Cherry Blanket Chest #5: Almost done

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Blog entry by jcwalleye posted 02-18-2012 07:20 PM 8166 reads 2 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: Lots of odds & ends before final fitting Part 5 of Cherry Blanket Chest series no next part

With the lid built, joinery done, hinges mortised and everything sanded it’s off to the finishing room. The maple panels were finished earlier while making the frame, so all thats left was finishing the frame parts. There are over 40 frame pieces and I wanted to get as much pre-finishing done as I could. Here is a snapshot of my finishing area and some of the materials I’ll be using.

I’ll start with 2 coats of General Finish Seal a Cell, followed by many coats of ArmorSeal. In between lightly sand with 320 grit sandpaper. The last coats, will be sanded with 0000 steel wool between them. I’ve had my best luck, wiping on many coats of thinned poly. Here are the parts drying.

And starting the assembly. Since I don’t plan to finish the panels any further I waxed them to help remove any stray glue.

During finishing some finish accidently got on the tenons so sanded that off.

I’ll make subassemblies for the sides and front and back. Here are a couple pictures of the side frames.

And then the disaster. When gluing up the veneered panels, the glue didn’t seem to flow right on the first three panels that were for the back of the case. The scrap veneer on the back of the panels buckled, but seemed to be adequate on the front. I changed the glue and the clamping technique for the remaining 7 panels and things improved.

When doing the final test fitting, the front veneer on one the first panels started to chip, and was too easy to lift off. The glue had lost its adhesion and seemed brittle. I either did something wrong in the process or the glue had frozen during shipment. It was near zero degrees when it arrived.

Not wanting to take a chance with delamination after the chest was assembled; I decided to replace the panels. And not having enough spare veneer materials, made three new panels from solid cherry. They look pretty good.

Next came lining the interior with aromatic cedar. Got some reasonably priced ¼” cedar at the local BORG that’s used for lining closets. The stock is not the greatest quality, but since I needed a little more than one package, I had a lot of material to sort through.

I nailed the cedar into the back of the top and bottom rails, using 18 gauge 5/8”brads.

They held surprisingly well and none of the pieces cracked like they had while test nailing.

Lining the chest with cedar turned out to be easier and more enjoyable than I was thinking it would be and the smell in the shop is really nice. I’m glad to have a bunch of scraps left lying around.

Trimmed the bottom of the cedar lining with quarter round overs, and the top with some L shaped pieces I had machined and finished earlier. Made it clean and secure.

All that’s left is to wait for the finishing on a last trim piece, filling the nail holes, an overall final finish, and attach the lid. That should all happen quickly when I get to it.

Thanks for looking.

-- Trees, a wonderful gift --Joe--

4 comments so far

View Roger's profile


20965 posts in 3044 days

#1 posted 02-18-2012 10:27 PM

a beautiful chest. very nice

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View MontanaBob's profile


843 posts in 2924 days

#2 posted 02-18-2012 11:58 PM

Very nice JC…Really like that finish….

View john1102's profile


59 posts in 2908 days

#3 posted 02-19-2012 04:38 PM

Great project and very nice craftsmanship. Look forward to the final pictures. Thanks.

John P.

View dalethewhale's profile


19 posts in 2063 days

#4 posted 10-23-2014 04:56 AM

Thank you very much for all the effort you went to in documenting this, and all of your builds.

I have learnt plenty along the way.



-- Merrily, Merrily, is but a dream - Whale, Coffs Harbour, Australia

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