Toy Chest (First larger project)

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Project by John Welch posted 10-14-2013 10:40 AM 2256 views 9 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’m new to woodworking, and this was my first build. I’ve done a fair amount of home projects, flooring, trim, birdhouses, etc..
The chest is poplar and birch ply, finshed with GF Georgian Cherry gel stain, and topped with Arm-R-Seal. I used Rockler’s torsion hinges, I mortised the lip to fit the front of the hinge.
The project took much more time than I was anticipating! I did this in my one car garage, and I lack a planer or jointer, so everything was dimensioned by hand with some flea market find planes that I cleaned up.
I applied a pre-stain, but still got some splotching, I think by trying to get everything perfect, I definitely over sanded in spots, but a lot of lessons were learned for sure!
Looking forward to the next project!

-- -- John Welch - Lowell, Massachusetts

11 comments so far

View Oldtool's profile


2736 posts in 2388 days

#1 posted 10-14-2013 11:36 AM

Beautiful chest, very nice indeed. For your first larger project, I’d say it could not have come out any nicer, well crafted, especially since it was completed using hand tools. Your prior experience with home projects and trim shows here, nice tight joinery, straight lines, flat surfaces, etc. great work.

-- "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 becikeja's profile


947 posts in 3010 days

#2 posted 10-14-2013 12:59 PM

Looks great.

-- Don't outsmart your common sense

View Mike_from_Buffalo's profile


101 posts in 2082 days

#3 posted 10-14-2013 01:08 PM

Great looking project! I was trying to design something similar and this gives me some inspiration, thanks!

-- Mike from Buffalo "A man spends the first half of his life learning habits that shorten the other half of his life."

View John Welch's profile

John Welch

6 posts in 1898 days

#4 posted 10-14-2013 01:18 PM

Thank you, for the kind words! For the design, I based it off Wood magazine’s Heirloom Hope Chest, and made some changes, mostly to the width.

-- -- John Welch - Lowell, Massachusetts

View BinghamtonEd's profile


2298 posts in 2567 days

#5 posted 10-14-2013 01:44 PM

Very nice work. How do you like those torsion hinges? I’ll be building a toy box for a Christmas present and was going to get them. My understanding is the lid pretty much stays in whatever position you leave it in.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View John Welch's profile

John Welch

6 posts in 1898 days

#6 posted 10-14-2013 02:00 PM

I really liked the hinges. That is exactly how they work, much like a laptop, it stays in whatever position you leave it. I followed some advice from others on here to not use the screws that came with the hinges, they are known to be weak screws. I did add that mortise to drop the front of the hinge into, which worked out well for my design.

-- -- John Welch - Lowell, Massachusetts

View helluvawreck's profile


32087 posts in 3064 days

#7 posted 10-14-2013 03:01 PM

John, you did a nice job on this.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Ken90712's profile


17594 posts in 3386 days

#8 posted 10-14-2013 03:27 PM

Great job on the chest. I just finished one as well and understand what you mean about it taking longer than I thought! LOL Well done.

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

View David Dean's profile

David Dean

608 posts in 3096 days

#9 posted 10-14-2013 09:33 PM

nice work.

View aussiedave's profile


3114 posts in 2021 days

#10 posted 10-14-2013 11:09 PM

Very nice toy chest and a great job for first large project…well done.

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

View dshute's profile


219 posts in 2883 days

#11 posted 10-14-2013 11:24 PM

Nothing beat a paneled chest, really nice. It appears you did everything right.

-- dshute, Warsaw, New York

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