I am in the process of going over the building of a medieval hutch chest. If you want to catch up on what I've covered so far you can click on the link HERE.
The next step was making the handle for the sides of the chest. Now this was the part of the build that really intrigued me and made me want to build this chest. If we look at the 13th century hutch chest that was the inspiration for this build then I can tell you why.
I'm sure that's what caught my attention when I saw this picture. The carving is nice, the design and chances for playing with grain directions were interesting, but what sold me was the sides. I cannot tell if the cross piece in the end is intended to be a functional handle or a decorative element, I cannot tell if it's an added piece, maybe mortised in place or if it's been relief cut from the side panel of the chest. No matter the details, I had come across an answer to my issues, well OK one of my issues.
I dry fit the sides and the fronts and back of the chest together to make sure of my measurements. and I had just the right amount of board left from cutting the legs. The space between the legs is 10 1/2" so I knew where to shoulder my tenon cuts to keep the chest square.