Granddaughter's Chest

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Project by kewald posted 08-02-2009 08:15 PM 2714 views 8 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This cedar chest started out as a hope chest. In the meantime, my grandaughter got married, so hope turned to cedar!

The contrasting woods as well as the contrast between the heartwood and sapwood of the Hickory give this chest sort of a Yin Yang feel. Note how the Hickory Grain on the underside of the lid resembles a landscape with a lake in the center and the sky at top.

The frame and tray sides are Walnut and the panels are Hickory. Tray and chest bottoms are plywood. Interior of the chest is lined with unfinished aromatic cedar. The bottom liner is tacked in place with short 23ga. pins. The bottom holds the base of the side liner in place while the top is held by a rabbet in the tray ledgers.

Joinery of the carcase frame is hand cut mortise and tenon. The leg stiles are beveled and splined with a decorative strip on the outside of the corner. The tray joinery is hand cut dovetails. The chest hand rails are formed by using an 8 sided birds mouth router bit. The top half of each hand rail is made from a single board so the grain flows across the profile. Didn’t have any boards wide enough to do the entire rail from one piece but they turned out well anyway.

Note the curved front edge of the chest top panel. That required some experimenting to come up with a fence/hold down system on the router table. The panel raising routerbit used was a Freud that has integral back cutters. Worked really well as long as I took several light passes. Hickory splinters very badly – worse than Red Oak.

The family crest on the underside of the lid is carved in leather. The leather is glued to a piece of 1/8 harboard and that assembly is attached to the panel with a rare earth magnet.

Finished with multiple coats of Deft brush on satin lacquer, wiped on. Followed by rubbing out with 0000 steel wool and Briwax beeswax, then a few coats of Briwax bee/caranuba wax.

The hinges are from Rockler and are torsion hinges that hold the lid at any angle.

As always, your comments and critique are welcome.

-- Always do the Right Thing the Right Way the First Time - if you can figure out what that is! Ken, Spring Branch, TX

18 comments so far

View Innovator's profile


3584 posts in 3413 days

#1 posted 08-02-2009 08:31 PM

What a beautiful chest, I am sure she will love it.

-- Whether You Think You Can or You Think You Can't, YOU ARE RIGHT!!!

View Built2Last's profile


234 posts in 3477 days

#2 posted 08-02-2009 09:00 PM

Looks like a masterpiece!!
definitly a family heirloom that should be around for many generations
well done

View Albert's profile


509 posts in 3589 days

#3 posted 08-02-2009 09:00 PM

This is great, I will favorite it for a project for my Granddaughter. Thanks for sharing.

View majeagle1's profile


1426 posts in 3496 days

#4 posted 08-02-2009 09:27 PM

Wow. this is truly a beautiful piece of work!!!!
I love the design, details and the wood combination.
I am sure your daughter will just adore this and treasure it for the rest of her life!!!

Gives me inspiration…......... I need to do this for my own daughter….......

Thanks for sharing

-- Gene, Majestic Eagle Woodworks,,

View c1ro3m's profile


12 posts in 3235 days

#5 posted 08-02-2009 11:11 PM

Very nice

View Loucarb's profile


2388 posts in 3445 days

#6 posted 08-03-2009 12:25 AM

That is quite a chest. Great craftsmanship and beautiful design.

View a1Jim's profile (online now)


117091 posts in 3577 days

#7 posted 08-03-2009 12:28 AM

Wow kewald
This is one amazing chest wonderful ,great build and oustanding woods

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View bigbuddha's profile


192 posts in 3220 days

#8 posted 08-03-2009 01:15 AM

That is a beautiful piece!! The curves on the sides and lid are such a delicate touch it adds a great balance to the overall chest!!

-- helen

View Ben Kahmann's profile

Ben Kahmann

231 posts in 3272 days

#9 posted 08-03-2009 02:44 AM

Thats a beauty of chest. Looks great!

-- Ben Kahmann Dayton, OH

View FRB's profile


13 posts in 3226 days

#10 posted 08-03-2009 06:33 AM

Such a nice chest, the design, the craftsmanship and the creation of a piece that will become an heirloom in your granddaughters life.

P:S like the handles on your twin screw vice.

View kewald's profile


127 posts in 3581 days

#11 posted 08-03-2009 05:28 PM

Thanks for all your kind comments.

FRB, the twin screw vice is a Veritas, so the handles came with it.

-- Always do the Right Thing the Right Way the First Time - if you can figure out what that is! Ken, Spring Branch, TX

View mcoyfrog's profile


4145 posts in 3594 days

#12 posted 08-03-2009 05:50 PM

Excellent job

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

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 3774 days

#13 posted 08-04-2009 05:33 AM

Beautiful chest and great job! I am sure your granddaughter was pleased. Thanks for posting.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View Monty Queen's profile

Monty Queen

1593 posts in 3252 days

#14 posted 08-04-2009 07:40 AM

Outstanding job it is beautifull. I am almost done with a hope chest i was making for my wife, and i was planing to put it on Lumber jocks but when i seen yours i am afraid to show mine. Again great job.

-- Monty Q, Columbia, South Carolina.

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4246 days

#15 posted 08-04-2009 06:27 PM

Makes the hope chest I made my daughter look pretty trashy. LOL Very Beautifully made. Love the wood combinations, I made mine of purple heart and cherry, w/ the same lining. I really like the end rolls you made. Great all round build.

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

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