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Bridal Chest Lid

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Forum topic by James Gallo posted 11-24-2016 03:58 PM 470 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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James Gallo

68 posts in 1947 days


11-24-2016 03:58 PM

Over a year later, I’m still working on the bridal chest that was supposed to be a wedding present for my son and his wife.
The chest has been done for over 8 months, and I’ve been juggling it between my 2 benches.
My problem is the lid. This is the third lid I’ve built, and I screwed it up too, but I really don’t want to build a fourth. I won’t bore you with the mistakes I made, but this last lid is solid wood, which potato chipped on me, even after taking all the precautions ( acclimating the wood before milling, milling in steps over a few weeks time, only removing small amounts from both sides each time, etc.)

After hand planing the final glue up ( 24” x 45”)I ended up with a lid a little better than 5/8” thick. It does not look right on the chest.
My plan is to glue my 2nd attempt to my third attempt, gluing the worst side of 2nd lid to worst side of 3rd lid, to give me some thickness.
The 2nd lid was made from veneered 3/4” mdf with a mahogany frame. The 3rd lid is solid mahogany 5/8”.
Do any of you foresee any issues with my plan?
Any and all guidance and direction is welcome, as well as criticism. You can’t hurt my feelings or pride any more than I’ve hurt them myself!!!

Thanks,

Jim

-- Jg, Pittsburgh


5 replies so far

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

1504 posts in 1224 days


#1 posted 11-24-2016 04:11 PM

Some pictures might help. I sounds like the 3rd lid is basically just a flat board? Why not cut the 5/8” lid panel smaller and put a thicker frame around it that gives it the height you are looking for?

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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James Gallo

68 posts in 1947 days


#2 posted 11-25-2016 03:07 PM

-- Jg, Pittsburgh

View JBrow's profile

JBrow

1274 posts in 757 days


#3 posted 11-26-2016 02:11 AM

James Gallo,

I personally would fear that a lid made up by gluing a solid wood panel to MDF could fail down the road. I am not smart enough to predict exactly how failure would manifest itself, but the solid wood could conceivably expand or contract at a much greater rate than the MDF. As a result, the wood could buckle upward or crack along the grain in one or more places.

I assume Lazyman had in mind a lid whose frame is similar to the frames on the front and ends of the chest. That is, when the lid is closed the wide faces of the frame would horizontal and the frame’s edges would be vertically oriented. A slight variation of his idea is to make the frame from ¾” or thicker stock which is oriented so that the wide faces of the frame are vertical when the lid is closed and the edges of the frame oriented horizontally, like a shadow box. In this option, the solid 5/8” thick panel could float in a 5/8” groove cut into the frame or the veneered MDF panel glued into rabbets cut into the perimeter of the frame.

Another option would require a design change and would dramatically alter and soften the appearance of the chest. This option would be a lid that is upholstered. A simple dust cover or fabric could cover the underside of the lid. If the upholstered panel set on a narrow solid wood frame, the upholstered panel could be screwed to the wood frame from underneath. Cleats could be incorporated into a wider wood frame to which the inset upholstered panel is attached. The staples that hold the fabric in place could be positioned so that the wooden frame or cleats would conceal the staples. The substrate from cabinet grade plywood would be a little more stable and is mostly free of voids. The key would be picking the right fabric and of course ensuring your daughter-in-law is on board.

It is interesting that the solid wood panel twisted. I presume was flat immediately after it was removed from the clamps and then twisted overnight or after a few days. After the solid panel was glued up, was it laid on a solid surface so that air could only reach one side of the panel? If so, then the inability of the panel to release or absorb moisture on both faces equally could account for the twisting.

By the way, the chest looks really nice!

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James Gallo

68 posts in 1947 days


#4 posted 11-26-2016 10:52 PM

Thanks so much JBrow for all of the great advice. I think you are correct about the reason the solid wood top warped. I will not make that mistake again.

Jim

-- Jg, Pittsburgh

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JBrow

1274 posts in 757 days


#5 posted 11-27-2016 02:46 AM

James Gallo,

I am not the brightest bulb on the tree so I had to learn the hard way. I had a glued up panel that I sanded flush, flat and otherwise perfect and then just set it flat on the workbench. Overnight it cupped. I dampened the panel and thankfully it returned to flat. I now sticker all milled lumber and glued-up panels and have had no problems.

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