American Girl Chest / Box

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Project by lysdexic posted 12-23-2011 06:17 AM 3333 views 1 time favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch
American Girl Chest / Box
American Girl Chest / Box No picture No picture No picture No picture No picture
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My daughter wanted a chest for her American girl doll for Christmas. My wife had her circle the mdf, Chinese boxes in the catalogue. My wife knew what she was doing because we’ll have none that crap. Looks like it’s time to make that first box.

Design and Materials
I showed my daughter some boxes from Doug Stowe’s book and picked a couple. I had some 4/4 curly maple on hand and my sisters boy friend had dropped of chunks of spalted maple firewood about a year ago.

Galoot Index = 6.8
Dimensioning lumber = 0 The stock was resawed, jointed, planed to thickness, ripped and cut to rough length all with power.
Panels/Subassemblies = 2? The lid and bottom were rabbeted, chambered by a #78 and a shoulder plane. The side panels were trimmed and squared on the shooting board.
Joinery = 1.5. although the Joinery was done with dovetail saw and chisel my dovetail skills are not up to the “gift giving” level yet. I chickened out. Minus .5.
Smoothing = 1.5 most smoothing was accomplished with my BU Jack and cabinet scraper. I am deducting .5 because I still don’t have a proper smoother tuned and operational and I am not satisfied with my results.
Mouldings / Accents = 1.8 The raised panel, although anemic, was produced with the # 78 and the jack plane. The handle is from scrap walnut dimensioned on the TS but shaped by hand.

For details of the construction process check my blog entry.

Thanks for looking.

-- I love Jeeps

20 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


113823 posts in 2665 days

#1 posted 12-23-2011 08:20 AM

Nice work . really nice.

-- Custom furniture

View Brit's profile


5769 posts in 1931 days

#2 posted 12-23-2011 01:02 PM

Nice choice of woods and very well executed. I love the finish too.

-- Andy -- Old Chinese proverb say: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View Brandon's profile


4147 posts in 2039 days

#3 posted 12-23-2011 03:18 PM

Scott, what a beautiful box! I wasn’t sure just how large or small the box was until I saw the #78 by its side. I love that spalted maple.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View Don W's profile

Don W

16821 posts in 1656 days

#4 posted 12-23-2011 04:30 PM

My initial reaction was WOW. Very nice. I disagree with your deduction for the box joint. Hand cut is hand cut and I love box joints. I think it fits this box better than dovetails would. They may be a little easier to make, but they certainly have their place, and you found one of them.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View DamnYankee's profile


3282 posts in 1650 days

#5 posted 12-23-2011 04:36 PM

Very very nice. I hope the AGD appreciates it (the doll not your daughter I’m sure she’ll love it). This box beats the snot out of the armoire I made for my daughter’s AGD.

-- Shameless - Winner of two Stumpy Nubs Awards

View doncutlip's profile


2832 posts in 2644 days

#6 posted 12-23-2011 04:36 PM

Fine looking box, thanks for all the pictures

-- Don, Royersford, PA

View jusfine's profile


2351 posts in 2014 days

#7 posted 12-24-2011 12:00 AM

Well done Scott! great choices of material.

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View exelectrician's profile


2304 posts in 1515 days

#8 posted 12-24-2011 11:02 AM

...Hmmm … I think you are being way too hard on yourself in the galoot index, I really like your work.

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View WWilson's profile


106 posts in 2151 days

#9 posted 01-14-2012 05:23 AM

Beautiful work! How did you attach the bottom to the box sides? Did you use clear construction adhesive like Doug recommends in his book? Thanks for sharing!


View ShaneA's profile


5833 posts in 1686 days

#10 posted 01-14-2012 05:44 AM

Scott, not sure how I missed commenting on this project. The box looks great to me, nice design, and beautiful wood selection. Well done.

View Dark_Lightning's profile


2337 posts in 2197 days

#11 posted 01-14-2012 06:18 AM

Hmmm, well, your little girl is going to be disappointed with everything she see in the stores, from now on. Are you ready to provide furniture, from now on? This is a hazard of being a woodworker. I’m going through it right now, with my wife, on a kitchen cabinet that I’m remaking to her liking. It would have been easier to have had it made, given my real work schedule.

View lysdexic's profile


4971 posts in 1711 days

#12 posted 01-14-2012 06:24 AM

Thanks for all the comments. The vast majority of my projects are for the kids. I am just not confident enough for adult gifts yet. ( go ahead Al say something) With my kids the pressures off. Unconditional love – right?

-- I love Jeeps

View lysdexic's profile


4971 posts in 1711 days

#13 posted 01-14-2012 06:29 AM


I attached the base to the sides with Titebond 2. However, I rabbeted the bottom with the # 78 so that the raised panel portion or the tenon depending on how want to describe it fit Snuggy in the box sides. The shoulder of the base was about 3/8” tall. It should be solid -no?

-- I love Jeeps

View justholler's profile


62 posts in 1411 days

#14 posted 01-16-2012 04:24 AM

Nice project! I actually made an American Girl bunk bed for my daughter :-) The big question is…does she play with the dolls, because mine sure don’t :-(
I’m curious to know your wood supplier…I’m just up the road from you in Lenoir.

-- Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most..... Twain

View lysdexic's profile


4971 posts in 1711 days

#15 posted 01-16-2012 06:20 AM

I get my lumber from Rick at “the woodworking source” in Moorseville.

However, I’ve gotten a stick or two from Klingsphor as well.


-- I love Jeeps

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