The Joy of Chests




I can construct a six-board chest completely by hand in about 10
hours of store time. That point begins with one eight’-long and one
12’-long board and ends with a paint job.

In truth, I simply did.

The above assertion is just not a boast. As an alternative, it’s a approach to
encourage you to construct one among these chests your self. You may
even beat my time by a pair hours – particularly when you keep
away from the beer cooler.

This afternoon I completed taking pictures a DVD on six-board chests
with a crew from Lie-Nielsen Toolworks. And
although I cowl loads of hand-tool strategies, a portion of the
DVD focuses on how and why these chests have survived the final
4 centuries in droves. I additionally sought to decode easy methods to construct
one among these chests with the fewest variety of noticed cuts, no
taking pictures board and only a handful of instruments.

Listed here are a number of the thorny issues I’ve been fascinated about
and my ideas on the doable solutions.

1. How do these chests survive regardless of all their cross-grain
development? The brief reply is: nails, each the type used
and its hardness/ductility. Through the use of a fastener that may maintain
extremely tight and may bend simply, these chests can go 400
years with out important splits.

The opposite doable purpose is that wooden motion is minimized in
these chests due to the species and the way in which the wooden was
minimize. Many of those chests had been pine, or they had been pine and purple
oak. The highest, plus the broad back and front panels had been pine in
many circumstances. Now white pine, particularly quartersawn, is loopy
secure. And previous boards from massive timber are principally quartered and
rift inventory – there may be little or no flat-sawn inventory in there. So
these boards don’t transfer as a lot as you may assume.

A 3rd doable clarification is that these chests weren’t in
properties with forced-air warmth or air-con, in order that they didn’t
endure such excessive swings in humidity. Maybe that’s true in
some circumstances. However I’ve seen loads of these chests nonetheless going
sturdy after 44 years in a contemporary home (that’s, the home I
grew up in).

2. What function does the joinery on these chests serve in the event that they
are nailed collectively? A few of these chests have rabbets on the
back and front items that then lip over the ends. These
rabbets make the chest simpler to sq. up and assemble, however
in addition they allow you to get away with utilizing a shorter nail. By
lowering the thickness of the back and front with a rabbet, you
can get away with a 6d nail as an alternative of a extra
costly eightd nail.

three. Why are the tip boards typically notched to obtain the
back and front? It makes the chests a lot simpler to assemble.
Plus, when you make the toes somewhat happy with the entrance piece,
it makes it a lot simpler to hold the moulding. The notches additionally
make all these operations simpler to do by your self.

There are many different issues like this that I’m exploring in
the DVD. No phrase on the discharge date.

— Christopher Schwarz

I’ve quite a few DVDs obtainable at ShopWoodwoodworking.com.
Click on
here
to see them.

 


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