The Boarded Chest I

In "The Anarchist's Design Book" Chris Schwarz writes that a boarded chest should take 2 boards and around 10 hours to build. Apparently I took that as a challenge. I took somewhere in the neighborhood of 7 months. Albeit I have excuses. The chest was for me and my use so a paying jobs got in the way, moving my house and shop got in the way, and my own thought patterns, like a murmeration of birds, got in the way.

Boarded chests or 6-board chests are the perfect utilitarian canvas to impose your will upon. I had a desire to explore grain painting, not the subtle kind, the wacko far out there stuff, and I wanted to step up the work I've played with, lining boxes with designed paper, on a large scale item like a chest to see how it felt in overload.

I started with a pile of 1x10x10 foot pine boards from the closest home center. I cross cut them to close to the lengths I wanted and then glued up the panels. Sides, front, back, and bottom. I was not worrying about the lid yet.

With the panels glued up I flattened them. I love the texture of traversed planing in a raking light.

Then I squared up the ends and started laying out for the step joint where the front and back panels rest on the side panels.

Instead of really measuring I used a sector and dividers to measure how tall the legs would be in relation to the sides. I don't recall exactly but a 1:6 ratio seems like what I did.

I cut and ripped the step joint, then I planed rabbets in the bottom of the front and back panel and cut dados in the right place on the end panels.

Then it was time for a dry fit.  Everything worked to satisfaction, but the interesting parts were about to begin.

Ratione et Passionis


  1. yes those traversing cuts from your plane are gorgeous, and very little tear out around the knot. love it and like how you leave us in suspense about what is *next* amigo

    -adam of oakland, ca, usa


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