Help with a Hope Chest

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Forum topic by Caradec posted 10-18-2010 10:23 PM 1373 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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5 posts in 2976 days

10-18-2010 10:23 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question oak rustic

Hi everyone I’m new here, not too sure about where to post what and such, but this seems like a good place to start.

I don’t have much woodworking experience, and I don’t have many tools, but wood has always interested me. And recently I have been tearing apart an old collapsed barn built in 1814, I have been wanting to use the wood I pull out for furniture and other projects. And I had someone request that I build a hope chest from the wood I have pulled from the barn. I have some 1x’s of various widths that I want to use but I am not sure exactly how to build it. I intend to make it 36” long 24” tall and 24” wide. I want to keep the rustic look without taking the character from the wood. And I’m not sure how to do that.

So I basically have two questions..

Anyone know where I can get some designs for a Hope chest? I can build it without plans I think, but I like to at least have something to go off of (Like I said, I don’t have much woodworking experience)

And two, how can I keep all the old blade marks and little imperfections that give the wood its character while getting rid of the small splinters and such? Keeping the rough hewn look and having the wood (relatively)smooth
If I sand the wood lightly then put a clear coat on it will that do it?


5 replies so far

View Blakep's profile


232 posts in 3000 days

#1 posted 10-18-2010 10:59 PM

I would sand it with a random orbit sander and just hit it quick to get rid of the splinters and rough pieces. Then clear coat and it should be good. You may want to square up the lumber because i’m sure its bowed and out of square since its that old. As far as plans I don’t really know. I haven’t used any plans yet but they would be nice on some things. I am currently working on a baby crib and every time I think I am almost finished I find some more details that I want to add to it. I guess the advantage of not using plans is the ability to add these details but it does take a little longer. I always just have a finished picture in my mind and figure out the size that I want it to be and the method I am going to use to make the joints and then go to work and add details along the way as I see ways to improve the project.

View a1Jim's profile


117328 posts in 3775 days

#2 posted 10-18-2010 11:17 PM

Charles Neil just finished his. I don’t know if he will have his video available yet. But you can ask.
or Good old Norm

When using used wood always start by checking for nails, a metal detector works best ,some of the woodworking supply places sell some starting at around $20. Before sanding use a hand wire brush to remove as much dirt as possible.Then to help smooth it out I’d use a belt sander and then a random orbital sander . then use a straight edge to check to see how flat the boards are. next check the edges and ends for square.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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Tom Coster

120 posts in 3036 days

#3 posted 10-18-2010 11:19 PM

Welcome aboard! Lumberjocks is a great place to learn. IMHO I would find a set of plans that fits your project. There is a lot of free sites on the web. In my mind it would be easier to focus on mastering the actual woodworking skills and not have to worry at the same time about learning from from your mistakes concerning the design.

-- Tom, MI, SC

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Tom Coster

120 posts in 3036 days

#4 posted 10-18-2010 11:26 PM

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5 posts in 2976 days

#5 posted 05-05-2011 06:42 AM

Thank you for all the help, tips, and links guys. I just finally got around to starting and finishing the hope chest a couple weeks ago and will be posting it on my projects page.

Thanks again!

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