My Daughters Hope Chest

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Project by JohnMason posted 09-03-2010 07:46 PM 1962 views 0 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My wife and I decided that I should make something for our first daughter. I had never done a wood project of my own before, so it was to be my first. I decided to make a hope chect for her…Man, what a job! The floating panels made it much more difficult, but I am happy with how it turned out. The chest of mostly figured rift sawn white oak, aeromatic cedar in the false bottom (she wanted a false bottom so we could put letters every birthday and pictures throughout the years), yellow cedar on the inside, paduk as an accent on the top as well as under the lid. The panels are actually made of some really compressed old fir…in person, the wood just jumps out at you, very unique. I met a guy who had a whole sling of it in his loft and bought 2 10ft 2×8 for 40 bucks. Veneered it, and still have tons left. Went with a nicer hinge on the inside. HOURs and Hours were spent sanding the faces…started with 100 then 150, then 180, then 220, then 400 grit til the wood felt like glass. A couple coats of sanding sealer, then some poly and it was done. I entered it in our local fair and won best in class and grand prize, and was pretty happy about it. anyways, someone told me to post it here. We just had a second little girl, so another project is in the works!

15 comments so far

View woodbutcher's profile


592 posts in 4130 days

#1 posted 09-03-2010 08:08 PM

Looks like she is already hoping! Cute picture. Congratulations on all the accolades you recieved with your first ever project. Very impressive indeed. Those panels sure do have a lot of figure in them. I hope you have just as much success with your second chest. Keep on keeping on.

Ken McGinnis

-- woodbutcher north carolina

View 489tad's profile


3352 posts in 2976 days

#2 posted 09-03-2010 08:29 PM

I like the picture where she already has it filled up. Great job, the wood you picked looks very nice.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View Brandon's profile


4152 posts in 2916 days

#3 posted 09-03-2010 08:39 PM

Stunning! At first glance I thought it was a desk. ;-)

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View woodcrafter47's profile


352 posts in 3070 days

#4 posted 09-03-2010 08:48 PM

WOW factor,This is great,Great first time project for your daughter, She seems to be happy about it as all of her dolls in there. Thanks for posting.

-- In His service ,Richard

View Dennis Zongker's profile

Dennis Zongker

2724 posts in 3556 days

#5 posted 09-03-2010 10:54 PM

Very nice! You daughter doesn’t look to happy posing. I bet she is happy to put her stuff in their. Great Job.

-- Dennis Zongker

View JohnMason's profile


2 posts in 2787 days

#6 posted 09-04-2010 12:13 AM

She is pretty funny in that picture. She was sad because she thought I was taking pictures to sell it. So she was sad, but no, not selling it…lol. Yeah it turned out good, but I think the next one will be a simpler design, as this one was pretty in took 3 months to build. After work about 2-3 days per week. So, lots of time. anyways, thanks for the compliments!

View Greg9Strat's profile


5 posts in 2797 days

#7 posted 09-04-2010 12:42 AM

Great work – looks like it really turned out nice! Hope that’s an heirloom piece.

View Richard Alexander's profile

Richard Alexander

78 posts in 3045 days

#8 posted 09-04-2010 01:23 AM

Gorgeous. You mentioned that this is your first solo wood project. Do you have a planer, table saw, and jointer? I’ve been wanting to make a chest like but have been waiting until I have all the above tools. If not, I’m curious how it went without them.

-- Richard- Tulsa, Oklahoma

View OttoH's profile


891 posts in 2974 days

#9 posted 09-04-2010 01:32 AM

A great looking chest indeed, she will treasure it forever! The false bottom for notes and pictures is a great addition. Welcome to LumberJocks, the most addicting site on the web.

-- I am responsible for how I respond to everything in my life - - Deadwood SD

View tinnman65's profile


1356 posts in 3378 days

#10 posted 09-04-2010 01:35 AM

Nice work John, I wish my first project would have turned out so nice.

-- Paul--- Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. — Scott Adams

View MOJOE's profile


548 posts in 3233 days

#11 posted 09-04-2010 01:43 AM

I have only one question…...How did you get MY daughter to sit still while you took her picture. My goodness, I think we just found Ashlynn’s long lost twin!!! She just turned three, are it looks like your daughter and mine are dead ringers for each other….....all that aside, this chest looks awsome. The figure in the panels is outstanding, and the craftsmanship for a first project is top notch…....nice work, and I look forward to seeing what is put together for daughter number 2.

-- Measuring twice and cutting once only works if you read the tape correctly!

View Bradford's profile


1434 posts in 3787 days

#12 posted 09-04-2010 02:01 PM

Beautiful grain, good construction.

-- so much wood, so little time. Bradford. Wood-a-holics unanimous president

View helluvawreck's profile


30765 posts in 2831 days

#13 posted 09-04-2010 02:14 PM

Wow, John, that’s a great hope chest; I’ll bet she was thrilled with that.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Built2Last's profile


234 posts in 3442 days

#14 posted 09-04-2010 07:50 PM

The chest is beautiful. Congrats. The look on that beautiful little face looks likes she saying ” but dad, I wanted a dollhouse!!” Nice work.

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4211 days

#15 posted 09-05-2010 11:45 AM

It took me a year to build my daughters hope chest. So you did real good in three. It is a beautiful heirloom for your daughter, she won’t appreciate it until she’s older, but she’ll love you for it, a very smart LJ and Master of the Craft advised me to write something mushy on the bottom for my daughter, which I did. She’ll read it someday, and know it really came from your heart. God Bless, mike, that guy was Mark DeCou.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

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