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Old 12-12-2012, 09:15 AM   #1
Mad German
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Hey Woodworkers - Wanna see my latest project?

A while ago I started a thread asking for plans or suggestions for a hope chest I wanted to build for my girl. After looking and looking, I couldnít find any plans that I liked. So what does an anal retentive engineer whoís never satisfied with anything manufactured do? I made my own plans, taking bits and pieces from here and there. Iíll be putting the finish on it tonight, but thought you guys might want to see how it turned out. Iíve attached a pic of how it looked the day I got back from the lumberyard, i.e. the raw wood, and a few of the chest as it sits today, awaiting the finish. Here are a few quick details about the chest.
All sides and the lid are solid walnut. The floor is cedar. I made my own tongue and groove floor planks. I'll line the walls of the chest with cedar after the finsih is applied. I wanted to wait for that so the cedar smells as fresh as possible. Before I install the lining in the chest, I'll run some 220 grit sandpaper over it to release even more of the aromatic smell of the cedar.
I glued up all of the pieces that are used for the raised panels and cut the profiles on them using a specific router bit. Same for the vertical (stiles) and the horizontal (rails) pieces. Iíve got tons of pics, but thought Iíd share a few here now. If anyone is interested, I can post more later on tonight.
Feel free to comment on my work. Building this was a bittersweet process. Sweet, because I was making for a very special woman in my life. Bitter, because I used many of my late fatherís tools in the process. I wish he could have seen this. I know he would have been proud of me for how it turned out.
So what do you guys think?
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Old 12-12-2012, 09:27 AM   #2
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Very nice
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Old 12-12-2012, 09:43 AM   #3
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That's really nice
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Old 12-12-2012, 09:46 AM   #4
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i would love to have room for a wood shop
very nice work
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Old 12-12-2012, 10:44 AM   #5
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Wow, looks great! I've been waiting for this post. Def post more pics when the finish is on it.
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Old 12-12-2012, 10:48 AM   #6
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Looks great. How are you going to finish the surface? Stain? Paint? Leave it alone?

I bet that cedar smells good. The walnut even more
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Old 12-12-2012, 11:58 AM   #7
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Looks great Mad, nice work. The finish is really going to make it pop, be sure and update when it's on.
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:01 PM   #8
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Nice work! I have been planning on getting started on one this spring...I like to look around and take the aspects of different pieces that I like and make my own design too.
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:14 PM   #9
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Wow... Well done...you my friend have a lot of patients...top notch. I built a castle bed for my little girl and a car (tow mater) bed for my boy, but it's rough. I couldn't weld or grind it

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Old 12-12-2012, 01:18 PM   #10
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Nice work bro!!!
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:18 PM   #11
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Dude! Beautiful work! She'll cherish it - you just created an heirloom!
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Old 12-12-2012, 02:03 PM   #12
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Nice work! I have been planning on getting started on one this spring...I like to look around and take the aspects of different pieces that I like and make my own design too.
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Old 12-13-2012, 08:28 AM   #13
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Put the first coat of wipe on poly last night. Man, that took a long time. So many little nooks and crevices in that thing! Plus, I was careful not to get any on the interior of the chest and lid. I want to leave those surfaces raw so they don't affect the smell of the cedar once it's all done.

I'll post some more pics up by Sunday. By then I should have about 5 total coats of the poly on it. That first coat soaked into the wood right away. I know that it's a little more time consuming doing it this way, but after all of the long nights, not to mention the high cost of all of the lumber to make the chest, I don't want to mess it up. Wipe on poly is pretty fool proof, and given enough coats, looks really nice. I'm using a satin finish since I think it'll have more of a "home made" or non-manufactured/personal look to it.

Thanks for the kind words. If anyone has any specific questions about the design, hardware, lumber, etc. just let me know. Woodworking has become my new addiciton!
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Old 12-13-2012, 08:36 AM   #14
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Very nice.
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Old 12-13-2012, 09:21 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad German View Post

Thanks for the kind words. If anyone has any specific questions about the design, hardware, lumber, etc. just let me know. Woodworking has become my new addiciton!
I know we briefly talked about this before, but how did you finally decide to put in the cedar lining and hide/secure the ends at the top of the chest?

