Introduction: How to Make a Blanket Chest.
Runner Up in the
Secret Doors and Compartments Contest
Step 1: Cutting the Side Rails and Stiles
I really didn't know how I was going to put this together. The first thing I did was layout the box in Autocad. That really helped a lot. From there I started with the sides. I cut the rails (horizontal wood pieces) and the stiles (vertical wood pieces).
Step 2: Laying Out the Curves
To add a little character to the box I included curves in the top and bottom rails. These curves were laid out by bending a piece of wood to the corners of the rails. I then used a pencil to mark the curve. Finally I cut out the curve with a scroll saw.
Step 3: Cutting Dadoes
This part is pretty straight forward. I installed a cabinet making bit in my router and cut slots for the panels to fit in. The slot is 1/4" x 3/8" deep.
Step 4: Fitting the Panels
I used my scroll saw to cut the panels. I could have used my table saw but I'm not aloud to use it when the baby is napping. For the upper curves I just laid the rail on the panel and traced it with a pencil before cutting it out. I used a flute bit in my router where the cabinet bit wouldn't work.
Step 5: Test Joints
Once all the rails, stiles, and panels were cut I joined them with pocket screws. These joints are strong and easy to take apart once you're sure everything fits. We'll fill in the pocket holes later.
Step 6: Dismantle for Sanding
I made a tenon in the upper stile with my table saw. Now that everything is looking good I took it apart and sanded down all the edges.
Step 7: Glue Up
Before setting the screws I applied a little glue. I then used a damp rag to clean off any excess. To plug the pocket holes I glued in a section of 3/8" dowel and trimmed them flush.
Step 8: The Hidden Compartment
This drawer is made from simple butt joints, brad nails, and glue. The fanciest thing about it is the 5 degree cut on the top edge of the stile. This Allows it to look like a solid joint when it's closed.
Step 9: Making the Front Drawers
These drawers are made using the same construction. Since the backs are a 1/2" higher they act as a stop so the drawer doesn't fall out when it's pulled. I made the handles by using a cove bit on the bottom edge and rounding over the top edge.
Step 10: The Lid
The lid was glued up with clamps and trimmed to size. I used a block plane to smooth out the top and finished it with a hand sander. I braced it with a couple slats on the underside.
Step 11: Hardware and Paint
After fitting the hardware I removed it for paint. I used two coats of latex paint. The color is "seaside sand". Once the paint was dry I replaced the hardware and added bumpers for the lid.
I rubbed candle wax on the sliding surfaces to help the drawers move back and forth.
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