My Hardest One Yet

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Project by Nate Meadows posted 05-04-2016 01:46 PM 1160 views 1 time favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch

When I say this is the hardest one yet, I don’t mean that this was the hardest project that I have completed or ever worked on. I mean it was the hardest to post. I will explain.

First let me say, I am sorry I do not have the best pictures!

This is pine plank trunk that was built by my grandfather, my mothers father. My mom gave it to me and I decided to give it to my oldest niece as a Hope Chest. I wanted to make it hers so I inlaid her initial J out of Ebony with Mother of Pearl heart shaped accents and a Brazilian Agate Heart point. The Chest was already very distressed so I wanted to Initial to look like it was originally part of it. I still need to work on the finish but matching the distressing when well.

I was actually working on this project, routing out the heart cavities when I found out my mother was hit and killed just down the road from our house. I had turned off the dremel and checked my phone to see if she had texted again. She had asked me to come help get the groceries out of the car as we were all getting together for family dinner. Her text was way late. So I called her house, my niece said she wasn’t home and that no one could get ahold of her. I thought that very, very odd. It wasn’t until I looked out of my window and saw the long line of cars on the highway being held up my the CHP that I really started to worry.

Long story short, it was my mom and the chest sat for several months. I didn’t want to finish it at all but I knew that since it was made by grandpa and belonged to mom it would mean a lot to my niece.

I think it took me so long to post it because I was still figuring things out. Perhaps on some level I thought if I posted it it was like a period at the end of a sentence, a finality to the hope affair? I know mom is with Jesus in heaven but it still hurt. It definitely gets better with time.

Thanks for your patience.

I want to really thank Dave Jeske at Blue Spruce Tool Works. He makes some of the finest tools out there. His detail chisels really helped me get this job done.

-- "With a little bit of faith, and some imagination, you can build anything!" Nate

23 comments so far

View shipwright's profile


7080 posts in 2216 days

#1 posted 05-04-2016 02:23 PM

First of all, my deepest condolences on the loss of your Mother. I wish I could say something that would help.

Secondly, that is a really nice inlay of a very tricky patten with a very difficult and brittle wood…...... Well done!
I am sure it will have special significance to your niece, not only because of the parts played by your grandfather and your mother, but particularly because of this personalization by her uncle. This really is a family heirloom.

It is good to see you back on the forum Nate.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

View lew's profile (online now)


11263 posts in 3173 days

#2 posted 05-04-2016 02:42 PM

I think your Mom guided your hands and is smiling at the results, Brother.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View robscastle's profile


3293 posts in 1622 days

#3 posted 05-04-2016 02:46 PM

Nice work Nate, and yep thats a tough post for sure!

-- Regards Robert

View GrandpaLen's profile


1643 posts in 1690 days

#4 posted 05-04-2016 02:46 PM


This little chest is filled with pride, happiness and sorrow as it comes to you for the next chapter, one of dignity and compassion.
You are the giver of all things great in your family and it rests in the hands of one who is the glue that binds and protects the American family way.

My life is enriched by knowing of you and of your strength, and helps put my life’s struggles into perspective.

Best regards. – Len

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View swirt's profile


2106 posts in 2390 days

#5 posted 05-04-2016 02:53 PM

Sorry for your loss.

I know what it is like to get stalled on a piece that is so closely tied to one’s heart. You did great work on this piece. Your niece will love the work you put into it…. and will appreciate the struggle that stalled you.

-- Galootish log blog,

View eddie's profile (online now)


8341 posts in 2032 days

#6 posted 05-04-2016 02:53 PM

so very sorry for your loss Nate,you will see her again one day ,but the pain is still the same , beautiful build too, great to see ya back,in my prays my friend

-- Jesus Is Alright with me

View oldnovice's profile


5648 posts in 2786 days

#7 posted 05-04-2016 05:06 PM

Nate, I am deeply sorry for your loss of your mother!
But it is good to see your project and, regardless of the circumstances during the effort, will indeed be loved by your niece.

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View Dark_Lightning's profile


2619 posts in 2527 days

#8 posted 05-04-2016 05:10 PM

Sorry to hear about your mother.

Nice inlay work. That chest will special to your niece.

-- Random Orbital Nailer

View grizzman's profile


7780 posts in 2721 days

#9 posted 05-04-2016 06:34 PM

ive thought of you many times, hoping you were doing ok, i do remember what happened to your mom, i feel when it comes to our mothers, time does help, but as you know, that love and connection is Eternal, the same with our fathers and our family members, im glad to hear from you, i was afraid you had fallen into one of your trenches and gotten all tied up into your power lines, but your safe….:), take care nate, i still hope to see that floor of yous before i die…

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View ColonelTravis's profile


1154 posts in 1312 days

#10 posted 05-04-2016 06:54 PM

Nate, God bless.

View JoeinGa's profile


7360 posts in 1425 days

#11 posted 05-04-2016 09:41 PM

My condolences and prayers to you and yours on the loss of your Mother.

No doubt your niece will cherish the box, and I’m pretty certain it will be handed down to future generations.

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View gsimon's profile


1150 posts in 1531 days

#12 posted 05-04-2016 10:12 PM

nice addition to the chest and filled with lots of love
a very meaningful gift

-- Greg Simon

View popsshop's profile


42 posts in 2393 days

#13 posted 05-04-2016 10:56 PM

Hello Nate, Glad to see you’re back sharing your life with others. No words can make up for the loss of a loved one, but time DOES help. Your family and extended family will provide the love and support for each other that we all need at certain times in life. Good that you’re back in the shop, as woodworking has a way of soothing the spirit.
God bless!

-- Drilling holes in wood is a boring job

View DocSavage45's profile


7645 posts in 2260 days

#14 posted 05-05-2016 02:42 AM


I was also thinking about you few days ago while looking at the Buddies list. Wow! Pretty devistating. My heart goes out to you.

Nice project to honor the family.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View a1Jim's profile


115171 posts in 2995 days

#15 posted 05-05-2016 03:14 AM

Nate I’m so very sorry for your loss,having a spiritual base helps us work through such terrible times ,I’m sure working on this family made chest was a very special project for you,you did an outstanding job. I know God’s love surrounds you and your family at this most challenging time.
God bless

-- Custom furniture

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