Anna’s Hope Chest
By Steve Boudreau from Coldwater, OH
Added on May 1, 2014
The idea for this project was a birthday present for my daughter. While it is not a terribly complex build it started out to be a much simpler Shaker/Mission type design. After many drawings and looking at assorted different photos of chests things got a little more elaborate and challenging until I came up with this design. One of the things I wanted to accomplish with this project was to use more hand tools and fewer power tools and very few mechanical fasteners. The addition of the Greene and Greene style details came late in the construction as an after thought really, my first attempt. I was happy with the look but wish I had added a little more in the design. The stiles, rails, and breadboard ends are Curly Cherry and the panels, top and bottom are Pensylvania Cherry that was cut from a 12/4 piece that was approximately 21″ wide and about 8′ tall. The panels within the fields were pre-finished before I assembled the front, back and sides. The biggest challenge with them was gluing up all the joints and inserting all the panels before the glue started to set. For that I did use a special slow set glue from Garrett Wade that worked very well.
The plugs and splines are made of Ebony. I used the William Ng method on the plugs and made a profile scraper for the splines. The final finish is about 6 to 8 coats of Danish oil rubbed in and wet sanded to 600 and 2 coats of wax. I will also be adding a till/tray to the inside.
It was a very challenging and fun piece to build. Thanks to Marc and William Ng for their online postings and videos that helped with some of the techniques. I also want to thank Marc for continuing to share his knowledge. This piece was built for my daughter and dedicated to my Dad for allowing me to sweep up all that sawdust in his shop when I was little and teaching and inspiring me to become a woodworker.