trial cherry sewing chest

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Project by Bertha posted 07-25-2016 04:29 PM 676 views 1 time favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
trial cherry sewing chest
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I wanted to make a trial run for a large Shaker chest I’m planning. This is a 1/3 scale miniature to be used freestanding alongside a sewing table.

I through-dovetailed the 3/4” carcass, cut the 1/4” dados with a dado stack, and the sliding dovetail on the jig.

I used a dovetail jig to make the sliding dovetails for the drawer dividers. I won’t have this luxury on the full sized edition.

I decided to capture the dust panels in rails and stiles. The sliding dovetail is incorporated into the front of the divider, rather than a glue-on. There was no secondary wood, so there was no reason to apply one.

I hand-cut all the drawer dovetails using a pull saw and W. Butcher chisels. I started with a very thin kerf saw but had trouble tracking it. I think the spine was messing with my vision. I switched to a thicker cut Dozuki and was better able to keep it to the strikes. Fronts are half blind, backs are through. Front is 3/4 and rest is 1/2.

I used inverted raised panels for the drawer bottoms. Yes, it’s very heavy.

Here’s a peacock.

Starting to put the case together. I’ll glue the carcass/dividers and brad the back. That’s it.

Shiplapped 1/4” back.

View of the case with dust panels installed.

Time to turn some knobs. Just pegs, no hardware.

assembled. Finish is sanded (I know) 160 to 220 to 320; penetrating coat of Tung oil, wetsanded with tung oil at 400; one more coat of Tung; and burnished Briwax using a burnisher I bought on Etsy.

Out in the wild.

And at home.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

11 comments so far

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

16810 posts in 2528 days

#1 posted 07-25-2016 04:35 PM

Nice chest. You are the dovetail king today!!


-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View AnthonyReed's profile


8595 posts in 1863 days

#2 posted 07-25-2016 04:50 PM

Steak is cool; I have no practical knowledge of wood working but the drawer holder looks pretty.

-- ~Tony

View terryR's profile


6230 posts in 1731 days

#3 posted 07-25-2016 04:57 PM

Beautifully done.
cannot see a single miter joint, or pocket screw.
raised panels for drawer bottoms? damn.
nice peacock.

-- tr ...see one, do one, teach one...

View Grandpa's profile


3256 posts in 2098 days

#4 posted 07-25-2016 07:01 PM

good looking chest. I can hardly wait to see the full scale model.

View ShaneA's profile (online now)


6424 posts in 2021 days

#5 posted 07-25-2016 07:53 PM

Al just hit and ran a project. Looks good

View chrisstef's profile (online now)


15479 posts in 2429 days

#6 posted 07-25-2016 08:41 PM

and a peacock ….. and female (I hope) legs in the photo.

Nice mini cabinet bro.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View lysdexic's profile


5078 posts in 2045 days

#7 posted 07-25-2016 09:15 PM

-- I love Jeeps

View helluvawreck's profile


22697 posts in 2289 days

#8 posted 07-25-2016 09:35 PM

Bertha, you have done a beautiful job on this wonderful cabinet. Nice work.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View Roger's profile


19714 posts in 2226 days

#9 posted 07-26-2016 11:59 AM

Nice cabinet and super nice dovetails

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View dbray45's profile


3147 posts in 2199 days

#10 posted 07-31-2016 02:27 PM

Great job Al, nice piece of work

-- David in Damascus, MD

View Blackie_'s profile


4527 posts in 1935 days

#11 posted 08-08-2016 12:44 PM

Very nice Bertha.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

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