Pleasant Hill Chest

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Project by woodcut posted 08-03-2013 01:12 AM 1507 views 2 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I saw this in Kerry Pierce’s “Pleasant Hill Shaker Furniture” and thought it would be a fun project.

There’s a lot of woodworking in this… half-blind and thru dovetails, dadoes and stop-dadoes, breadboard edges, and turning.

I followed the plans fairly well, but decided on pine instead of cherry, as this was intended to be a practice piece. The top is 34 7/8” by 15 1/4” and the chest stands 25 inches tall. All the dovetails, moldings, and dadoes for the till are hand cut. Like the original, the carcass has through DT’s on the front and half-blind on the back, and morticed rails into the legs, ...and the right drawer is 3/4” wider than the left. Why? I don’t know, but it adds charm to the piece.

Unlike the original I haven’t added a lock to the lid or to the right drawer, and the drawers fronts don’t have a bead around the edges… although these could be added later.

Hide glue was used throughout, and proved useful after I glued the front rails upside down. Some heat from an iron and a spreader clamp pulled it apart again.

Turning the legs and drawer pulls on my new-to-me Delta Midi lathe was fun, and turned out better than expected, as I only used a 1/4” chisel, a sharpened screwdriver and sandpaper to make them. The drawer pulls are wedged into the fronts from the inside.

Finish is garnet shellac and wax… Overall, I am pleased with the results. My apologies for the poor photography!

-- Carl, Iowa

6 comments so far

View Oldtool's profile


2516 posts in 2027 days

#1 posted 08-03-2013 01:49 AM

This came out great, very nice looking chest. Can’t imagine how you turned the legs with a sharpened screwdriver, but heck – if it works, use it.
I too have that book by Kerry, and want to make some of those projects. Hope mine come out as good as yours did.
Thanks for showing.

-- "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 woodcut's profile


190 posts in 2517 days

#2 posted 08-03-2013 10:15 PM

Thanks Oldtool!

-- Carl, Iowa

View docholladay's profile


1287 posts in 2895 days

#3 posted 08-04-2013 03:18 AM

If you are ever near Lexington, KY, you should go see the Pleasant Hill Shaker Village. My wife and I went there a couple years ago. It was an enjoyable tour. I enjoyed speaking with some of the craftsmen. It was a kind of slow day so I ended up getting a sort of behind the scenes tour because they had time to do so. I found it very interesting.

Well done on this chest. Nice work.


-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

View sheetzy's profile


155 posts in 1995 days

#4 posted 08-06-2013 01:41 PM

I like it

-- Sheetzy

View helluvawreck's profile


29158 posts in 2703 days

#5 posted 08-06-2013 02:53 PM

This is a nice clean project. Congratulations.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 2012 days

#6 posted 08-07-2013 01:48 PM

Great looking chest! Like the design, very well executed especially the joints and the legs. Great work!

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