American Girl Chest / Box

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Project by lysdexic posted 12-23-2011 06:17 AM 4088 views 1 time favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch
American Girl Chest / Box
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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.

-- "It's only wood. Use it." - Smitty || Instagram - out_of_focus1.618

20 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117060 posts in 3540 days

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

Nice work . really nice.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Brit's profile


7366 posts in 2805 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 says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View Brandon's profile


4152 posts in 2914 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

18684 posts in 2530 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.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View DamnYankee's profile


3301 posts in 2525 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 3519 days

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

Fine looking box, thanks for all the pictures

-- Don, Royersford, PA

View jusfine's profile


2422 posts in 2888 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


2327 posts in 2390 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 3026 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


6909 posts in 2561 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


3141 posts in 3072 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.

-- Random Orbital Nailer

View lysdexic's profile


5254 posts in 2586 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?

-- "It's only wood. Use it." - Smitty || Instagram - out_of_focus1.618

View lysdexic's profile


5254 posts in 2586 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?

-- "It's only wood. Use it." - Smitty || Instagram - out_of_focus1.618

View justholler's profile


62 posts in 2286 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


5254 posts in 2586 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.


-- "It's only wood. Use it." - Smitty || Instagram - out_of_focus1.618

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