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Pennsylvania Spice Box

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Project by Jeff in Huntersville posted 473 days ago 5175 views 18 times favorited 34 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a Pennsylvania style Spice Box built from Steve Latta’s plan. The main body is walnut. The drawers are aromatic cedar and the drawer fronts are Santos Rosewood. The back is cherry. The inlay is holly. The main part of the chest is oiled with light walnut Danish oil then covered with several coats of clear wax and buffed.

It’s all pretty straightforward cabinetry but on a smaller scale than I’m used to so there are some compromises that I’m not going to tell anyone about. The most difficult part was the inlay. Lee Valley has a great set of tools that make the process a little easier. At first I was disappointed with the inlay until I scraped and sanded the surface level. Then it really stands out.

The hanging pulls were difficult to find. They have to be sticking out a maximum of only about 1/2” to allow the door to close and have to be sized proportionally to the drawers. Horton Brasses came to the rescue here.

Apart from the obvious drawers in front, the back slides out to reveal two hidden drawers. One is at top for flat documents. A hidden box holds valuables.

I had originally planned on giving this to my daughter as a Christmas present. According to lore the inside of the door has spaces to inlay the initials of her and her husband. However, since she’s not even engaged I guessed I had some extra time. It took me until a few weeks ago. Maybe in a few years it’ll come back and I’ll be able to add the initials.





34 comments so far

View ShaneA's profile

ShaneA

5259 posts in 1203 days


#1 posted 473 days ago

Stunning, real quality build.

View Oldtool's profile

Oldtool

1751 posts in 795 days


#2 posted 473 days ago

Absolutely beautiful. Excellent craftsmanship, superb build. Something to be very proud of, and I’m sure your daughter I’ll always cherish it.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View cajunpen's profile

cajunpen

14365 posts in 2671 days


#3 posted 473 days ago

That is something to be proud of. Your skills really came to the front on this one.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased." http://www.cajunpen.com/

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

13374 posts in 943 days


#4 posted 473 days ago

Really classy piece

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

View bonobo's profile

bonobo

231 posts in 661 days


#5 posted 473 days ago

Amazing. All that stringing must have been really tricky.

-- “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 hoss12992's profile

hoss12992

2473 posts in 498 days


#6 posted 473 days ago

Great job!

-- The Old Rednek Workshop https://www.facebook.com/theoldrednekworkshoptn

View PaulLL's profile

PaulLL

148 posts in 581 days


#7 posted 473 days ago

Awesome!

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

9622 posts in 1223 days


#8 posted 473 days ago

Beautiful!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

View Don's profile

Don

13 posts in 475 days


#9 posted 473 days ago

Wow! Very nice!

View MonteCristo's profile

MonteCristo

2094 posts in 793 days


#10 posted 473 days ago

Nice job ! When you speak of plans, did you get actual drawings or just what was in FWW ?

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View deon's profile

deon

2158 posts in 1630 days


#11 posted 473 days ago

Exelent work and design.

-- Dreaming patterns

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112002 posts in 2182 days


#12 posted 473 days ago

Beautiful work Jeff.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Manitario's profile

Manitario

2265 posts in 1488 days


#13 posted 472 days ago

Looks really good Jeff. I like that you managed to included a pic of your Workmate. What is a spice cabinet used for; do you just put loose spices in the drawers or is it just used as a small cabinet?

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View Jeff in Huntersville's profile

Jeff in Huntersville

398 posts in 1799 days


#14 posted 472 days ago

I want to thank everyone for the kind comments and for helping me to my first top three! I had small pangs of remorse when I gave it to my daughter. It took a long time to make and I liked how it turned out. But I’m glad it’s started its journey along the path to family heirloom. I have a son, too so it looks like there’s another one in my future.

Rob, from what I’ve read a spice chest orginated in colonial days. It was probably presented to a newly married couple as a “fine” piece of furniture. Whether gifted or bought, being small, it was probably the only fine piece affordable. It served double duty as a store for spices, tea, etc. and the hidden areas could be used to fool would be thieves. I’m not so sure about the origination but the use seems sensible. Even today I don’t think a thief would recognize it for what it is and it’s heavy so they wouldn’t walk off with it.

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15671 posts in 2823 days


#15 posted 472 days ago

This is a real heirloom piece for sure. Great work!

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

showing 1 through 15 of 34 comments

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