Granddaughter's Chest

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Project by kewald posted 1817 days ago 2124 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 2011 days

#1 posted 1817 days ago

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


224 posts in 2075 days

#2 posted 1817 days ago

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

View Paul's profile (online now)


341 posts in 2187 days

#3 posted 1817 days ago

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

-- If you say 'It's good enough', it probably isn't.

View majeagle1's profile


1416 posts in 2094 days

#4 posted 1817 days ago

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 1833 days

#5 posted 1817 days ago

Very nice

View Loucarb's profile


2388 posts in 2043 days

#6 posted 1817 days ago

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

View a1Jim's profile


111999 posts in 2175 days

#7 posted 1817 days ago

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

-- Custom furniture

View bigbuddha's profile


158 posts in 1818 days

#8 posted 1817 days ago

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 1870 days

#9 posted 1817 days ago

Thats a beauty of chest. Looks great!

-- Ben Kahmann Dayton, OH

View FRB's profile


13 posts in 1824 days

#10 posted 1817 days ago

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 2179 days

#11 posted 1816 days ago

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


2885 posts in 2192 days

#12 posted 1816 days ago

Excellent job

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

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 2372 days

#13 posted 1816 days ago

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

1578 posts in 1850 days

#14 posted 1816 days ago

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 2844 days

#15 posted 1815 days ago

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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