Robin’s Retirement Chest

Viewer Project - By Robin Thistle from Patuxent River
Added on January 19, 2014

This was a retirement chest for a friend of mine who retired after 20 years of Naval service. I’ve done a few smaller projects but wanted to learn new skills and increase my confidence.

The walnut and oak were rough cut lumber purchased from a local Amish mill. Overall the project took about two months to complete, working mostly nights and weekends. I watched Marc’s video and took his advice on using the rabbet joints versus the miters in the corners, that saved time and they were hidden mostly by the brass hardware anyway. The most difficult part was the lid, cutting the ribs to size, cutting out the tenons and mortises and fitting the panels in, as they needed to be bowed slightly.

My friend Steve came to my rescue quite a few times, lending a hand and providing some advice. He also allowed me to use his shop on more than a few occasions throughout the course of the project. We added a simple lift out framed glass lid to the tray and simple shelves to support it. We finished it with a dry rub of boiled linseed oil to bring out the color in the wood and two coats of shellac, finishing with wax.

Overall the plans were simple to follow, although we did find a few contradictions between the cut list and written instructions in Rockler’s plans, such as the short sides of the tray. Be sure to read each step carefully.