Im in the process of making a series of projects to help raise money for the Birmingham Children's Hospital. This blanket chest will be auctioned off soon. I hope you enjoy the project.
Here is the full build video:
- American Black Walnut
- Black & White Milliput Epoxy Putty
- Black & Red Paint
- Painters Tape
- Lid Stay
Step 1: Create the Plywood Box
Starting with a full sheet of 18mm plywood I used a track saw to break down the pieces. 2 longer side, 2 shorter sides and bottom to the box are all cut from the plywood. The dimensions I went with were 314mm x 350mm for the 2 shorter sides. 900mm x 350mm for the 2 longer sides and the bottom dimensions are determined at a later stage.
Of course you can create the box to any dimensions you want.
For the joinery on the box I wanted to keep it simple so I used a slot cutting router bit in the trim router to cut a slot in the face of the longer sides and the edge of the shorter sides. Now the slots are no good on their own so gluing in some MDF strips acts like a floating tenon or tongue and groove kind of joint. I glued them into the long sides first before then gluing up the shorter sides. It makes it a lot easier that way.
Step 2: Create the Lid
I used the same joinery technique to create the walnut lid. The slots are cut on the the edges of the boards and then thin walnut strips are added instead of the MDF. The top was made over sized so I could then trace around the box to get the correct size. The shorter sides get cut to the exact size of the box using the track saw but the front longer side of the box gets something a little different. I wanted a live edge effect so I used the jigsaw tilted to 30 degrees to get that live edge look.
Step 3: Create the Legs
I wanted a more modern look for the box so in my mind square legs that look like steel would be a really nice touch. I made them first using plywood. Cutting out the shape with a jigsaw. After priming and painting them black I wasn't happy with the finish so I remade them from MDF instead. The get an extra block glued to the feet so the box actually sits on the legs. The MDF painted a lot easier and gave a much better look thankfully. The painters tape I added made sure I would have bare MDF so the glue would adhere properly.
With paint drying. I glued in the bottom to the box. The same slot cutting router bit was used to create a ledge inside the box for the bottom piece to sit flush. Once the glue dried I painted the underneath black.
Step 4: Create the Balloon
The Birmingham Children's Hospital logo is a red balloon with a white plaster. I want to incorporate their logo into each charity build I create. This time I made it from padauk.
I printed their logo onto some self adhesive paper and stuck it onto the paduak. I then used the jigsaw to cut out the shape. A file is then used to refine the curves and clean up the edges. A drill was used to transfer the corners of the white cross onto the wood. Then a marking knife defines the edges. Using a small chisel makes it simple to remove the material to create the cross shape. Thinning out the 'knot' on the balloon really makes it look more realistic. Back to the file to round over the edges too. I was really pleased with how the balloon turned out.
Step 5: Inlay the Balloon
To inlay the balloon I traced around it and then used a straight bit to carved out the shape. I wanted the balloon to be proud of the surface so I just made sure the knot was visible above the surface. I than used a profile bit to carve the string to the balloon.
For the white plaster I used white Milliput epoxy putty. For the string I used black epoxy putty. After the Milliput is set its very easy to sand flush, revealing the design underneath.
Then it was just a case of adding wood glue to the balloon and gluing into place.
Step 6: Finish Off the Box
The inside of the box was looking a little plain so I decided the paint it red. I was really glad I did. I think it adds a striking touch to the finished piece.
Gluing on the legs was very easy because of the painters tape. No trouble with the glue adhering because of the exposed MDF. Painters tape was also used to hold them in place while the glue dries.
Then it was just the case of fitting the hinges to the lid and box. I also added a lid stay to make it safer to use. Dont want the lid falling and trapping fingers.
Step 7: Finish the Project
I used Polyurethane to finish the box and the lid. Sanding between coats gave a really nice finish.
I really hope you liked this project. My aim was to inspire and it would be great if you gave it a go for yourself.