Are those hinges spring loaded, or will you be adding some kind of lid support?

If you're going to get into woodworking deeper (and you can't really resist it at this point.... ) I'm sure you already know what you need machine-wise, etc.... but the one thing I'd recommend is getting a turbine HVLP gun and look at some of the newer water-based products for finishing, they are exponentially better than they were just a few years ago. I was NEVER sold on water-based until a recent project where the painting process and finish ended up both being better than using solvent/oil based. Look into products by General Finishes. It would literally take 5 minutes or less to spray that chest and the finish would be dry in a couple of hours. Hit it with their sealer first to raise the grain, harden it, and seal it, then you can put a finish sand on it and go straight to poly, paint, whatever.

How much space do you have to set up "shop"? and what machines do you already have?
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Old 12-13-2012, 09:42 AM   #16
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Nice work.
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:06 AM   #17
Mad German
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KMac View Post
I know we briefly talked about this before, but how did you finally decide to put in the cedar lining and hide/secure the ends at the top of the chest?

Are those hinges spring loaded, or will you be adding some kind of lid support?

If you're going to get into woodworking deeper (and you can't really resist it at this point.... ) I'm sure you already know what you need machine-wise, etc.... but the one thing I'd recommend is getting a turbine HVLP gun and look at some of the newer water-based products for finishing, they are exponentially better than they were just a few years ago. I was NEVER sold on water-based until a recent project where the painting process and finish ended up both being better than using solvent/oil based. Look into products by General Finishes. It would literally take 5 minutes or less to spray that chest and the finish would be dry in a couple of hours. Hit it with their sealer first to raise the grain, harden it, and seal it, then you can put a finish sand on it and go straight to poly, paint, whatever.

How much space do you have to set up "shop"? and what machines do you already have?
I'm learning more and more about finishes all the time. I really like satin finishes for the reasons mentioned above. I will most certainly look into some of the water based products as well as a HVLP gun at some point as well.

The hinges do indeed have a torsion spring in them to keep the lid open. They are made by Rockler. A word of caution if you are thinking of using them. Their calculator is a little off. Basically, you take (the weight of the lid x the depth of the lid)/2 to get how many inch pounds you need. Per their calculations, I needed 205 inch pounds worth of support. I didn't want to put more than three hinges on the chest for aesthetics, so I bought (3) 60 in lb hinges. When I installed them, they wouldn't allow the lid to close all the way. It left about .5" gap. The hinges were too strong. So, I returned them and installed (3) 40 in lb hinges and they work just fine. When the lid is about < 35 degrees, it will close on it's own. It doesn't slam shut by any means, it just closes. However, past 35 degrees and it stays open just fine. Plus, it's just smoother and easier to open than with the 60s on it.

My shop is just my garage. It's a standard two car width, but it's almost two cars deep. It's about 25'x35'. Right now, I'm single so all I have in my garage is my truck, my R1, some lawn equipment and a few other bits. My woodworking gear is all mounted on wheels so I can move it wherever I need to. Typically, I move the table saw, planer, router table, etc. to the front of the garage to minimize the dust. I have dust ports on most pieces that I hook up to my big shop vac. While not a true dust collection system, it works just fine for me. Having the stuff on wheels lets me keep it all in a corner of the garage when I'm not using it. the stuff I use more frequently, like the table saw, miter saw, drill press and sander are near the front of the area, whereas the planer, band saw and oscilating sander are near the back.

My shop (main pieces):
table saw, a couple routers and a router table, band saw, planer, oscilating sander, belt & disc sander, drill press, compound miter saw

(hand tools):
nail guns, 23 ga pin nailer (which I think is the coolest tool I own right now), biscuit joiner, mini router/trim router, RO sander, 1/4 sheet sander, belt sander, typical woodworking hand tools (chisels, planes, small hand saws, etc.)

