Oak Jewelry Box

This reader’s project is a good example that even in great looking pieces, there are often decisions that we’ll make differently “next time.”

This is a jewelry box I made for my sister in Melbourne. It is the first of this type I have made and was done more as a trial piece. The carcass and lid frame are made of recycled silky oak which started life as a door frame in a government building. The lid panel is camphor laurel and the base is pine. I wouldn’t use the pine again but it was a trial piece. The dividers and interior boxes are silky oak.

- John Lear; Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia

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Matt Becker
Internet Production Coordinator

oak jewelry box 1

oak jewelry box 2

Down-Sized Arts & Crafts Blanket Chest

We received this photo from a reader after we ran a previous letter showing his work in our June 2011 issue, all of which are variations on the Arts & Crafts Blanket Chest featured in the April 2010 issue.

First, thanks for the credit and photos of the arts & crafts blanket chest that I built from the April 2010 issue of Woodworkers Journal. As I mentioned in my letter [which was run in the June 2011 issue], I was planning to make three more of the chests for my daughter and her two girls, theirs to be used as a ‘hope chest’. I finished the three down-sized chests yesterday, trying to make them to scale of the original version, and finished them out with the asphalt stain treatment and then waxing with tudor brown Briwax.

The chests are 18″ X 18″ X 30 1/2″ for the chest, with the tops being 32″ X 20″. As I counted, there are approximately 90 individual parts, not counting the boards individually for the tops or the bottoms or the splines, with 28 mortises and tenons. Quite an undertaking, but I am pleased with the results. Each time I assembled one of the chests I learned something that made the next one easier to assemble. Having purchased the lumber through my son-in-law in Mississippi I got better quality lumber at a better price. Each chest cost about $200.00, including hardware and finishes.

- Dewey Lackey; Brentwood, TN

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Matt Becker
Internet Production Coordinator

blanket chest

Antique Tool Chest

This is by far the oldest reader’s project we’ve had submitted (more accurately, ancestor of reader’s project), but that doesn’t make it any less impressive. Its longevity is a true compliment to its maker.

My great-grandfather was a finish carpenter for a company that made huge riverboats. He specialty was doing the fine trim work in the Captain’s quarters. He built this tool chest around 1870 and is 36″ x 22″ x 18″ and is made out of just six pieces of cherry. When I got it, I thought it had been painted as it was mostly black and my intention at that time was to just clean it up and repaint it. When I discovered what was underneath the dirt and the stains, I refinished it to what you now see. It is a treasured piece of furniture in our living room.

- Kent A Russell; Middletown, Indiana

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Matt Becker
Internet Production Coordinator

tool chest

tool chest 1

tool chest

Redwood & Mulberry Hanger

In addition to putting reclaimed lumber to good use, this reader-submitted project includes a handy tip for routing a profile on a uniquely-shaped piece of wood.

I made this last week. It’s about 18-1/2″ long. The back is redwood. The hooks are made from mulberry the city cleared from over the street and tossed in the woods here in my neighborhood. Satin poly finish on the redwood and spray laquer on the mulberry. Interestingly, the logs sitting on the concrete floor in my garage tried sprouting new stems and leaves for 5 months. Three years on it seems to have stopped.

Routing the profile on the dog-ear corners gave me cause to ponder. At only 5/16″ thick, I didn’t have a place for the guide bearing to ride and still get the profile I wanted from the bit I have. But on the router table, how would I keep the piece steady with only an inch or so against the fence? In the end I cut some scrap MDF at 45 degrees and used that as a push block against the fence and just held the two together and slid it past the bit. It worked so well I’m keeping the MDF stored under the router table.

- Dean Morrell

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Matt Becker
Internet Production Coordinator

hanger 2

hanger 1

Tiger Maple & Purpleheart Kitchen Table

In addition to the beautiful inlay and the two wood species’ contrasting colors, the coordination between the modified tusk tenons and the extension slide handles are incredible details not to be missed.

