Oxbow chest

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Project by acanthuscarver posted 05-19-2008 01:32 PM 3184 views 2 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This chest is made of cherry with poplar secondaries. As with all my pieces, it is a commissioned job. The best part of a piece like this is that it entails so many different aspects of woodworking. The pics here show the piece in the shop either while finishing is going on or just before the piece is cleaned of dust, waxed and delivered. If you’re really interested in seeing the piece made in a step by step tutorial, check out my blog.

I’ve made half a dozen or so oxbow chests. They derive their name from the “reverse serpentine” shape of the front which is similar in shape to the yoke of an ox cart. These chests are always fun to build because of the added challenges of the beaded case and the shaped drawer fronts. Since I really enjoy woodcarving, it takes an otherwise straight forward chest design and adds a sculptural aspect to the job. I hope you enjoy it.

-- Chuck Bender, period furniture maker, woodworking instructor

16 comments so far

View Dusty56's profile


11819 posts in 3657 days

#1 posted 05-19-2008 01:56 PM

Beautiful craftsmanship ! What is a piece like this selling for ?

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 3958 days

#2 posted 05-19-2008 03:52 PM

That must be a real money maker. Not super diffcult and relativly quick to build.

The finishing part is what slowes me down. It’s the part of woodworking that I don’t like.

How do you do the drawer fronts? Bent lamaination or cut from a solid piece?

Great chest!

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4188 days

#3 posted 05-19-2008 06:47 PM

Another fantastic piece, Chuck!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 3743 days

#4 posted 05-19-2008 07:39 PM

Nice looking piece as always. Thanks for posting.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View runngt's profile


120 posts in 3709 days

#5 posted 05-19-2008 07:50 PM

Very nice work!!


-- It seem's I just make scrap wood and saw dust most of the time !

View daveintexas's profile


365 posts in 3845 days

#6 posted 05-19-2008 08:57 PM

Now that chest has nice curves !!
Thanks for posting.


View Bigbuck's profile


1347 posts in 3633 days

#7 posted 05-19-2008 08:58 PM

Very nice!!!

-- Glenn, New Mexico

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4216 days

#8 posted 05-20-2008 01:07 AM

Super cool, man do you ever do good work. mike .........right up there with Norm

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

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3791 days

#9 posted 05-20-2008 01:47 AM


This is a gorgeous chest. I am sure this was a challenging project. You did well with this piece.

How did you finish it? I am sure that you used shellac as a top coat but, to me, this has an aged appearance.

Thanks for the post.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Woodhacker's profile


1139 posts in 3693 days

#10 posted 05-20-2008 01:52 AM

Chuck, that is a beautiful piece! I agree with Scott…it looks like it has an aged appearance. I’m curious about your finish technique.

-- Martin, Kansas

View trifern's profile


8135 posts in 3736 days

#11 posted 05-20-2008 03:49 AM

This is simply outstanding. I love the sculptural qualities you add to it. Thank you for sharing.

-- My favorite piece is my last one, my best piece is my next one.

View darryl's profile


1795 posts in 4296 days

#12 posted 05-20-2008 05:07 AM

nice looking chest of drawers. I like the finished color. The shape looks fantastic.

View acanthuscarver's profile


268 posts in 3681 days

#13 posted 05-20-2008 12:27 PM

Thanks everyone for the compliments. I’ll try to answer the questions in turn.

Dusty, the current price is around 6K but it is not for sale since it’s sold, delivered, etc. I just don’t want anyone thinking I’m advertising my furniture through my gallery posts. While I’m sure there are plenty of LJs who can afford that kind of money for a chest, why wouldn’t they build their own first? They are lumberjocks afterall.

Gary, after having built so many it is a fairly easy project to build. The drawers, as you’ll see if you follow my blog, are sawn from the solid. To say more would just give away a future blog post. :)

jockmike, Norm? I don’t use my nailgun enough (or my biscuit joiner at all)...

Scott, orange shellac is the finish of choice for my furniture. As to the “aged” appearance, I’m not sure how much of that is just an over abundance of dust on the piece when I took my picture. The color, and again this will be somewhat explained in the blog, is achieved through the use of a custom made water based analine dye. The color we were shooting for was similar to 200 year old cherry. I think we did pretty well. My wife is a whiz at those mixing those colors.

Woodhacker, all I can say is stay tuned to the blog and I’ll share a bit of the technique. I think, once you see it in action, you’ll be surprised at how easy it is.

Thanks again to eveyone for the comments. Keep the questions coming, it’s why I’m here.

-- Chuck Bender, period furniture maker, woodworking instructor

View BobR's profile


136 posts in 3954 days

#14 posted 05-20-2008 02:15 PM

Another beautiful piece of work. Now I’m off to the blog.

-- Bob

View Kerry's profile


161 posts in 3759 days

#15 posted 05-20-2008 11:28 PM

Gorgeous chest. Your work is always impressive and I appreciate your sharing info in your blog.


-- Alberta, Canada

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