Cherry and Maple Blanket Chest

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Project by SteveV posted 07-08-2007 05:19 AM 4447 views 18 times favorited 25 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hi everyone, here is my first project post and first paid commission.

Friends of ours saw some other projects I had done and asked me or “commissioned” me to make them a blanket chest. After asking them what commissioned meant their reply was “we are going to pay ya”. So off I went to find something I liked. Not being a great fan of blanket chests, I found the perfect one in FWW. This piece was designed by John McAlevey. It was perfect! I just wish I could design like this.

The Frame is Cherry with solid Curly Maple panels. The finish is Waterlox Original. Yes, those are all real mortise and tenons all 28 of them. The front and back panels are put together with finger tenons and the top and side panels are all single tenons. The panels are 13/16 thick and raised using a cove bit. Naturally they float in their frames and are pegged in the center of the side rail to hold them centered.

01/08/08 Update – I have additional photos here …

25 comments so far

View darryl's profile


1795 posts in 4291 days

#1 posted 07-08-2007 05:23 AM

gorgeous! that’s great work.

View Napaman's profile


5526 posts in 4042 days

#2 posted 07-08-2007 05:25 AM

wow…this is great…is it lined with cedar???

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View David's profile


1969 posts in 4103 days

#3 posted 07-08-2007 05:25 AM

Steve -

Absolutely beautiful! I like the contrast between the cherry and maple – and I really like the construction details.


View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4183 days

#4 posted 07-08-2007 05:35 AM

Beautiful chest, Steve. And congrats for your first commissioned piece!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View TimNuey's profile


25 posts in 3956 days

#5 posted 07-08-2007 06:02 AM

I really love the syle of this piece and you did a great job! Its a beauty! If you don’t mind, where did you get your skills to pay the bills? I aim to be in a similar situation someday.

View mot's profile


4911 posts in 4001 days

#6 posted 07-08-2007 06:27 AM


-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View conner26753's profile


8 posts in 3965 days

#7 posted 07-08-2007 06:32 AM

GREAT JOB!!!!!!!!!!

-- ron,wv

View WayneC's profile


13753 posts in 4062 days

#8 posted 07-08-2007 06:36 AM

Wonderful chest. Looking forward to seeing some more posts.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Dorje's profile


1763 posts in 3961 days

#9 posted 07-08-2007 08:16 AM

This is really pretty. The gentle curves on the bottom stretchers, and the convex curve on the ends of the top frame, really do the trick! Also framing the figured maple within the cherry frames…very appealing. And the double mortises!

What methods did you use to cut the mortise and tenons?

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

View TheGravedigger's profile


963 posts in 3989 days

#10 posted 07-08-2007 11:40 AM

I’d love to see it in 10 years or so. It’s hard to beat the look of naturally aged cherry.

-- Robert - Visit my woodworking blog:

View Chris Davis's profile

Chris Davis

1558 posts in 3947 days

#11 posted 07-08-2007 01:09 PM

That is really nice. I’ll be looking for more items in the future.

-- Watch live video from our shop.!current-projects/c3c1

View BobR's profile


136 posts in 3949 days

#12 posted 07-08-2007 01:51 PM

Very nice. I really like it.

-- Bob

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4211 days

#13 posted 07-08-2007 04:30 PM

Nice chest, great use of woods. Nice design. I’m like Don, I like boxes too. jockmike

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View SteveV's profile


78 posts in 4064 days

#14 posted 07-08-2007 04:30 PM

All – Thanks for the kind remarks!! This is a great Web forum and I love looking at all of the projects here for inspiration.

Napaman – Yes but only the bottom is lined with cedar. Who would want to hide the maple sides inside? Actually you don’t need much cedar inside for it to do its job.

Timbers – I am completely self taught except for those high school wood shop classes 20 or so years ago. I just go out and do it … allot. Between reading FWW and all the Internet info out there I have really been able to improve my skills. Oh and decent tools go a long way!! I went out and bought a Grizzly 8in Jointer, band saw, and drill press last year.

Dorje – I struggled with making the tenons. I ended up cutting the shoulders on my table saw and the cheeks on my band saw. I was afraid to use my table saw tenon jig but realized later this would have saved considerable time. I cut the tenons slightly over sized in case I made a mistake. This was a huge mistake in its self since it took me many hours of trimming them to fit with sand paper. I with I had a shoulder plane.

View Karson's profile


35111 posts in 4365 days

#15 posted 07-17-2007 04:12 PM

Great Chest SteveV I like the outcome.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

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