LumberJocks

New guy making a cedar chest

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodworking Skill Share forum

Forum topic by Millertime24 posted 01-17-2017 11:22 PM 583 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Millertime24's profile

Millertime24

6 posts in 372 days


01-17-2017 11:22 PM

Hello everyone. My name is Mike and my dad kind of helped unlock some kind of joy for making stuff out of trees. It all started with my workbench, then a larger work surface with built in router table, then nightstands, coat racks ect… All of those things were derived from plans that I found on the google machine, but I’ve never seen anything like this cedar chest that I came up with all on my own.

Initially I wanted to make the entire chest out of nothing but cedar, but I figured I would want something a bit stronger supporting the bottom so I went with poplar there. To start off, I measured where the chest was going to go to get an idea of how big to make it (its going under a window so my wife’s cat can see outside). Once I had my dimensions I did a little math, went to the local orange store and purchased my cedar boards. Before I started this project I did not have a jointer, planer, or table saw. The reason I bring that up is because why else would you buy wood from a box store at a massive markup?

Once I had my wood I got right to work measuring once and cutting 3 times with my miter saw to get all of my pieces the length they needed to be. What I started doing was making 2 identical size boxes out of 1×4 and joined them by dovetailing the corners and gluing the boards together (see pics). Once I had my 2 boxes made I realized there was no feasible way to strongly attach the cedar boards that would make up the bottom into one of the boxes I had already made. Back to the blue store this time for some 1×2 poplar. Once I cut the poplar to length I used Kreg screws to attach the pieces across the width of my box to make a frame for the bottom boards to sit on.

That all went very well…ish so on to making the front, back and sides of the box. For this I decided to use 1×6 cedar boards. Essentially these boards went vertically from the bottom box with bottom installed to the top box, but what I couldn’t wrap my head around was how to attach these things without using nails or screws. So back inside I went to consume some creativity fluid from the Miller brewing company and watch youtube videos of New Yankee Workshop. The creativity fluid must have worked very well because the next day my head was so full of ideas that it hurt. I looked at some drawing I vaguely remember making and there it was!!! Use dowels to attach the top box to the bottom one that go through the panels making the front, back and sides as well (see pics). This went swimmingly so onto the lid.

Somewhere between making the bulk of the box and getting around to the lid, my dad decided to give me a planer. All I had to do was pay for half shipping, completely rebuild the planer, and buy new knives and accessories. My wife must have been more enthused than me because somehow I ended up with a brand new jointer around the end of December for some reason. Now that I have a jointer and a planer I started to think about other woods I could be using as well as obtaining the cedar I was using from my local lumber yard for a fraction of the price as the box stores. That’s when my wife and I were introduced to EXOTIC lumber!!! Too cool!!! We immediately decided we wanted to make the lid out of exotic lumber and frame it in a cedar frame. So we purchased about 10bd/ft of canary wood and about 4 of purple heart. I jointed, and planed the canary, purple, and cedar parts that would make up the frame, then I was ready to start making a panel. My wife thought it would look cool if we used canary with a strip of purple heart for accent (see pics). Two of the canary boards are joined with biscuits and the rest with tongue and groove and glue. Once the exotic panel was made I tongued (lol) the entire outer perimeter of the panel. For the cedar frame I grooved the entire inner perimeter. The panel just floats inside the frame and the frame corners are biscuited and glued together.

After much sanding, drinking, sanding, applying sanding sealer, drinking, and sanding some more I finally got to put my first coat of semi gloss poly on the lid (see pics). I still need to finish doweling and sanding the box itself, but recently I’ve become a little sick, so I used my thumb locater to mash the lid back on my poly and I’m calling it until I feel better. Feel free to ask any questions or offer up any advice. Thanks for reading.

http://rs1383.pbsrc.com/albums/ah308/skydiver6941/20161205_170536_zpseca5po2d.jpg?w=280&h=210&fit=crop

http://rs1383.pbsrc.com/albums/ah308/skydiver6941/20161206_172404_zps8xvwnc2j.jpg?w=280&h=210&fit=crop

http://rs1383.pbsrc.com/albums/ah308/skydiver6941/20161211_154042_zpscnsig5qi.jpg?w=280&h=210&fit=crop

http://rs1383.pbsrc.com/albums/ah308/skydiver6941/20161211_162458_zpst9ekwzys.jpg?w=280&h=210&fit=crop

http://rs1383.pbsrc.com/albums/ah308/skydiver6941/20161231_174558_zpsbnwcswty.jpg?w=280&h=210&fit=crop

http://rs1383.pbsrc.com/albums/ah308/skydiver6941/20170112_185659_resized_zpsbsyp1n70.jpg?w=280&h=210&fit=crop

http://rs1383.pbsrc.com/albums/ah308/skydiver6941/20170112_190033_resized_zpsmt0fs6b6.jpg?w=280&h=210&fit=crop

http://rs1383.pbsrc.com/albums/ah308/skydiver6941/20170117_145151_resized_zpscacfdnmz.jpg?w=280&h=210&fit=crop

-- -Mike


5 replies so far

View HerbC's profile

HerbC

1684 posts in 2693 days


#1 posted 01-18-2017 08:24 PM

Mike,

You obviously put a lot of time, thought and effort into designing and building this chest. The work you have done looks like very good workmanship…

But… (you knew there was a BUTT, didn’t you???)

You need to research how wood behaves as the environmental humidity levels change, causing changes in moisture levels in the wood. As the wood gains moisture, it gets larger across the width of the boards but very little change along the length of the boards. The end result is when the design does not allow accommodation of this movement, structures such as you framed top panel and your side panels with the combination of long rails and cross grained planks, tightly attached using pegs will undergo a lot of stress and may well start self destructing.

I hope things work out well but don’t be surprised if the project starts to go down hill once it’s completed. BTW, putting a finish on the wood will do very little to minimize the movement of the wood due to changes in moisture levels.

Good Luck!

Be Careful!

Herb

PS I just noticed that you say the panel in the top is floating in the groove in the frame. This WILL tend to minimize the problem with the top but the wide mitered frame is still problematic and I believe the main box construction design is faulty.

-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!" http://lumberjocks.com/HerbC/blog/17090

View HerbC's profile

HerbC

1684 posts in 2693 days


#2 posted 01-20-2017 03:02 AM

You’d probably get more comments if you posted the photos here rather than linking to PhotoBucket…

To do so just start a comment and then click the img button and use the image dialog to select the photo file on your computer which will cause it to be uploaded to storage at amazon and to be displayed in the post. You can repeat the selection process multiple times in one comment.

Good Luck!

Herb

-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!" http://lumberjocks.com/HerbC/blog/17090

View Millertime24's profile

Millertime24

6 posts in 372 days


#3 posted 01-20-2017 03:20 AM

Cool. Thanks for the input. I wasn’t really sure if the dowels would cause that kind of issue as they’re made of a softer wood (poplar I think). Either way, the lid was the real show piece to this thing, and I’m reasonable sure that it will be just fine. If the box goes to hell I can always make another one with a better design and not scrap the lid.

Ill try and upload the pics directly in the thread when I get home from work (I’m not going to try to download them to my gov computer). Thanks again!

-Mike

-- -Mike

View Millertime24's profile

Millertime24

6 posts in 372 days


#4 posted 01-20-2017 05:50 AM

Hope these come out better than using photophuckit

-- -Mike

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2575 posts in 2755 days


#5 posted 01-20-2017 01:23 PM

Hope these come out better than using photophuckit

- Millertime24

Yes Photo bucket is lousy.

-- No PHD, but I have a GED and my DD 214

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com