Interesting Woodworking Link

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Episode #105 - Engagement Chest Update

Dimensioning Lumber & Frame Construction

Things are moving along nicely in the shop. Last week, lumber was rough milled and final dimensioned. While lumber was adjusting to shop conditions, I made a set of full-scale drawings (visible in the background above the frame) and generated a cutting list.

Last weekend I assembled the frame for the chest. Next step is to clean up joinery, shape the bottom rail curves and cut the leg tapers.

The panels will be ¼ MDF with flat cut cherry for the outer veneer and flat cut maple for the inner veneer. I like using light colored veneers inside cabinets and chests because it brightens the inside making viewing contents easier for the owner. I used this technique very effectively on a cherry display pedestal (shown in photo below) last year.

MDF makes for a dimensionally stable panel eliminating seasonal movement and ultimately a solid construction since these panels can be glued into the frame.

The solid wood frame is jatoba (aka Brazilian Cherry in the U.S.), a hard dense wood that machines well. I purchased the lumber locally at Crosscut Hardwoods in Portland with a gift certificate from my very supportive wife. The selection at Crosscut is outstanding. It almost seems like a "wood library" as you walk down the aisles, appreciate the aroma from many varied wood species while reading the descriptive labels at the top of each bin.


Chiefwoodworker said...


Nice chest! I like the light and dark veneer combo. Are those door pictures of the chest you are currently working on?

Do you draw your plans in SketchUp and print them full size? If so, what printer do you use?

Joe.... (aka Chiefwoodworker)

David Pruett said...

Joe -

It is always good to hear from a favorite blog author! Thanks for the comments.

I picked up the concept of a light interior veneer with darker exterior veneers from a FWW article and I really like how this lightens an interior. The photo posted was from a prior project, but I intend to incorporate this with the engagement chest.

Since finding your blog, I have become a big fan of your shop. I admire the breadth of information you offer fellow woodworkers, everything from great woodworking to photography and SketchUp tutorials.

I use a combination of SketchUp on the computer and old fashioned mechanical pencil and T-square for drawings. I don't have a full sized printer but I know this can be done at a print shop such as Kinkos. I do find a benefit of having a full sized drawing at hand during a build.