The Fujiwhara Chest

Viewer Project - By Tom Iovino from Tampa, FL
Added on September 23, 2008

It’s called a Fujiwhara Chest. (BTW – the Fujiwhara effect is when two hurricanes start to rotate around each other if they get too close…the swirls in the door veneers reminded me of that). Basically a Krenov-inspired chest on a stand. The legs are made of Sapele my hardwood supplier had in the burn pile, and the aprons and chest parts are made of hard maple. The legs are tapered through their bottom ten inches to give some motion to the bottom of the case. I wanted to get more of a circular flow into the piece, so I decided I should cut the stretchers in arches. That gave me a chance to really tune up the bandsaw to get matching curves. All of the parts are joined with mortise and tenon joints, cut with a plunge router and a dado blade on the table saw.

The chest was made of hard maple. The corners are joined with variably spaced dovetails made with a Keller jig. Yes, you can do it! The tower in the middle is made of some free walnut that again was in the burn pile at my hardwood supplier’s shop. I made stopped dadoes in the piece for the shelves to sit, and the uprights sit in stopped dadoes cut in the top and bottom. The back is made of three ship-lapped boards set into rabbets on the sides, top and bottom.

The doors are veneered in sapele pomelle, and the doors are made of maple as well. No, I didn’t use knife hinges (kinda thought about that AFTER I put the case together). I matched the curve of the top of the doors to the curve on the apron to echo the shape.

The finish regimen was to sand the piece to 220 grit and scrape the large flats. I sealed the entire piece with 1# cut of Seal Coat, followed by a buffing with #0000 steel wool. Brushed and vacuumed the thing off, then hit it with three coats of Watco natural, sanding between each with 400 grit paper.

Then I rubbed the piece down with a weasel ’till it glowed…


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