|Project by Marcos||posted 03-18-2013 10:54 PM||2558 views||1 time favorited||7 comments|
Here is a chest that I made for my God-daughter who is 11 months old. It is made out of Santos mahogany and Peruvian walnut, with plywood bottoms. It has a sliding drawer within, and the bottom of the chest is lined with aromatic cedar. I had never worked with Santos mahogany, and although it has a beautiful color and appearance, it is kind of a pain to work with. I’ll try to avoid working with it again. The grain is very interwoven and prone to all sorts of cracks and blow outs, and the splinters are nasty!
I made a box-joint jig for the table saw, as I was unable to find any other ideas for larger pieces, besides using a pricey router jig. It was very challenging, as standing a dense piece that rises 40 inches on end in a jig is not easy, let alone over and over again for each knuckle. I used a fence that went up about halfway, and at times it was a bit hairy reaching around it to slide the piece forward. I clamped it each time and although I probably could have gotten away without doing so, it just “felt” better to do it. The joints were nowhere near perfect, and required quite a bit of hand tuning and wood filler, but I like the way they came out, and they really stand out nicely.
I sanded the whole thing to about 330 and finished it with 4 coats of Daly’s Seafin teak oil. I wet sanded quite a bit to fill some natural cracks that formed in the mahogany, and they came out looking like very interesting accents. Next time, I would probably add a third torsion hinge on it, as it will not hold the lid open if it is angled any less than about 45 degrees and I used the ones with the heaviest rating at 60 pounds, and I’d hate to think of Emma smashing her fingers with this.
I make most of my pieces from my head, and don’t ever plan them out much. I’m a “cut first, design later” kind of guy. I have a terrible time following instructions, and as a result, make quite a few mistakes every time I make something. I love fixing errors. I’ve learned so much from doing so that I enjoy them now. Sometimes those mistakes turn out to be the most attractive features on a piece, such as the slight rebate on the front and back where the box joints are. Initially, an error became a very nice detail.
All in all, I had a lot of fun putting this baby together. Hope she enjoys it for the rest of her life.
Thanks for all of the inspiration!
-- Marcos, California