Hope chest for friends wedding

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Project by Swyftfeet posted 11-07-2012 05:39 PM 1791 views 6 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This was my first project ever. I modeled it after one Cracknpop posted Link. I made a number of mistakes and learned a lot too. From a materials standpoint I probably would have picked a different material or finish than birch for the the panels, it yellowed a bit much for my taste but in for a penny in for a pound.

Mistakes or areas to improve and other tidbits of knowledge:
1. Board warping on me due to internal stress after final milling, I left them to sit way too long before glue up
2. When using cope and stick frame and panel construction, do all your milling at the same time, or take very good notes as to bit height down to a couple thousandths. Also mill some complementary pieces to use as push sticks to prevent tear out.
3. When doing lock miters: Pray. Seriously, I tried following the directions and just ended up getting it right by fugdering(I’m copy-writing it) around with the scrap cut-offs, Also be very gentle, the edges of the lock miter are brittle.
4. Never work when your not all there. Most of my mistakes were due to thinking I had it right when my mind was wandering.
5. After glue up, If you cut through your dowels, you get the chance to make bread board ends.
6. Mark your waste when doing breadboard tenons, if you cut one off you get to learn how to make a floating tenon.
7. If the screws that come with the hinges are longer than your workpiece is thick, you may want to think about it before going any further.
8. Free handing with a router table can be interesting.
9. Never using 80 Grit on a ROS for first run of sanding. I increased the grit gradually but could still see some swirls after I put on the seal a cell. Eventually bought a scraper and re-prepped the top. Turned out much better.
10. Arm-a-Seal and Seal-a-cell are idiot proof.

Anywho, comments and critiques welcome.

-- Brian

13 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


113825 posts in 2666 days

#1 posted 11-07-2012 05:55 PM

Looks good Brian
Every project is a learning experience. It’s not only good to realize your mistakes but to remember them
This can be a challenge as you get older . Looking at this chest ,I think it’s a fantastic first project,the one thing wonder about are the small hinges ,usually i would suggest a piano hinge .

-- Custom furniture

View Swyftfeet's profile


169 posts in 1260 days

#2 posted 11-07-2012 06:00 PM

/FacePalm moment… The hinges are marginal. The back flexes when I lift the top. I wasn’t sure what I was doing wrong there. I may have to Redo that portion. They pick it up tomorrow.UGH!

-- Brian

View StephenSchaad's profile


201 posts in 1267 days

#3 posted 11-07-2012 06:09 PM

Woodworking doesn’t have to be perfect so I’d say this project was a great success especially since you learned a lot. It’s gorgeous, nice work!

View Surfside's profile


3389 posts in 1262 days

#4 posted 11-07-2012 07:25 PM

That is a cool project! Expected that our first work will not be that perfect.Lots of trials and errors.But you nailed it man. :)

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

View Ken90712's profile


16034 posts in 2277 days

#5 posted 11-07-2012 07:45 PM

Nice job and I’m sure they liked it, were all trying to improve as we go along. Your one step ahead of some being your aware of areas you want to improve. Shows you really care. Look fwd to many more.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 1264 days

#6 posted 11-07-2012 09:57 PM

Charming and classy. This is an additional bliss to their special day.

View cracknpop's profile


136 posts in 1437 days

#7 posted 11-08-2012 12:15 AM

Nice job. Wouldn’t have guessed it was your first project. The breadboard ends on the top are a nice addition. I am sure your friends will cherish it.

Thanks for sharing your “learning experiences and variations” (why call them mistakes?). I especially appreciate your humor as evident in #6. Keep after it. Looking forward to seeing your next project.

-- Rick

View JSB's profile


731 posts in 1167 days

#8 posted 11-08-2012 01:36 AM

Not sure what I like more…the arch, the contrasting color, or the way the grain flows in the panels. Well done!
- Jay

-- Jay -

View lab7654's profile


260 posts in 1335 days

#9 posted 11-08-2012 03:49 AM

Wow, what a beautiful piece! It looks great for a first time piece, and even for a piece from a well-seasoned woodworker. I love it when people come out and admit all of their mistakes, most of which aren’t even noticeable. Learning from others’ mistakes is just as, if not more, important as learning from their success.

-- Tristin King -- When in doubt, sand it.

View Trabiman's profile


9 posts in 1430 days

#10 posted 11-08-2012 11:25 AM

Very nice design and I agree with the others on this being an excellent job for a first time piece! Each project you learn something new on will help you with the next. I am a firm believer that you have to mess up to improve next time. I am sure your friends will be honored to have something you created just for them.

-- Brian from Westfield, IN

View SuperCubber's profile


648 posts in 1373 days

#11 posted 11-08-2012 01:44 PM

Great project! You’re frankness in your learning experiences had me chuckling aloud over here.

-- Joe | Spartanburg, SC | "To give anything less than your best is to sacrafice the gift." - Steve Prefontaine

View Brad_Nailor's profile


2535 posts in 3046 days

#12 posted 11-09-2012 01:29 PM

Nice looking chest…it’s always good to have makes you a better woodworker! I have found that as much as you sweat the details, it always comes out nice in the end..


View ripper_mn's profile


3 posts in 1186 days

#13 posted 11-18-2012 06:50 AM

very nice chest. The breadboard ends also help keep the top flat. Made one like this from maple,walnut and oak for my mother about 15 years ago. It is still displayed in the home. They love it.

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