Croatian traditional ''hope'' chest

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Project by majuvla posted 06-02-2017 10:58 AM 1327 views 8 times favorited 33 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I know someone will curse me for what I’ve done to cca 100 years old chest which belong to my grand/grand parents, but it stood last 40 years in some dark shed without any use and purpose due it large size (120×65x85cm).
I wanted to give it new life and purpose in modern interior decoration, so I dismanteled old chest completely, downsized all boards (lenght and width) and put them thru tickness planner. Now it’s cca 80×40x60 cm. I recreated all edges, joinery and other markings to keep it’s original look and to give tribute to old craftmanship – old chest was handmade, my work is all ’’electric’’.
I renew the lock also. There is no nails and screws – except at lock fixing – only oak boards, dovels and glue.
Finish is three layers of wood oil. I will proudly keep it in my living room and keep some clothing inside or whatever.
For the first time in my projects I burned my name and the year on the outside bottom, also stated that it’s made from 100 years old chest – just for future generations to know.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

33 comments so far

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

2289 posts in 578 days

#1 posted 06-02-2017 11:05 AM

Good job, Ivan. Personally, I would refinished the original chest, but your makeover looks great!

-- Ron in Lilburn, Georgia.  Knowing how to use a tool is more important than the tool in and of itself.

View hairy's profile


2624 posts in 3463 days

#2 posted 06-02-2017 11:40 AM

That’s a good looking box, good for another 100 years at least.

-- My reality check bounced...

View EricTwice's profile


230 posts in 464 days

#3 posted 06-02-2017 11:53 AM

Beautiful work. My wife likes it also.

I have modified many antiques over the years. The bottom line is, It has to work for you. To me it is better the way it is now, useful and loved, than wasting away in a shed.

-- nice recovery, They should pay extra for that mistake, Eric E.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

20167 posts in 3036 days

#4 posted 06-02-2017 12:01 PM

Good llking chest, Ivan! You gave it new life and it is beautiful!!

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

View rockmolsen's profile


251 posts in 1504 days

#5 posted 06-02-2017 12:14 PM

Nice Ivan, that’s a great re-purpose! I also like what looks to be quarter sawn oak. Just curious on the process of taking it apart? I take it was mechanical fasteners and no glue?

-- Rick --------The measure of who we are is what we do with what we have.

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

7789 posts in 2259 days

#6 posted 06-02-2017 12:16 PM

Great looking chest. Nice to see another cultures unique design elements.

The lock set is especially cool. Hard to find that type of wrought iron hardware in the states.

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

View BB1's profile


1054 posts in 779 days

#7 posted 06-02-2017 01:08 PM

Very nice design. Looks great!

View doubleDD's profile


7214 posts in 1974 days

#8 posted 06-02-2017 01:27 PM

That’s the way to keep the heritage around. Very nice job.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View pottz's profile


2597 posts in 915 days

#9 posted 06-02-2017 01:40 PM

you did what i would do ivan bring it back to life,it served np purpose rotting in some shed unseen all those did a great job maintaining its integrity so it can be used another 100 years,very nice job.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

View woodcox's profile


2014 posts in 1942 days

#10 posted 06-02-2017 02:04 PM

Great project, Ivan and a nice addition to your home.

-- "My god has more wood than your god" ... G. Carlin.

View GR8HUNTER's profile


3412 posts in 643 days

#11 posted 06-02-2017 02:04 PM

VERY beautiful Ivan …..and I would NEVER cuz at you ….you took an unseen piece of CR@P ….and turned it into a wonderful heirloom …GREAT JOB :<))


View swirt's profile


2604 posts in 2902 days

#12 posted 06-02-2017 02:10 PM

Ivan that looks great. Thanks for the great photos showing all the joinery details. I’d like to use some of them in the future. Great job bringing it back to life and use.

-- Galootish log blog,

View helluvawreck's profile


30470 posts in 2797 days

#13 posted 06-02-2017 02:15 PM

Ivan, you did a very nice job on this hope chest. It looks great.

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 GerardoArg1's profile


967 posts in 1924 days

#14 posted 06-02-2017 02:22 PM

Awesome. Nice design, nice colour, and excelent job. Handtools and more is a great idea for that antique. Congratularion for all. Wich lumber is?

-- Disfruta tu trabajo (enjoy your work) (Bandera, Argentina)

View frankie voyles's profile

frankie voyles

80 posts in 787 days

#15 posted 06-02-2017 02:26 PM

keep up the awesome work!

-- frankie v

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