|Project by Arminius||posted 507 days ago||1237 views||3 times favorited||10 comments|
After a few years of posting on LJ, I thought it was finally time to provide some content. Nothing too remarkable, but a fun project where I learned more than I expected. Made a treasure chest for my 4 yo son’s birthday. Now this treasure, ‘twas Blackbeard’s you know, but my little guy got a treasure map for his birthday and led the rest of his pirate crew on an adventure…
The project was in PWW #188, February 2011. That is a good article with some sound explanation of how to do it, and there are Sketchup drawings available, so I won’t duplicate that. I will focus on elements where I learned something and/or deviated. All of the wood is pine.
1. Cut nails – I used cut nails, which are even thicker than the masonry nails called for in the plan. Good grief, do they ever split, and I did not misplace one, I was getting splits using the narrow side. I kept stepping up the size of pilot hole, but never entirely solved it. If you use traditional cut nails, I’d recommend going down a size from the d recommended for masonry nails. That said, I like the look of the big squared heads.
2. Curved lid – first time I had tried anything like this. The article describes ‘eyeballing it’ to shave an angle into each slat, I ended up giving up on even that. I stopped even looking or marking the angle. Just had the lid sides on the workbench and planed each piece down until it fit on the previous one and was resting on the centre of the curve. What started out looking slow and fiddly took about a minute per slat by the end. All in all the top took about 45 minutes, laying out the curves and fairing them was actually the slow part. Really a great hand plane exercise, it felt like my hands were learning by themselves.
3. Milk paint – first time I had used milk paint. That is a dark brown that was actually a mix of an orange and black. Interesting coverage, looks poor at first but dries better. The second coat got good consistency yet you can still see some grain. The PWW article talked about distressing it and so forth to make it look aged, I didn’t really think I needed to – the milk paint gives it much of that feel as it is. I like the look more than I expected, enough that I might try another project that uses it in a brighter colour. There is a final layer of satin water-based poly to provide some protection while not really changing the appearance.
4. Upholstery nails – these darn things are not easy to start. Definitely need a small-headed hammer (I only had a Warrington pattern that was suitable), not sure what the proper technique is. They are also thin enough that they don’t hold well. I reversed the belt direction (which I regret) so that they would be subject to less load, but they still popped out as the belt is pulled. I have since bonded the belt with epoxy, as well as dipping the upholstery nail points in epoxy before driving them back in place.
5. Hardware – I tend not to have much in what I have done. From now on, I buy it all before I really get into the project. The handle installation was far harder than it needed to be, should have predrilled before building the case. For the hinges, just have not done enough to really get it right on a curved lid, note the front of the lid has a slight overhang.
One thing I am still working on was not addressed in the PWW article. Used as a toy chest for younger children, this really needs a stay which prevents it from closing quickly. Unfortunately, not many seem to be out there to fit a curved top, the geometry of most seem to need a 90 degree angle. I have found one and installed it, but it does not give enough resistance.
All in all, a fun and quick project that ended up teaching a couple of lessons along the way.