Blanket Chest Class June 2014


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“Thank you for your help the past week. It was most enjoyable and once again I learned a ton of techniques.”

–Peter A., Woodworking Student in the 2014 Blanket Chest Class

The week started with a beautiful spring day in east Tennessee (photo 1).

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Photo 1

Bob, Bill, Joe, Peter, Ken, Kevin and Tony all arrived early Monday morning to build blanket chests and keepsake boxes (photo 2). After a week of Woodworking Essentials, the Blanket Chest/Keepsake Box class is a good “step up” to learning to master cutting and fitting dovetails. In this class, each student learns to layout and cut dovetails on wide, thick planks. Most casework, such as spice boxes, desks and chest-of-drawers, starts with a dovetailed box. Because of the simplicity of a blanket chest, it’s a great teaching tool to bring your dovetail skills up to par before tackling more complicated casework with more features and details.

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Photo 2

Peter is sawing the tails on a wide poplar board that will fit to the pins on the case sides (photo 3).

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Photo 3

After sawing all of the tails, Kevin is removing the waste with a chisel and mallet (photo 4).

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Photo 4

Bob proudly displays the dovetails on his keepsake box (photo 5).

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Photo 5

It’s very challenging to make a row of dovetails fit as well as these (Photo 6).

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Photo 6

After six days of cutting dovetails on the box and feet, making and fitting the breadboard ends on the lid, bandsawing the bracket feet, and fitting locks and hinges, the chests begin to come together. It was a great week of woodworking and camaraderie, and everyone is excited about returning next year for more advanced casework construction.

~ Lonnie