First "Real" Project

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Project by Chris Campbell posted 04-09-2012 12:00 PM 1773 views 1 time favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is the first serious project I have made (since middle school in the late ‘80s, anyway). Chest as a Christmas gift for my sister-in-law. Mahogany frame and birch plywood panels, with a cedar bottom. First time:

  • Frame-and-panel construction
  • Breadboard ends (top)
  • Shellac finishing
  • Installing hinges
  • Battens (inside top)

There was not as much contrast as I thought there would be between the mahogany and the birch. Was hoping the mahogany would be a little darker. Maybe with time and aging. I have a new “Fine Woodworking” that details good and bad wood combinations. Should be helpful.

Also, I made this chest without a tablesaw, planer, or jointer. Just a circular saw, jigsaw, router and small hand tools. A tablesaw would have made ripping the stock a LOT easier. Just got the Ridgid R4512 brand new this weekend (Thanks Home Depot for the military discount!)

-- Chris, Minneapolis

6 comments so far

View Kenns's profile


155 posts in 1680 days

#1 posted 04-09-2012 12:04 PM

Very nicely done, congratulations.

-- Then, Than, Their, There, They're, To, Too, Two.....Pine, Maple, Walnut....We need to know the difference.....

View workerinwood's profile


2716 posts in 2156 days

#2 posted 04-09-2012 12:50 PM

Great job!! Welcome to LJ’s and thanks for posting.

-- Jack, Albuquerque

View helluvawreck's profile


19499 posts in 1955 days

#3 posted 04-09-2012 12:54 PM

Looks good. Welcome to Lumberjocks.


-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View ChrisK's profile


1415 posts in 2170 days

#4 posted 04-09-2012 01:22 PM

Very nice work. The joinery is 1st rate.

-- Chris K

View Chris Campbell's profile

Chris Campbell

27 posts in 1328 days

#5 posted 04-09-2012 09:23 PM

My brother turned me on to the Beadlock loose tenon joinery system, and I have to say, I love it. It may be a while before I feel comfortable with through mortise-and-tenons, but I want to build an Arts and Crafts rocker in the near future, so I’ll need it then!

-- Chris, Minneapolis

View vipond33's profile


1405 posts in 1586 days

#6 posted 04-10-2012 11:42 AM

You made this without a table-saw?! You have my admiration at the skill and determination needed to achieve this. Outstanding work for a lapsed beginner. And it does have a rather military look to it.

-- gene@toronto.ontario.canada : dovetail free since '53, critiques always welcome.

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