This is a kitchen table I made out of tiger maple and purpleheart. The purpleheart table legs kept splitting on me down the center so I decided to hide the splitting with tiger maple inlays to match the table top. I also made two foot long extensions for the table that attach with pegs to sliding boards that are concealed under the ends of the table top. Each extension has two folding legs for storage. The tiger maple top was finished with tung oil followed one week later with multiple coats of General Finishes, High Performance Water-Based Top Coat. The purpleheart legs and apron were finished only with the top coat.

- Stewart Shapiro; Newark, DE

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Matt Becker
Internet Production Coordinator

kitchen table 1

kitchen table 2


kitchen table 3

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Lifeguard Chairs

It’s hard to come up with a more perfect summer project than this reader-submitted pair of lifeguard chairs.

My father and I made a pair of lifeguard chairs for a friend. We designed it to be functional and comfortable.

It has a slide out tray between the chairs and a removable umbrella stand. The seat height is 48″

- Steven Baker

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Matt Becker
Internet Production Coordinator

lifeguard chair 1

lifeguard chair 2

Arts & Crafts Chairs and Table

This reader-submitted dining room set includes our Arts & Crafts Dining Room Chairs (with a couple design modifications) and a matching table.

This my attempt at your chairs and my table to match

- Eddie Mann; England

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Matt Becker
Internet Production Coordinator

arts & crafts table and chairs

arts & crafts chairs

Intarsia Barn

A diverse collection of different wood species, including a very appropriate use of old barn wood, really helps bring this reader-submitted project to life.

Made with African Paduak for the roof, regular “Old Barn Wood” for the barn itself, Blue Pine for the window panes, limbs from the Birch trees in my back yard, poplar for the trees themselves, a piece of Walnut for the barn door, an old 2X6 for the base of the piece, and a piece of 1/4″ plywood for the backing and the clouds.

- Jim Palmer; Jim’s Wood-n-Stuff; Ephrata, WA

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Matt Becker
Internet Production Coordinator

intarsia barn

intarsia barn 2

Teak Westport Chair

We’re expecting quite a few photo submissions of our latest cover project, but this reader’s write-up of the project’s progression provides some useful tips for future builders of this great piece.

A few days after getting my August 2011 issue, out of nowhere, my wife asks me if I can make a couple of Adirondack chairs. Hmmmmmm … is she reading my magazine? Also, she would like it made out of the left over Teak flooring we had installed. Sure, I can do it.

Now, I work 95% in old barn wood, I’m not a big fan of exacting dimensions and plans, but I figure “what the heck” I can do it. So I glued up a bunch of the different length boards that are tongue and grooved, so it’s pretty easy, then, that’s where the “easy” part ends!

After about a week of re-sharpening blades, drill bits, and replacing broken countersinks, it’s done!

Not as beautiful as I would have liked, I hate any fasteners that show, and I don’t think plugs ever “disappear” so I asked my wife to pick out some screws she wouldn’t mind looking at in the finished project.

I didn’t realize how brittle the teak was, so a few “braces” had to be put on. Even with correct sized pilot holes, screw lube and gentle persuasion, I still snapped off many screws. Oh, well; it was a frustrating learning curve!

My beloved 20 something year old Skil jigsaw, started smoking after a few of the long cuts in the Teak, I had to go buy a new one, (picture enclosed) the old one still works, it’s just time for it to retire. It was the first woodworking tool I purchased in the 1980′s after I started my 20 year’s in the U.S. Air Force. Now I’m retired, so I figured the jigsaw deserved the same.

No kidding about the 1 degree off here and there the author mentioned in the building article! My old rigid portable table saw must be more than a few degrees off! Teak does NOT bend!

My wife LOVES the chair, she was in a motorcycle accident 10 years ago, and her knees are painful all the time, and the angle of the seat makes it easy on her knees, and easy for her to get up after watching the ducks in our pond.

Thanks for a great magazine, and challenging projects!!

Michael Mulvey

Do you have a project you’d like to share? Click here to send it in!

Matt Becker
Internet Production Coordinator

teak westport 1

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teak westport 3

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