|Project by bobasaurus||posted 06-16-2012 05:33 PM||5032 views||26 times favorited||25 comments|
I finally finished this penguin-themed tool chest after about 9 months working on it during evenings/weekends. It is a (belated) retirement gift for my father, who contributed by making the silver penguin knobs. The carcass is constructed from walnut, cottonwood, red oak (for the runners, not pictured) and some hidden MDF on the dividers. The drawers are soft spalted maple on the fronts/backs, and elm on the sides. I did a crushed turquoise + epoxy inlay in a knothole on the left side of the chest for some visual flair. There is a walnut penguin inlaid in the front cottonwood rail, using the wood whisperer’s free-hand router inlay technique.
Many dovetails adorn this piece, the majority of them hand-cut (some cheating with the bandsaw for the tails of the drawers). The carcass sides are through-dovetailed to the bottom, the rails are half-blind dovetail joined to the sides, the dividers are inserted using sliding dovetails (the only ones that were routed), and the drawers are half-blind dovetailed all around.
The top hinges open using shipwright-style box hinges . A routed chamfer on the front edge makes the lid easy to lift.
My father carved the wax shape of the penguin knobs, with help from my mother on the details of the feathers, wing, etc. He then had his jeweler friend cast the individual knobs, using Argentium Silver which can be kiln-baked to harden the metal and prevent tarnishing with a germanium oxide layer. We drilled out the backs and tapped them to accept 6-32 screws for the drawer face attachment.
I finished the chest with a few initial coats of a minwax tung oil + polyurethane mix to bring out the grain, then many coats of a satin wipe-on poly, finally waxing the drawer sides and runners with an orange oil / carnauba wax mix (really made the drawer movement smooth).
I learned a lot of new techniques working on this piece. There are many mistakes, most of which I was able to correct and will hopefully avoid in the future. Thanks for taking a look.
Larger photo set:
http://imgur.com/a/upQCL (if imgur is down, here is the album on flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/28542319@N07/7352040676/in/set-72157630013474363/lightbox/ )
Blog detailing the construction:
Photo credit goes to my two friends and coworkers Will von Dauster and Patrick Cullis. Their photography skills put mine to shame.
-- Allen, Colorado