I try to always buy brands like JET, Milwaukee, DeWalt, Bosch. I've got some "lesser" branded stuff too. My planer, for example, is a Ryobi. However, it's about 20 years old and was build when Ryobi's name meant a little more than it does now. It still works just fine for me, so I can't see the need for a new one. It's only 10" wide though. I wish it took wider stock, but I'm still happy with it. I think that the JET tools (table saw and band saw) are def good tools for the money. They are well made and cut very nicely.

A lot of the stuff was my dad's (RIP) and the rest I bought on my own. I know I'm lucky enough to have the tools and also to have had a dad who showed me how to use them as well. I'm also lucky enough to have a girl who appreciates the hours it takes to make something (like this). I say that because some folks have aboslutely no idea what it takes to transform raw lumber into an heirloom chest such as this. I'm hoping that one day my son or her son (assuming we get married) can give this chest to his bride one day. Or I'll just make one for their girls when the time comes.

Oh yeah, the cedar lining. I'm mounting it vertically, it'll come up to the bottom edge of the hinges, leaving some of the raw walnut exposed (on purpose). For the ends of the cedar, I'm just going to run them through the 1/4" roundover bit on the router table. To attach them, I'll shoot a few 23 ga pins in the planks. That way, years down the road if I need to, I can replace them with fresh pieces if she wants me to. The planks are tongue and groove, so a few pins and the T&G will hold them to the walls of the chest just fine. Plus, the exposed rounder edges will have a "hand crafted" look to them as well.

Any other comments or questions?
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:11 AM   #18
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Sounds like you're on top of it.

The one thing about anything I build is that I build it to last. My goal is for my great grandkids to be able to get it, and if everybody along the way doesn't just flat out abuse it, it should make it that far. That's why I generally don't skimp on materials, or fasteners, or glue, etc. Unfortunately, my wife just doesn't "get it". She's a slave to convenience and would rather go out and buy some lightly built, crappy imported piece of sheot that might not even last 10 years just to get it now, or because "it's cheap", simply because she likes the look of it, or doesn't want to wait to get it built. Right now, I'm in the middle of installing all my dust collection ductwork. I've got a Penn State Tempest dust collector put in, now have to finish the ductwork and it will make running the shop a whole lot easier and cleaner. Once that is finished I'm building a table for the printer/copier in our home office. She just wants to grab a table from somewhere cheap and put it on that, leaving me free time to build full size built-in's in our family room on both sides of the fireplace. I want to build the printer table so I can incorporate the features and "looks" and finish of what I want to use on the built-in's so I don't have to risk fcvking something up on a huge piece. That way I end up with an awesome printer stand, and high confidence in my approach to, and design of the built-ins. Bottom line, I totally get it about wanting to make something last, and how others don't have a clue about what it takes to build stuff like this. My grandfather would roll over in his grave if he knew I built something that was not up to his standard. I wouldn't sleep at night if I thought I built something that he would frown upon.

I'm really wanting to start building smaller, finer stuff like a jewelry box for my daughter, fancy hall table, etc... but I gotta get this big stuff outta the way so I don't have to keep hearing about it from the War Department.
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:33 AM   #19
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If that's the case, Kirk. You'd be happy to know that as I'm moving out of the house, I've been throwing the cheap furniture over the fence so the neighbors can burn it. Amazing how hot and quick particle board burns up.
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:50 AM   #20
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It's funny you mention a jewelry box. With some of the left over wood, I made her a (another - made one last year) keepsake box. I was lucky enough to have some decent pieces that show the stark differences bewteen the various grains of walnut. The lid is kind of unique. I made it like a raised panel, similar to the hope chest, but instead of a wood panel for the center piece, I went to a local glass company and got them to cut a piece of textured glass to use as the insert. Pretty cool looking, if I say so myself.

I'll be finishing that piece this weekend, so I'll post pics of the chest and the keepsake box together. After I get my shop in some sort of shape again, I'll make a thread where all of the woodworkers can show their shops and projects. I wonder how many other guys here are into woodworking?
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