Arts & Crafts Bridal Chest

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Project by Ken90712 posted 09-23-2013 02:38 PM 2439 views 5 times favorited 26 comments Add to Favorites Watch

As most of you know Blondie and I are BIG Arts & Crafts fans along with Greene and Greene. This project was published by Bob Lang in Popular Woodworking in Nov 2005. The contrasting woods highlight the lines of this Gustav Stickley-designed classic. I have the article and some Google Sketch-up drawling’s I played with using Bob Lang’s tutorial program. If you would like them as always I would be happy to send them to you to your personal email.

I started this project over 200 days ago, hard to believe. Only reason I know is I posted a “blog”: Blondie and I have been doing construction on the front of the house and built a” new gate ”: so we have had a dozen things going at once. Of course our jobs get in the way some too. :>)

The wood I used is Quarter Sawn Sapele from Austin’s Hardwoods. The veneered panels were Pecan Pecky. The bedroom is mostly oak however I really wanted something nicer & different as I’m tired of Oak. (No offense Oak, LOL). At the risk of making the bed room a kaleidoscope we went with this.

There are 32 offset mortise and tennon’s on this project, 11 double sided veneered panels and a bunch of dadoes. The first two of these were kind of a new technique for me as far as having to be as close to perfect as possible. I used 6/4 lumber as all the Sapele’s finished dimensions are 1 1/4” thick except for the corbels. The legs are glued together with a 45 degree joint. There are 16 corbels added to this as the top receives none. The bottom is aromatic cedar, it really does smell nice.

After all the sanding was done, I sprayed it with 10 coats General Finishes Enduro Varnish Semi-Gloss with my Earlex 5500. I wet sanded it to 2000 and polished it with a buffing pad and 3m’s Finesse-it polishing compound. I have Bob Flexner’s book on finishing and I try to improve each time in this area.

I bought toy box lid supports to help with the weight of the top by recommendation of Rockler. After about 2 hours of seeing that these were not going to fit or work, I went to the internet and found information that these only work on 3/4” inch thick backs. It does not say that anywhere on the package… So off to HD I go for some universal supports.

Blondie loves it, and I have to say I’m pretty proud of this one as well. As woodworker we all know we have the best intentions and high hopes for our work. We all know the little areas were not happy with the results and I have been scolded by the Boss to stop pointing them out. LOL

As always thx for looking and all comments are welcome negative and positive.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

26 comments so far

View TexPenn's profile


453 posts in 2774 days

#1 posted 09-23-2013 02:46 PM

Super Fine!!!!

-- Ted, TX or PA

View JR_Dog's profile


526 posts in 1406 days

#2 posted 09-23-2013 03:01 PM


Way to turn a favorite hobby into something priceless; I’d be willing to bet if there was a catastrophic event in the future you’d see her carrying this heirloom to safety on her back.

It’s really nice; great job!

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

8535 posts in 3138 days

#3 posted 09-23-2013 03:15 PM


C O N G R A T UL A T I O N S !

You finished it!

Beautiful Work… Project… !!

Really COOL & different… your own design!

I really like it!

What kind of square did you use in laying out the side stiles? .... don’t look quite square! ... Just kidding… I know… that’s part of COOL part!

Thanks for sharing…

You do really do great work!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View amagineer's profile


1402 posts in 1683 days

#4 posted 09-23-2013 03:51 PM

Ken, it’s been a long time coming, but it was worth waiting for. This chest is fantastic. Everything about it is great. The sapele just shimmers and goes well with the pecan. Thanks for sharing.

-- Flaws are only in the eye of the artisan!

View pintodeluxe's profile


4185 posts in 1899 days

#5 posted 09-23-2013 06:34 PM

Looks great, I like the shapes formed by the curved stiles.
Nice work on this one!
Did you say you sprayed 10 coats? That thing will survive a flood!

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View BENTWOOD's profile


359 posts in 868 days

#6 posted 09-23-2013 06:39 PM

Very nice detail in this beautiful chest…and cedar lined bottom to boot!


View lew's profile


10691 posts in 2841 days

#7 posted 09-23-2013 06:41 PM

That turned out gorgeous!
The combination of those two wood types is absolutely perfect!!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View spud72's profile


323 posts in 2580 days

#8 posted 09-23-2013 07:19 PM

beautiful chest, well done.

-- Guy,PEI

View degoose's profile


7143 posts in 2441 days

#9 posted 09-23-2013 07:43 PM

As we said in the Navy…. “Bravo Zulu”... job well done…

-- Drink twice... and don't bother to cut... @ For lovers of all things timber...

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5538 posts in 1378 days

#10 posted 09-23-2013 10:05 PM

Very attractive—well done.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View BobLang's profile


119 posts in 2486 days

#11 posted 09-23-2013 10:39 PM

Hi Ken,

Nice work and thanks for the kind words.


-- Bob Lang,

View aussiedave's profile


3106 posts in 910 days

#12 posted 09-23-2013 10:49 PM

Very nice chest Ken…the contrasting woods and clean design make a beautiful project look great…well done.

-- Dave.......If at first you don’t succeed redefine success....

View a1Jim's profile (online now)


113815 posts in 2663 days

#13 posted 09-23-2013 11:54 PM

Great chest Ken ,beautiful and a fine build.

-- Custom furniture

View hoss12992's profile


3327 posts in 979 days

#14 posted 09-24-2013 12:37 AM

Awesome job. Love the contrasting woods and the quality and craftsmanship are top notch. Great job

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View gfadvm's profile (online now)


13924 posts in 1776 days

#15 posted 09-24-2013 12:42 AM

You are a perfectionist! 200 days would have driven me crazy but it was well worth the wait. The sapele/pecan works well together. I just never think about combining domestics and exotics. This may convince me to try it.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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