|Project by Mark||posted 05-19-2011 02:47 AM||2555 views||2 times favorited||5 comments|
Whew! Just completed this cedar-lined blanket chest (hope chest) for our daughter, still in time for her birthday. Since she will soon graduate as a botanist, that seemed a fine justification to include some “exotic plants” (ie, hardwood species I’ve been wanting to try out) in the construction. Also we wanted this to be a joint project, and my wife enjoys upholstering, so designed the chest with upholstered panels and seat. The panels are held in place by the cedar lining, and the cedar lining is secured by jatoba moldings screwed through to the chest frame. As a result, the fabric can easily be changed in the future—because the recipient’s taste could change, or who knows, maybe it could end up a toy chest for a grandchild if one comes along?
Mainly I am thankful to have learned 3 things from this project:
Best lesson: when working with unfamiliar woods, always test out joinery, glues, and finishes before assembling and finishing the real thing. Just buy the small amount of extra wood and go through those steps first. See if that joint comes apart. See how that finish looks. I had some glued biscuit joints fail after final assembly, and it set me back, but fellow LJ’ers offered helpful advice and I recovered. So part of the lesson is, when you get in trouble, ask for help! Read about that if you want to: http://lumberjocks.com/topics/26657.
Second: when making a small box, sand and finish the interior before assembly (mask off box joint fingers so glue can still stick); sand and finish the exterior afterward.
Finally, I got a chance to increase my Google Sketchup skills, including application of wood and fabric textures to the model. I’ve included the sketchup image as the last photo. Pretty good prediction—so I don’t have to worry whether our daughter will like the real thing when we deliver it!