Barnwood Hope Chest

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Project by Caradec posted 05-05-2011 04:53 PM 4327 views 3 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Pulled some wood from a nearby barn and had a friend ask to make a Hope/Blanket Chest for them. So I figured “Why not?”

Now till this I have had zero experience building furniture, the only woodworking experience I have is from construction. And I only have a few tools. A table saw, a chop saw, drill, a couple routers, and a few other basic tools.

But I figured building the chest would be some good experience and I let the one who asked know that it wouldn’t be anything exceptional due lack of know how and proper tools.

So I spent a week building it. Chose the best wood I had, most was real 1” thick oak, and most all of it has nail holes and is weathered. I cut the boards down six inch wide planks, and squared them up, they were quite warped, used a block plane quite a bit. Sanded each board by hand (my air compressor decided to give up the ghost a few days previous) using 80 then 120 grit paper. Then slapped it all together. Used regular wood screws, I have never tried using dove tails to fit anything together and don’t have the means to try really, so I used those inside corner pieces o hold it all together. Also used right angle brackets as are in the pictures for added support.

It is 36”long, 24” tall and wide, the lid is another 4” for a total height of 28” and trim is 1/8” thick. Made the whole thing a lot bigger than I had intended. Almost all of it is Oak, the inside corner pieces are pine, and I’m really not sure what the trim is, it’s a lot harder than pine, thought it might be ash, but am not sure.

The lid looks goofy with those inside strips, they aren’t even, but I used alternating 6” and 4” planks and used the strips inside to cover any mistakes.

All in all it fit together rather well, the lid fit perfectly, and everyone I know who saw it said it looked nice. Learned a bit, made a lot of mistakes and a few are evident in the pics, but it was good practice and the one who asked me for it got it for free. It isn’t anything special or amazing like I see tons of other projects on this site, but it’s a start and I hope to improve as time goes on.

I apologize for the pics being a bit blurry, took them with my phone.

4 comments so far

View DocWithManyHats's profile


61 posts in 2604 days

#1 posted 05-05-2011 05:34 PM

That looks really solid and is a great trunk, first piece or not. Did you use any sort of finish on it? I bet even a little tung oil will really make the oak come to life.

View Elder's profile


8 posts in 2577 days

#2 posted 05-05-2011 05:39 PM

Nice work, I am going to build my son one of these and I have a neighbor who is taking down an old fence. I may ask him if I can reclaim some of that lumber to use for the project…looks great!

View Caradec's profile


5 posts in 2775 days

#3 posted 05-06-2011 04:44 AM

Thank you, and yeah, it was really solid. Nope, no finish I left that to the person I gave it to, they said they wanted to paint it, I didn’t agree and told them to put linseed oil on it, but it’s up to them now.

Thank you. Yeah I’d ask him for some of that lumber, I personally like the look of old weathered wood, gives the wood character.

View k9rott's profile


2 posts in 2268 days

#4 posted 03-08-2012 06:06 AM

Looks great! Now I have an idea what to do with the leftover barnwood from fixing my barn doors!

-- ~Matt

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