Need direction, if doing below project right for lady who wants hope chest/coffee table.

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Forum topic by Jim Reeves posted 07-17-2010 04:18 AM 1313 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jim Reeves

209 posts in 3222 days

07-17-2010 04:18 AM

Hi fellow woodworker friends, just thought l would see if about to do below project correctly?
A lady emailed me wants on a low budget, a hope chest that she can also use as a coffee table.
she wants it to be 18 inches across x 24 inches deep x 36 inches long with no legs.
So l thought l would use 4 – 1 1/2’’ x 1 1/2’’ x 24’’ high corner inside blocks and fasten the front/back and end panels from inside to secure the panels.

Then about 1-2’’ up from bottom of 4 panels attach 1’’ x 1’’ cleats to secure bottom panel floor.
for the lid dowel/glue boards together to make lid 1 inch overhand all 4 sides.
I had thought maybe to dowel and glue as well side and end panels would this be secure enough?
And buy 2 lid supports to hold lid up when open, and use a 36 inch x 1 1/2’’ piano brass hinge to hold lid on to back panel.

Buy some type of fancy handle to put on top of lid and though she doesn’t want legs, thought if she was ok with it l suggested putting on 4 bun type feet.
Would l be best to pre drill and use screws or brad nails with air nailer?
She doesn’t want finished just left plain l guess of cost though wouldn’t be much more.
I am looking foreword to your advise, direction please correct me on the above if l am planning this wrong and add any info that will help me to make this best it can be made.

I will only learn if l am corrected by those who have years of experience, as l am a beginner wet behind the ears as my dad used to say when learning.
Thanks in advance to all who are willing to direct me threw this, as well as say hey that would not be good etc then tell me what would be best.

thanks all

-- jim

6 replies so far

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3274 days

#1 posted 07-17-2010 03:03 PM

What kind of material do you plan to use for the sides, bottom and top? and how thick will it be?

How do you plan to do the corners? miter? butt?

I, or anyone else, could give you better advice if we knew the answers to these questions.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Gary's profile


9386 posts in 3632 days

#2 posted 07-17-2010 03:59 PM

No handle on top if it’s also a coffee table. What tools do you have? Router/table?

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 3267 days

#3 posted 07-17-2010 04:19 PM

For me, the words “low budget” raise a large, very red, flag. Before you do any serious planning, you need to know how many dollars are in this “low budget”. If there aren’t enough dollars to cover the cost of the materials, you need to say “Thanks, but No thanks”. If you think that there are enough dollars to at least cover materials, you have to decide how much (if any) of your time you’re willing to donate.

Know your budget target before you dive too deeply into designing and shopping for materials.

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 4092 days

#4 posted 07-17-2010 04:21 PM

Buy one at IKEA, sell that to her ?

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View swirt's profile


3418 posts in 3171 days

#5 posted 07-17-2010 09:49 PM

I built something similar out of pine a year ago.
Click for details

The legs are integrated, but they could have been left off or had bun feet instead.

-- Galootish log blog,

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 3182 days

#6 posted 07-18-2010 03:23 PM

I’m in line with Swirt in his design. I was thinking more on the line of a small version of a Shaker blanket chest with a hinged top using a piano hinge. Still allowing for a lip around the top and eliminating the need for a handle, yet open without having to lift the top off. As for low budget I would just use a good cabinet grade plywood for the chest with a solid wood edge band to hide the veneer plywood edges.
If you look at my table saw cabinet in my project pictures it will give you an idea of what I did using plywood with solid wood edge banding. I used rabbet joints, glue and a brad nailer to put it together.
Oh and instead of feet you could put it on swivel casters so it would be easy to move around and clean under.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

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