Milk painted chest

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Project by hickeymad posted 637 days ago 1580 views 2 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I built this with the help of my 4 year old, Madeline. She helped saw dovetails, and also helped during the glue-up. It is her toy box, and (I hope) later to be her “off to Stanford U” box. I wish I could find good looking soft-close lid hardware. Everything available I can find is plastic and not at all appropriate for fine furniture. Though the lid is not very heavy (it’s of southern yellow pine – as is the rest of the box), I still fear for pinched fingers.
The carcase is dovetailed and it has a frame and panel lid. I did a dovetail/miter joint on the lower skirt, which was a first for me. The purpose was to avoid end-grain during shaping of the skirt. I’d hoped to do something with an old 1/2 set of hollow and rounds, but couldn’t get them tuned up in time. Ended up with a simple chamfer.
I can say without hesitation that this is the favorite item I’ve made so far. Milk paint rocks. One layer of lamp black under two of brickhouse red, then oiled and waxed. Made a few interior boxes as well of cherry. I’d like to build more of these if I ever find the time.
By the way, southern yellow pine works beautifully by hand. I can’t wait to use this stuff again – perhaps dresser drawers…

12 comments so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

13360 posts in 942 days

#1 posted 637 days ago

Nice build. Something both of you can share.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it. - It's not ability that we often lack, but the patience to use our ability

View balidoug's profile


363 posts in 1082 days

#2 posted 637 days ago

Great piece. And a terrific apprentice.

-- From such crooked wood as that which man is made of, nothing straight can be fashioned. Immanuel Kant

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4096 posts in 1460 days

#3 posted 637 days ago

Madeline sure put that extra professional touch to the chest

She will be filling it with toys/tools before long.

Nothing better than getting help from the kids

it will be something she will treasure for ever. That is both

the box and working with Dad


-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View bonobo's profile


231 posts in 660 days

#4 posted 637 days ago

I’m not sure if it would suit your purposes but LJ CartersWhittling has a couple of very unobtrusive soft close pistons that mount in the corners of his toolchest.

-- “The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” ― Mark Twain

View ~Julie~'s profile


572 posts in 1638 days

#5 posted 637 days ago

Beautiful toy box. I love pine, it’s my favourite wood!

-- ~Julie~

View horsch's profile


40 posts in 1268 days

#6 posted 637 days ago

The chest looks really nice. I love the look of the milk paint. Did you find the oil changed the color of the paint much? What type of oil did you use? You have probably seen theese, but rockler has a nice looking torsion hinge. They don’t look like they are made of plastic, but I’ve never actually used them either.

View hickeymad's profile


141 posts in 1613 days

#7 posted 637 days ago

bonobo- those Blum inserts look perfect! Thanks for the recommendation! borsch; the oil softened the color a bit. I used a furniture oil I get from a local furniture maker here in Portland, they call it joinery oil and I’m not at all sure what’s in it but it smells like citrus. Good stuff! Those Rockler hinges look like a great possibility for my next chest. Thanks for the recommendation!

View TexasJim's profile


86 posts in 1840 days

#8 posted 637 days ago

I think I may be linking to the same thing horsch recommended. I used these on a blanket chest and they are great. A little pricey and you need to figure out the approximate wight of the lid but no worries about smashed fingers.

-- If the world was a logical place, men would be the ones who ride horses sidesaddle.

View Ben's profile


273 posts in 2317 days

#9 posted 637 days ago

well done. i’m sure it’ll keep your tools safe for quite some time.

-- Do something nice for somebody

View chopnhack's profile


368 posts in 998 days

#10 posted 637 days ago

The chest came out great, I am sure she will get long use out of it! I recently completed a chest and used a lid support from Home Depot, works well and has adjustable tension. Cheap, effective and readily available ;-)

-- Sneaking up on the line....

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

3788 posts in 984 days

#11 posted 636 days ago

Nice. Reminds me of Schwarz anarchist’s tool chest.

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

View HorizontalMike's profile


6915 posts in 1517 days

#12 posted 605 days ago

Wow, sometimes we just forget how nice milk paint looks on different pieces/projects. Very nice job!

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

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