Audacity of Hope Chest

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Project by Jesse posted 02-15-2011 06:57 AM 2578 views 8 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Audacity : the quality or state of being audacious: as a : intrepid boldness b : bold or arrogant disregard of normal restraints

First off, thank you for taking a look at my work and I hope you will leave a comment. I’m very proud of this project because of what i alluded to in the title. This was a very intrepid project for me and I feel I did face the fear of MY normal restraints when taking this project on. I really look at this project as my first ‘milestone’ project in wood working. This was a huge undertaking for me considering my largest project to date has been my clock:P I’m proud to say that I finished this project just an hour ago to fulfill my promise to have this chest done for my daughter’s valentine’s day gift! (11pm)

This chest is solid maple and walnut, the only plywood material used was for the drawer bottoms and drawer carcass top/bottom and nearly every board used was either recycled or rough lumber to start. The sides of the chest are hand-cut dovetails ( my first dovetails of any type I ever attempted). For the beginners like me out there, I don’t recommend doing your first set on hard maple:P Each end took me about 1.5 hours to cut and chisel with the walnut being MUCH easier to work with.

The drawers are cut to fit exactly in the drawer carcass without using slides or mounting bars. I love how the false fronts turned out and the drawer box itself is solid oak that was recycled from a tabletop my dad gave me. The drawer carcass’ top and bottom molding is actually recycled maple hardwood flooring.

The kick board design was my own modification that I cut out with a jig saw ( poorly). However, my dad taught me that being able to hide my mistakes and adjust my designs to them is a mark that I’m getting better:P You can’t tell the poor quality from a normal vantage point so I’m happy with it.

I started to run out of lumber by the time I got to the lid and did a lot of hand planing after jointing the boards. The curly maple didn’t plane well so it is what it is. At least I made an honest effort with the jack plane.

The inside bottom is lined with cedar closet lining. Piano hinge and a lid support to prevent slamming round the project off.

I’m so proud that I was able to make my vision a reality. I didn’t have enough of either wood species to make the whole chest with and the interplay of the woods I think turned out well. I am really happy the bark-wood showing through the maple on the sides added to it’s look ( at least in my opinion).

I know this isn’t pro quality yet, but I envisioned this would be my journeyman test and I hope that I did well. There are certainly plenty of things that aren’t great, but I think this chest will last till the Rapture and the overall look and build are pleasing.

11 comments so far

View jerryo's profile


135 posts in 2926 days

#1 posted 02-15-2011 07:26 AM

Jesse, You should be proud of your chest, it looks great to me. I only hope my first dovetails come out as good as yours, they look great. I love the combo of maple and walnut. Jerry O

View auggy53's profile


159 posts in 2643 days

#2 posted 02-15-2011 07:57 AM

ive been telling myself i need to make one of these for my grand daughter thats 13 but im not sure im clever enough to get it done . maybe after a few smaller projects . i like the style and the look and im sure your daughter will just love it!

-- rick

View dpwalker's profile


273 posts in 2795 days

#3 posted 02-15-2011 07:59 AM

This is a nice looking chest! Job well done. I’m sure your daughter is thrilled with it.

-- You have not really lived until you do something for someone who can never repay you.

View steliart's profile


2595 posts in 2651 days

#4 posted 02-15-2011 11:36 AM

Dovetailed with drawers, nice wood, nice work… what more?
Great project

-- Stelios L.A. Stavrinides: - I am not so rich to buy cheap tools, but... necessity is the mother of inventions

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 3200 days

#5 posted 02-15-2011 01:28 PM

One of my most treasured possessions is a cedar chest my Grandfather had made for my Mother when she was 15. The lumber came from trees on his farm. I’m sure your daughter loves her chest and so will her child someday. Go to a trophy store and have them engrave a brass card with your name, the date of construction and who the chest was built for and screw it to the chest.

-- Hal, Tennessee

View CiscoKid's profile


343 posts in 2837 days

#6 posted 02-15-2011 02:55 PM

Very nice. Your daughter will be thrilled.

-- Al, Culpeper VA

View Maveric777's profile


2693 posts in 3040 days

#7 posted 02-15-2011 03:30 PM

As you should be very proud Jesse! Not only did you overcome fears, doubts, the unknown….. But you built a beautiful family heirloom as well. I am no fortune teller, but seeing this as a treasured piece from here on out is a pretty easy call.

Well done and I am proud for you….

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4182 days

#8 posted 02-15-2011 05:23 PM

That’s the wonderful thing about woodworking…. having a vision, and bringing it to life. Congratulations on a great project!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View RomDodd's profile


27 posts in 3218 days

#9 posted 02-15-2011 07:34 PM

You should be proud! Great lines, really looks nice.

-- Romney

View WoodSpanker's profile


519 posts in 3355 days

#10 posted 02-15-2011 10:50 PM

Dude, that is really amazing! You should be proud of yourself. Totally Awesome job1 The play of colors is simply lovely. :)

-- Adventure? Heh! Excitement? Heh! A Woodworker craves not these things!

View BigAL4160's profile


8 posts in 1626 days

#11 posted 09-05-2014 09:19 PM

Audacity of Hope – that would be a catchy book title! Great job on the chest, I really like the scalloped feet.

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