|Project by JeremyT||posted 02-06-2016 05:45 PM||597 views||0 times favorited||6 comments|
I started this project before my daughter was born and now at 11 months I am finally finished.
Working in short bursts I think I spent as much time dragging equipment out and putting it away as I did shaping the wood. This is by far my most involved project to date and I learned a ton about woodworking and wood movement in the process. I can attest that hickory is hard on jointer / planer knives and chisels.
The 4 side panels were made with a Freud ogee raised panel set. The lower rails were made extra wide for the final embellishments which were created with a jig saw and finished with a spindle sander and hand files. The legs were rough cut on the band saw and shaped with rasps, files, and hand sanding. Panels are joined to the legs with 4 dominoes on each side for a total of 32. The box floor is solid hickory set in a groove in the lower rails and reinforced with a single domino in the center of each end to accommodate outward expansion / contraction. After making the lid it set on my bench top for awhile and I noticed substantial cupping that seemed to change direction every few days.
I decided to reinforce with slats elongating the outer screw holes for movement. I shaped the lid to mimic the overall shape of the box with protruding legs but it still needed something. I opted for the triple heart inlay each signifying a family member. The hearts are made from mahogany, sapele, and cherry. Joining the lid to the box turned out to be the most difficult part of the project. Because the legs protrude I had to locate hinges that would allow the lid to overhang and rotate beyond the legs so the lid could open. I found the solution in face-mounted euro-style cabinet hinges and used 5 for the 14lb. lid. Then came the task of lid supports. I really wanted a soft-close feature since this is a toy chest for my baby girl. Hours of Internet searching revealed that my lid is too heavy for most options available. Also, because the European hinges are offset backwards to cover the tops of the legs the geometry of most options just will not work. Finally I found Hafele online and took one last stab at it with their Maxi Lid Stays. I was not able to utilize the soft close attachment because the mounting location conflicted with the rail / panel junction; but the lid stays work great and are strong enough that the soft close feature will not be missed.
The finish is General Finishes gel stain with four coats of water-based poly.
-- Jeremy - San Antonio, TX