Stuff I’ve Built: Lauren’s hope chest

As I had done for my oldest niece Carolina, my niece Lauren turned 16 last month, and I built her a hope chest for her birthday.

Well, here it is, stood up for viewing by the happy recipient. And, yes, I’m pretty darned happy with how it came out.

The hope chest assembled on the bench

The frame is made of Mayan walnut (I told Lauren that it was entirely appropriate to use Mayan walnut the year of the supposed end of the world based on the Mayan calendar) and the panels are made of maple. The lid has breadboard edges with through tongues to help keep the lid flat.

Since she lives in Maryland, and I’m in Florida, I had to build this hope chest so it could be shipped flat and assembled at her house. To make this easier for my brother-in-law, I decided to go with a frame and panel construction. The corners are assembled with a tongue and dado joint, requiring just a pair of short clamps to pull the front and back together for the assembly.

The corner joint

In order to make things easier for my brother-in-law, I took the time to label each of the corners with blue painters tape so he won’t get confused when the chest pieces arrive at his house. I also loaned him my assembly squares so he could ensure the assembly wouldn’t get all kittywumpus on him.

The panels are labeled for ease of assembly.

Now, for the most important part – did the client enjoy the final piece?  Hmmm… Let’s check with her and see what she thinks?

The happy client and the trained shop monkey

I dunno, that looks promising!

Now, just to get this broken down and off to the pack and ship store to make sure it gets there safely.

Whew, the bench is now clear and ready for 2013.


7 thoughts on “Stuff I’ve Built: Lauren’s hope chest”

  1. Turned out great Tom! I love that you build these for your nieces, one of my favorite part of woodworking is building something that someone will cherish and use for years. Nice work my friend.

  2. Putting the finish coat on a bed headboard for my grand daughter today.
    So my bench is clear for the start of 2013 also. 🙂


  3. Nice job Tom! Looks like another happy customer to me. I have just started building my wife a tall shaker clock. She will probably keep me locked in the shop until it is done.

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