Steamer Trunk

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Project by gbear posted 03-11-2007 09:02 PM 3567 views 12 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This steamer trunk was a Christmas gift for my son Shawn. It was made mostly of salvaged materials. My son was working for a construction company on some apartment which were being converted to condos. The company putting in the new cabinets had a lot of cabinet grade plywood that they used to separte and stack the cabinets during shipping. After their arrival to the job site, the plywood was discarded. My son told me about the wood and I was able to obtain it. The oaks slats on this pience were left over pieces of white oak hardwood flooring which I had installed in my house last year. The hardware came from Rockler.

-- gbear, Carmichael, CA

17 comments so far

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4313 days

#1 posted 03-11-2007 09:39 PM

pretty darn cool!

View Bill's profile


2579 posts in 4160 days

#2 posted 03-11-2007 11:45 PM

A great job and a nice way to re-use materials. Bet that construction company never thought something this nice would come out of their tossed materials.

-- Bill, Turlock California,

View Karson's profile


35121 posts in 4399 days

#3 posted 03-12-2007 12:22 AM

Nice looking Trunk

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4160 days

#4 posted 03-12-2007 01:11 AM

1. this is stunning and definitely an heirloom for future generations
2. this is amazing how you collected the “scraps” and put them together to create this beauty. How did you “see” this in the wood??
3. this is gorgeous… had to comment on the beauty twice because it is so, well, beautiful.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4245 days

#5 posted 03-12-2007 03:32 AM

Nice trunk, good use of discarded material. Very nice worK jockmike

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View scottb's profile


3648 posts in 4326 days

#6 posted 03-12-2007 05:40 AM

I can’t believe that was considered junk wood. That is exactly the sort of chest I’d like to make someday. Fantastic!

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4298 days

#7 posted 03-12-2007 05:49 AM

Very nice piece of craftsmanship. I think found wood is an extra bonus, & it makes you feel better after completion.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View Don's profile


2603 posts in 4176 days

#8 posted 03-12-2007 11:55 AM

Super job, gbear. Yes to recycled ‘junk wood’. How about more info on the construction and finish?

It looks like panel frame construction. Is the frame joinery mortise and tenon? What about the way you joined the front and back panels to the sides? How was this done?

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!"

View BassBully's profile


261 posts in 4096 days

#9 posted 03-12-2007 04:47 PM

Great job on the trunk. I especially like the color of stain and the wood decor you used on the top of the lid.

-- There are three types of people in the world, those who can count and those who can't!

View oscorner's profile


4563 posts in 4310 days

#10 posted 03-12-2007 05:39 PM

Amazingly beautiful work. Don’t let the construction company know where the materials came from. If they find out, you’ll never get another piece.

-- Jesus is Lord!

View tooljunky's profile


34 posts in 4110 days

#11 posted 03-13-2007 01:01 PM

Great trunk, very nice work, Did you do the trunk from a plan or is is something that you thought up on your own.


View gbear's profile


512 posts in 4098 days

#12 posted 03-13-2007 09:39 PM

Thanks to everyone for the nice comments. The basic box is constructed with tongue and groove joints and the outer slats use rabbit joints. I stained the project with a medium oak stain and finished it with 3 coats of polyurathane, sanding with 1500 wet and dry between coats. I didn’t have a plan for this project only the pictures of trunks I had seen in catalogs. I must admit, planning is my weakness. I often just have a rought idea of what I want and start building, planning as I go. Not a real good idea.

-- gbear, Carmichael, CA

View BassBully's profile


261 posts in 4096 days

#13 posted 03-14-2007 10:25 PM

How did you construct the top? Did you use veneer so that it would bend?

-- There are three types of people in the world, those who can count and those who can't!

View gbear's profile


512 posts in 4098 days

#14 posted 03-14-2007 10:32 PM

BassBully- Yes. I used 1/8” oak veneer plywood. I bent it over the struts and glued it to the lid. I then added the knubby trim with glue and brads. The struts in the lid which form the curve are close enough to each other that they provide plenty of support for the plywood even if someone sits on it! It’s somewhat like the hull of a boat.

-- gbear, Carmichael, CA

View SST's profile


790 posts in 4194 days

#15 posted 01-25-2008 05:44 PM

I truly love it when anyone can make something out of reclaimed materials, and you not only made something…you made something really outstanding!!! When I think about my woodworking skills, and begin to think I’m pretty good at stuff, I see a project like this and realize that I’m an elementary school student in the company of doctoral candidates.
Way to go, Doctor!

-- Accuracy is not in your power tool, it's in you

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