Treasure Chest in a Day....

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Project by JL7 posted 11-16-2011 03:49 AM 2901 views 12 times favorited 26 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a short notice project for a close friend that will soon turn the big 5-0…’s a suprise party, so the intention is eveyone will jot down their favorite memories and drop them in te box for her eyes only…..

She really likes rustic stuff, and paints EVERTHING – and is quite good at it so I decided to leave it unfinished for her brush…..built from Cedar fence cutoffs.

It was built with the rough Cedar exterior, but in the end, I just couldn’t pull it off and had to sand it…....

Can’t say that I have ever really finished a project like this in one day, and it is no showpiece, but I think she will like it, especially when filled with her family and friends personal memories…......a real treasure chest.

Thanks for looking.


Edit – forgot to mention – I was going to do the box in hand cut dovetails, and pic 5 shows the practice piece, but decided to wait for the next one…

-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

26 comments so far

View Lifesaver2000's profile


556 posts in 3313 days

#1 posted 11-16-2011 05:03 AM

Very nice. Some type of arch top chest is definitely on my list of things to make at some point, and seeing one like yours is a great inspiration.

View Dave's profile


11429 posts in 3041 days

#2 posted 11-16-2011 05:53 AM

Hey I got a suggestion. Well it looks like a suggestion box. JK. Jeff nice gift and it will have many uses afterwards. I would fill it with those chocolate coins and let the kids have at it. But you are going to use it as a treasure chest of 50 years of memories. Thats a great Idea. And on those tails. Compound tails are tough. And it looks like you have done a fine job on those to. Finish that box and give us a peak at it . Great job….

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

View JL7's profile


8690 posts in 3166 days

#3 posted 11-16-2011 06:08 AM

Hey Dave – I like the chocolate coin idea – might have to drop a few in there….....for the party, the box will be locked and probably not to many youngsters around, but still a solid idea! Maybe put a few coins around the box and see how long they last.

Actually, your tool till came to mind when I was cutting the sample dovetails…...

Thanks for the comments.


-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

View Ken90712's profile


17594 posts in 3389 days

#4 posted 11-16-2011 01:03 PM

Nice work on these.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Chris Davis's profile

Chris Davis

1560 posts in 4183 days

#5 posted 11-16-2011 02:17 PM

Looks great! It will look good for the pirate bed I’m building. I love the dark plugs as accents even though it may be painted.

-- Watch live video from our shop.!current-projects/c3c1

View SPalm's profile


5325 posts in 4083 days

#6 posted 11-16-2011 05:05 PM

Arrrgh, Matey.

Hey Jeff, what a cool idea. I like it just the way it is.

What suggestion are you going to make to her?

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View JL7's profile


8690 posts in 3166 days

#7 posted 11-16-2011 05:42 PM

Hey thanks for all comments!

Steve – not really a suggestion box – more like a memory box….but I like the pirate angle – maybe we make her walk the plank!


-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

View fernandoindia's profile


1081 posts in 3144 days

#8 posted 11-16-2011 07:54 PM

Cool gift box Jeff.
That angled tails seem great to me. I understand they are tough. Never tried though.

Nice idea on the chocolate coins. However real coins, or even bills, may be cheaper. :)

-- Back home. Fernando

View Richard's profile


1922 posts in 2891 days

#9 posted 11-16-2011 10:22 PM

Looks great to me. I only tried one arched top box many years ago and had to much trouble with getting the angles right for the top to look good like yours does.
Anybody have any good links to guides on doing an arched top?

View LarryB's profile


99 posts in 2829 days

#10 posted 11-16-2011 10:41 PM

Jeff, I really like this chest. Great job! I’m thinking about making something like this for each of my 3 grandsons. You’ve inspired me!

Richard, I also would like some guides on doing arched tops.

View JL7's profile


8690 posts in 3166 days

#11 posted 11-16-2011 11:08 PM

Richard and Larry – I can’t offer much valuable advice on making the top except ALWAYS make test cuts first with scraps. On the main parts, I only angled one edge, and it was not much on an angle, maybe 7 degrees or so. After a few test cuts – it was eacy sailing. The very top piece in my case was narrower than the rest so the angle changes, but is easy to measure using an angle gauge.

I am certain that using the softwood made the process much simpler. Honestly have never done much with the softwoods, so this project was kind of a breeze…...


-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

View Michael Wilson's profile

Michael Wilson

588 posts in 2691 days

#12 posted 11-17-2011 03:07 AM

That’s adorable :)

Naive question:

People post lots of great boxes with a full array of jointing.

But as the new guy I’ve noticed that just about never do I see how the bottoms are done.

View Dave's profile


11429 posts in 3041 days

#13 posted 11-17-2011 03:27 AM

There are no bottoms that’s how we get into them;) sorry Jeff couldn’t help myself.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

View JL7's profile


8690 posts in 3166 days

#14 posted 11-17-2011 03:33 AM

madwilliamflint – that’s a great question. The bottom of a box is often ignored, but it’s a pretty key component! Because the bottom will want to expand and contract front to back, it’s always a good idea to allow for it, so the bottom of this box floats.

I measured the thickness of the bottom (5/8”) and cut an 1/8” dado (just the saw kerf) around the four sides of the box 5/8” up from the bottom. Then using the table saw, cut a rabbet aroung the four sides of the bottom leaving an 1/8” tongue around the perimeter. The overall size of the bottom is maybe 3/16” undersize so it will float in the dado’s…...

This gives the box a flat bottom…...

Here are a couple of photos:

And Dave – don’t think I’m going to touch that comment – sounds dangerous!


-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

View Dave's profile


11429 posts in 3041 days

#15 posted 11-17-2011 03:43 AM

I had to go back and read my post again. opps I didn’t think of it that way. Now it twice as funny..
OK now I am going to talk about how I assemble my bottoms, I use a skewed jack rabbet plane with knickers ;)

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

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