Art Deco Chest - Wedding Gift

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Project by SawdustyDan posted 03-08-2015 06:49 PM 1061 views 2 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is the last project, of any importance, that I completed. It is a Treasure Chest I made as a wedding gift for a very dear young couple we know. They are sort of our “other children” and I wanted it to be special. It started with her asking Papa if he’d make a box for her. With hands held apart and a tape measure facing toward me, showed me ‘about this big’ and with sorta these features. The rest came out of my head and hands. No real “plan”, just my rough and semi-finished drawings. I designed and built each piece, or group of pieces, as I went along. I tinkered with it for 4 or 5 months, start to finish, scrapped and re-made a lot of bits along the way and somehow this came out at the other end!

The main woods are 3/4” A/B maple ply for the sides and 1/2” for the lid. Walnut for the legs and trim work, with purpleheart accents on the fan. The ‘skinny legs’ are cut about 1/16” short, so as not to rub on the floor and maybe break. The little purpleheart wedges at the bottom-inside of the legs fills in the rabbets and lends a bit more support. All the legs and trims are solid pieces that were routed, rabbeted and tennoned to perform their part. The maple ‘dots’ on the rim are plugs over top screws holding the rim onto the body, along with the glue (suspenders-and-a-belt, once again…) – I did NOT want that coming off! The handle on the lid was all cut and fit, one tiny little piece at a time, by hand. The front deco fan was another happy headache for me! After twice having the center piece slide out from under my clamps, I had an epiphany – four brass brads, tapped shallow into the back and cut off at about 1/16” was just what it took to help hold it securely in place!! Did the same with the purpleheart side pieces. I’m gonna remember that one! Made a little removable, sliding tray from the same materials – for all those tiny bits. Later on, I added another removable, enclosed (sliding top) tray, that can fit photographs and other memories for safekeeping. Finish is, as usual, a clear (satin) poly; 4 or 5 coats.

This box and the others I have posted here, are the types of things I eventually want to make and sell. I’ve gotten ideas from here and other web sites, along with my many books, and I’m going to start building again this spring and hope to get selling at craft fairs and elsewhere. Maybe I can make a few bucks along the way. However, the hugs and smiles (and not a few happy tears!) I received from J&D for this was payment beyond measure. Gratitude may not fill your belly, but in my heart – I’m richer than Buffett for this!

-- Sawdusty Dan - Bellevue, NE - "Women and cats will do as they please. Men and dogs should just relax and get used to it." Robert A. Heinlein

8 comments so far

View TRHeath's profile


75 posts in 1007 days

#1 posted 03-08-2015 07:15 PM

Awesome design!

-- So much to little time.....

View bruc101's profile


1075 posts in 2962 days

#2 posted 03-08-2015 07:50 PM

Great design and craftsmanship.

-- Bruce Free Plans

View NormG's profile


5424 posts in 2423 days

#3 posted 03-09-2015 04:25 AM

With such limited info you did a wonderful job on this piece

-- Norman

View majuvla's profile


8700 posts in 2287 days

#4 posted 03-09-2015 12:54 PM

Nice gift,verry classy nad elegant.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View david38's profile


2380 posts in 1763 days

#5 posted 03-09-2015 01:35 PM

looks great

View oldrivers's profile


711 posts in 986 days

#6 posted 03-09-2015 02:59 PM

Great GIFT! Super craftsmanship a work that will be a cherished Heirloom.

-- Soli Deo gloria!

View mcoyfrog's profile


3800 posts in 3014 days

#7 posted 03-10-2015 06:05 PM

WOW this is amazing, the design, wood choice all of it.

Welcome to LJ’s I’m sure you will love it here

-- Wood and Glass they kick (well you know) Have a great day - Dug

View SomeDumbGuy's profile


5 posts in 638 days

#8 posted 03-26-2015 02:08 AM

Amazing work. Very nice.

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