Stationery chest in red oak, walnut and elm - lockable

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Project by stanley_clifton posted 02-22-2015 02:27 PM 1699 views 2 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a commission to build a stationery chest for a gentleman’s 80th birthday. Let’s hope it goes down well. I have done my best.

The main body is red oak, through dovetailed together with partitions in elm. I had a panel of book-matched elm for another job, but just managed to squeeze it for this one instead (a lot would have been wasted for the other job, so this is much better). As you can see, the lid is made by cutting the top off the box. From previous experience I knew to pin the lid joints before going any further. I have ended up letting a bit of mahogany to hold the lock plate; its siting nibs did not like going into oak.

A tray was essential to add capacity and versatility to the piece. This lid technique enables quite a deep tray as the latter can project up quite a lot. I’d like to say that I have carefully selected complementary timber colours, but in fact the timbers are from my off-cuts bag, but at least they’re symmetrical.

Walnut is getting a bit expensive over here (UK), but I did have stock to make the plinth sections. These always seem to take an incredible amount of timber for what they are. That deep, rich colour and gorgeous yet subtle grain pattern is irresistible to me.

Having now got the hang of cabinet scrapers, this piece has used little abrasive paper. I think this has benefited the final finish. Danish oil and a final buff with bees wax polish has been used.

I hope that you like this piece.

-- Stanley generally struggling

2 comments so far

View MilFlyer's profile


941 posts in 1869 days

#1 posted 03-25-2015 06:06 AM

Nice looking box! Particularly like the joinery!

-- VR, Richard "Fear is nothing more than a feeling. You feel hot. You feel hungry. You feel angry. You feel afraid. Fear can never kill you"--Remo Williams

View WoodTraveler's profile


18 posts in 1034 days

#2 posted 02-09-2016 10:51 PM

gorgeous box, i love the lock you put in this. I hope i can get some pieces made that have simular locks.

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