A Pair Of Christmas Hope Chests

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Project by HeirloomWoodworking posted 01-04-2010 04:27 AM 5373 views 14 times favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch

These Hope Chests were this years Christmas presents to the most important and wonderful people in my life, my teenage daughters. Ages 16 and 13 these ladies are the gleam in their proud father’s eye and are full of life, promise, love and hope for the future.

The idea for this project(s) came from a post several months ago by fellow Lumberjock Rouge. His beautiful pair of hope chests planted a seed in my to-do-list.
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Upon viewing his project, I decided right then, that I had to make my daughters each a special and unique hope chest. One that they could treasure for the rest of their lives, and hopefully pass on to their own children.

I have been watching and researching other Lumberjock’s hope chests for the past year. Borrowing elements from many of them, I created my own mental plans for what I hoped to create. As I have said on several of my other projects, I really only had a mental image of the project, never put anything down on paper. When it came time to start the construction of my dream, I just gathered some wood and started engineering and problem solving on the fly. Lumberjocks has without a doubt become my biggest resource for inspiration, and creation ideas!!! Thank You to all of you!

In my corner of the vast treeless prairie, a source for a variety of hardwoods is hard to come by. The local yards have mostly Red Oak, and only a sparse sprinkling of other well picked-over odds and ends of species. I purchased the oak from the local yards and then drove 3 ½ hours to the eastern part of Nebraska to purchase the aromatic cedar from a mill I located there.

Then through a Lumberjock posting I found a much closer mill near the central Nebraska town of Litchfield, Native Lumber & Sawmill. A recent trip to visit owner Rastus Snow, has provided me with some great wood treasures. If you are in need of some nice lumber, I suggest you visit his website and contact Rastus. I absolutely love the walnut that I purchased from him for these projects.

Using multiple construction styles (rail and style, mortise and tenon, etc), these chest are built to withstand years of use and love. For strength the front, back and sides are mortised a full inch into the corner posts. The floating cedar floor of the main chest is tongue and grooved together and fully dadoed into all four sides of the chest.

The glue up for the lids involved the use of a locking router bit cut, and breadboarding the ends.

I opted to use full extension roller bearing glides for the dovetailed drawers, along with recessed wood pulls and aromatic cedar bottoms.

Locks and brass escutcheon plates have been installed on the lid and drawers.

After a seemingly endless amount of detail sanding, the chests have been finished with 2 drenchings of natural Danish oil, 3 coats of General Finishes Arm-R-Seal Gloss, and 5 coats of Arm-R-Seal Semi-gloss. The finish is extremely durable, and really shows off the beautiful grain of the wood.

According to the online resource Wikipedia, the ancient Chinese philosophy of Yin and Yang is often “used to describe how seemingly disjunct or opposing forces are interconnected and interdependent in the natural world, giving rise to each other in turn……”Yin yang are complementary opposites within a greater whole”

This concept is strongly embodied in these Hope Chests. While identical, they are both quite different. Not surprisingly, so are their new owners. Opposites in nearly every way, they are both so very similar.

Thanks for letting me share some of my most prized creations.


-- Trevor Premer Head Termite and Servant to the Queen - Heirloom Woodworking

22 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117090 posts in 3573 days

#1 posted 01-04-2010 04:31 AM

From Heirloom guy to another
Fantastic chests they look great wonderful build.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View woodcrafter47's profile


352 posts in 3101 days

#2 posted 01-04-2010 04:37 AM

Great looking chests ,Great job, looks like a couple of proud daughters of what their dad built for them.

-- In His service ,Richard

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18268 posts in 3672 days

#3 posted 01-04-2010 04:38 AM

Looks fantastic from here!! I’m sure they wil be past on.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View papaj's profile


25 posts in 3081 days

#4 posted 01-04-2010 04:40 AM

Those chests are awesome. I am sure they will be treasured by your daughters and future granddaughters!

I think the yin yang concept is very well carried out.
Congratulations on a very fine build.

-- papaj, Oregon

View mysticcarver's profile


52 posts in 3062 days

#5 posted 01-04-2010 04:43 AM

Beautiful work!!! I love them!!

-- J.Palmer,Texas,

View Bigdogs117's profile


1864 posts in 3617 days

#6 posted 01-04-2010 04:53 AM

Very Nice. I like the wood selection. These will last for generations to come.

-- Rusty

View kosta's profile


946 posts in 3350 days

#7 posted 01-04-2010 05:11 AM

looks good

View Monty Queen's profile

Monty Queen

1593 posts in 3248 days

#8 posted 01-04-2010 05:11 AM

Wow, Wow, Wow, i am in love with those hope chest. They are both wonderful, I love raised panels and the contrast of the two woods with the ying and yang concept is awesome.

-- Monty Q, Columbia, South Carolina.

View panther's profile


59 posts in 3239 days

#9 posted 01-04-2010 05:22 AM

the hope chests are beyond outstanding they are truely amazing

-- you must live for something or die for nothing (rambo)

View Woodwrecker's profile


4148 posts in 3571 days

#10 posted 01-04-2010 05:39 AM

For a simple man, with simple tools in a simple shop, you kick out some pretty nice pieces.
I have to assume the the Queen and her court must be very pleased by the head Termite!
Nice Work!

-- Eric, central Florida / Utor praemia operibus duris

View Gary's profile


9331 posts in 3429 days

#11 posted 01-04-2010 05:45 AM

Proud papa has done his daughters proud. Beautiful work.

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View shopmania's profile


701 posts in 3178 days

#12 posted 01-04-2010 05:56 AM

These are AMAZING!!! I love the contrasting wood, and the finish is really eye popping! My sister in law wants my brother and I to make some of these for wedding gifts for later this next yeat. This really gives me inspiration. Thanks for sharing.

-- Tim, Myrtle Beach, Just one more tool, that's all I need! :)

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3299 days

#13 posted 01-04-2010 06:33 AM

i am so in awe of these chests, you did a great job and i bet they were so fun to build…your daughters will love these forever…cus dad built them ..i love the contrast of woods a big fan of that…so many woods out there…but my favorites are walnut and cedar,,i was lucky enough to get some cedar from some very old trees that came down in a storm a few years back..there 12 inches wide and 13 feet long…and there solid rot…in fact if you look in my gallery you will see the wood i used for my wifes jewlery chest..thanks for sharing these…i think i know what im going to do with mine now…i have to daughter;s in law…time to pass this on to them in the form of a chest…thanks…grizzman

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

View BlankMan's profile


1490 posts in 3349 days

#14 posted 01-04-2010 06:53 AM

Really nice, I like how you made a matched set but reversed the colors.

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

View woodworm's profile


14468 posts in 3586 days

#15 posted 01-04-2010 03:17 PM

Very beautiful!

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

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