looking and hope you’ll stop back and follow as I go.

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Post two…..................

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A couple of good days in the shop First I doweled the frames together and glued then all up.

Next was the skirt. I cut the lap with the table saw, and rounded the edges with my hand planes.

Next I cut the miters

Made the legs buy drilling with a forstner bit on each end, cutting the short cut with my dovetail saw, the straight cut with the table saw inside the holes and finished with a hand saw.

Now clean them up with the #75

And install

After some planing and sanding its ready to stand back and look. The top was glued up last night. There will be some oak ends added. The back piece is a piece of live oak just sitting there to be admired for now and make sure its going to fit.

And just before I left for the evening I gave it it’s first coat of poly.

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Preparing the top…......

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ahh what a day. After the grandkid were happy on xmas morning, we headed on home. With a few hours getting between home and dinner it was time to test drive the new veritas scraper.

The chest top was glued up and waiting to be flattened.

First I grabbed the 82. I need to get rid of the major glue drops. I’ve used the #82 before, but not since I cleaned it up.

Next i grabbed the 604 out of the till, a few last minute minor adjustments and touch down. No good. Its digging and lots of tear out. Its been a while since I sharpened it, so lets hone this blade. Sharpening by hand feels natural today, even with the thin Stanley blade. I’ve been trying sharpening by hand without the jig, and I can usually tell with a single swipe if its going to work or not. Today it felt right. Reset the cap iron and back in the plane we go.

The shaving were amazing today. I just kept thinking of Dan's theory on “fine shavings pictures”, so a snapped a few.

These things were coming out like butter. SO fine and crisp. I grabbed the can of fluid film and gave the sole a shot, even smoother now. I thought I was in heaven. Even the knots were coming off in wispy style.

I haven’t had everything come together like this yet. This was poetry in motion, and for anyone that knows me, you know I’m not a real graceful type of guy. Today was the day. I’ll remember this for a long time.

Now for the veritas. First thing I did was hit the back of the blade with my oil stone. It proved to be flat and true. Then hit the bevel with the stone. A few strokes to put the hook on it (i wish my burnisher looked as good as Al’s) and into the plane it goes.

A few strokes and some chatter. A few more adjustments and some more chatter. Uh-oh, is this going to be a pain? Maybe i didn’t get the hook right. I take the blade out and try it by hand. After a few strokes it seem to be working great. So lets try setting the angle as it is working in my hand. Now we’re talking. Tighten down the adjuster to give it a slight flex and its working sweet. Why I didn’t have one of these 20 years ago is now a mystery.

So next I grab the Sander and an old 220 disk. Give the top a once over. I’ve never been able to START sanding at 220, and now its all that it needs. Does it even need it? The top already has its first coat of poly.

So I need to thank LJ’s. This site has taught me how to do this and provoked me to find this style. This is why I woodwork. Its just plane cool.

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Fastening the back…......

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Only one of these gets a back on the top. This is a piece of oak edge from the same lumber.

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Installing Hinges…......

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Here is a rough cut list
Frames
4 – 3” x 36”
6 – 3” x 15”
4 – 1.5” x 15”
4 – 3” x 20”

End Panels 2- 15 7/8” x 14 7/8”
Front & Rear Panels 4 – 15 7/8” x 14 1/4”

Bottom – 1/4” Plywood 20” x 36”
Top – 24” x 38” x 2/3”

Skirt
2 – 3” x 38”
2 3” x 22”

Add an inch or 2 for rough cuts.
Also add for additional top pieces if desired.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com



22 comments so far

View thedude50's profile

thedude50

3515 posts in 1133 days


#1 posted 12-23-2011 05:32 AM

looking good don but my wife says it is poplar so i think you should edit that other than that this is more of your great work . I like the layout i assume the dovetails were all cut the old fashion way. it is looking really good what are you going to use as a finish.

-- when I am not on Lumberjocks I am on @ http://thisoldworkshop.com where we allow free speech

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

9918 posts in 1274 days


#2 posted 12-23-2011 05:44 AM

Wow, totally hybrid! Great to get another glimpse into your wood working universe, Don. Nice work, love the thought you’ve put into each build. Excellent stuff, keep trucking! :-)

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

View ShaneA's profile

ShaneA

5304 posts in 1254 days


#3 posted 12-23-2011 06:23 AM

Keep up the good work, going to be great gift.

View Brit's profile

Brit

5152 posts in 1498 days


#4 posted 12-23-2011 12:10 PM

Looking good Don. You should check out the dovetail marker that Paul Sellers uses. You can find a blog post showing how to make it here.

-- Andy -- Old Chinese proverb say: If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it.

View Don W's profile

Don W

15030 posts in 1223 days


#5 posted 12-23-2011 03:42 PM

Lance, and your wife would be right. Poplar it is. I wanted to add a northern draaaaw.

Thanks Smitty and Shane. My plans are usually in my head. Its what I think of when I want to leave the real world behind, and that’s alot.

Andy, that’s where the idea came from. I want to be just like Paul Seller when I’ve been woodworking for 40 years. Hell, I figure I got about 6 months to catch up.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View Don W's profile

Don W

15030 posts in 1223 days


#6 posted 12-24-2011 11:16 PM

Post 2 added. Chest #1 is coming along.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View ShaneA's profile

ShaneA

5304 posts in 1254 days


#7 posted 12-25-2011 12:27 AM

Your are doing some fine work. Really on a roll. Seems like you are turning out beauties every other day. I can tell it is going to be great.

View Don W's profile

Don W

15030 posts in 1223 days


#8 posted 12-26-2011 03:02 PM

for those that do not follow the “Hand Planes of Your Dreams” thread, xmas day has been posted here. The top on Blanket Chest one is woodwork complete.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

15798 posts in 1522 days


#9 posted 12-26-2011 03:06 PM

Don, this was a nice presentation and your blanket chest is looking good.

helluvawreck
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View Don W's profile

Don W

15030 posts in 1223 days


#10 posted 12-27-2011 09:59 PM

#1 All done except for the hinges.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View mafe's profile

mafe

9543 posts in 1745 days


#11 posted 12-28-2011 12:03 AM

Hi Don,
Wonderful chest.
Wonderful tools and what a pleasure to see your shaves!
(I have the Veritas too and love it).
Best of my thoughts to you,
Mads

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Brit's profile

Brit

5152 posts in 1498 days


#12 posted 12-30-2011 06:43 PM

There’s just no stopping you brother is there? Nice chest Don. I love the natural edge to the back piece.

-- Andy -- Old Chinese proverb say: If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it.

View Don W's profile

Don W

15030 posts in 1223 days


#13 posted 01-01-2012 10:41 PM

Well, a pair became 3. I decided to make my daughter one as well.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View Brit's profile

Brit

5152 posts in 1498 days


#14 posted 01-02-2012 12:32 AM

They look fabulous Don and each one different from the others. Nice job!

-- Andy -- Old Chinese proverb say: If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

9918 posts in 1274 days


#15 posted 01-02-2012 08:19 PM

I love the way you work with live edges! Excellent, Don!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

showing 1 through 15 of 22 comments

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