Dovetailed Cherry Trunks

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Project by Brent Livingwell posted 08-09-2012 02:08 PM 2050 views 5 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

2 Cherry trunks. Solid cherry and dovetailed. The base is aromatic cedar. the handle are hand carved (free hand router ((a little scary)).
You will notice 2 different hinge systems…
1. piano hinge with rockler toy box lid support
2. black rockler lid supports

I wanted to test out the various systems and found that while the black hinges are easy easy to install, they cost twice as much ($55) and they leave a very dangerous gap between the box and the lid. I am afraid that if a child climbed in and put their fingers in this space the outcome could be very bad. For now on, I will only use the piano hinge system as there is no space between the case and lid. The cost is only $30 and I think looks ever better.
Happy building everyone, I think of y’all often.

Oh yeah, they are about 22×44x 20 inches tall and the other is 17×44x20. Totally different feel between the two sizes

-- Things of the greatest worth are from the Earth. If you tell yourself that something is "close enough" it is it again.

11 comments so far

View bobasaurus's profile


3531 posts in 3330 days

#1 posted 08-09-2012 02:12 PM

I really like the look of these trunks. Are the dovetails routed or hand cut? Forgive me for saying, but the first picture kind of looks like the trunks are mating :) . Gave me a laugh while waiting for a long flight in the airport.

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

View Ethan Harris's profile

Ethan Harris

300 posts in 2290 days

#2 posted 08-09-2012 02:29 PM

I can imagine what you mean about the hinge and fingers… Great looking pieces!

-- Ethan, CT: Check out my Small Business at & also follow me on twitter

View BinghamtonEd's profile


2298 posts in 2515 days

#3 posted 08-09-2012 03:22 PM

Can’t wait to see the offspring…maybe a small cherry keepsake box or something.

Well done, and nice touch with the mating picture.

If the keepsake box comes out made of oak, one of those chest is going to have some explaining to do.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View DocSavage45's profile


8699 posts in 2988 days

#4 posted 08-09-2012 04:10 PM

Thanks for the hinge report. Looks like you have been busy and productive. LOL!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View SirFatty's profile


545 posts in 2358 days

#5 posted 08-09-2012 05:26 PM

BinghamtonEd, beat me to it!

-- Visit my blog at

View Mauricio's profile


7144 posts in 3297 days

#6 posted 08-09-2012 07:51 PM

Nice! I like how the sides form the feet as well. Simple and beautiful design.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View LarryB's profile


99 posts in 2774 days

#7 posted 08-10-2012 01:22 AM

Very nice, Brent. I really like the cherry. Nicely finished too.
Not sure I agree about the hinges. The torsion hinges prevent the lid from mashing little fingers.
You did give me an idea with the handles for my own trunks. I couldn’t find anything that was decorative and still be functional. Mine are fully cedar lined which adds weight.
Thanks for posting these!

View workerinwood's profile


2717 posts in 3213 days

#8 posted 08-10-2012 02:58 PM

Beautiful!! Great craftsmanship.

-- Jack, Albuquerque

View Sawtooth's profile


116 posts in 3460 days

#9 posted 08-10-2012 03:00 PM

Very nice, but I think those trunks are getting a little fresh ; )

-- "I'm a lumbrjock and I'm OK..."

View Pete Tevonian's profile

Pete Tevonian

78 posts in 3064 days

#10 posted 08-11-2012 05:27 AM

Are those black hinges the torsion hinges that stay open at any angle? I’ve used those and have been happy with them. I’m not sure I understand how a child would get their fingers squished. Wouldn’t they have to stick a finger in the gap, and then with the other hand reach up and pull the lid shut? I guess that doesn’t seem likely to me, and if they did, they would feel the pressure immediately and stop pulling. Maybe I’m underestimating the kids ability to hurt themselves!

In any case, great looking chests, and I’m sure they’re super useful.

-- Pete in Wilmette, IL

View Brent Livingwell's profile

Brent Livingwell

75 posts in 3903 days

#11 posted 08-11-2012 01:42 PM

Yes, they are the hinges you are thinking of, contrast to to piano hinge with toy box support hinge from rocker.
Both systems stay open at any angle.
As for fingers, think brother and sister at ages 3 and 5…first one kid climbs into the trunk to play, then tries to get out sticks fingers into slot created by the hinge and brother then slams the lid down, or even just pushes it lightly …the sisor action created by these hinges will crush a set of kids fingers in a second. I tested it, and there is no way to stop the lid fast enough before getting seriously hurt. The gap is just big enough to be tempting to put your hand there if you were to sit in it. I know dumb idea to sit in it, but thats what little kids do.

-- Things of the greatest worth are from the Earth. If you tell yourself that something is "close enough" it is it again.

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