Toy Chest (First larger project)

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Project by John Welch posted 319 days ago 1096 views 8 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


1783 posts in 824 days

#1 posted 319 days ago

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


311 posts in 1446 days

#2 posted 319 days ago

Looks great.

-- Don't outsmart your common sense

View Mike_from_Buffalo's profile


84 posts in 518 days

#3 posted 319 days ago

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 334 days

#4 posted 319 days ago

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


1270 posts in 1003 days

#5 posted 319 days ago

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 334 days

#6 posted 319 days ago

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


15623 posts in 1500 days

#7 posted 319 days ago

John, you did a nice job on this.

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 Ken90712's profile


14878 posts in 1822 days

#8 posted 319 days ago

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

513 posts in 1532 days

#9 posted 318 days ago

nice work.

View aussiedave's profile


3014 posts in 457 days

#10 posted 318 days ago

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

-- Dave.......Keep calm and make more sawdust....

View dshute's profile


112 posts in 1319 days

#11 posted 318 days ago

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

-- dshute, Warsaw, New York

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