A few months ago, I got it in my head that I wanted to build a chest (toy box) for our living room. I'm not sure where this desire came from, but what the heck. I have absolutely zero experience in woodworking, but when I get something in my mind, there's no convincing me otherwise. I casually mentioned my idea to Ryan, who was very skeptical of my woodworking abilities, but supportive as always with a "Sure honey, whatever you want."
So, I began researching how to build a chest online and found some plans for a gorgeous Mission Style Blanket Chest that I absolutely loved. This chest was no plain-jane 6 pieces of wood thrown together, it was stylish and classic - man, I have good taste. :) The website said it was an "easy" piece, which probably meant easy for people who know what the heck they're doing, not so much for someone who just decided on a whim to build something from scratch with zero experience. I read through the directions about 3 times and I thought they looked pretty technical, but ultimately doable with a little guidance. I figured I could handle it (no lack of confidence on my part), so I downloaded them for $10 and decided to give it a go!
Turns out, the plans were really great. The first page was a materials and hardware list and a diagram on how to cut the lumber to size. The next 8 pages were a step-by-step guide how to make the cuts/dados/chamfers/tenons, arrange the parts, assemble the pieces and get it all together. Of course, since I had absolutely no clue as to how this all worked or what everything meant, so I had to do a lot of Googling on the terminology (do you know what a dado is?).
The first thing I had to do was use the router to make dados in the wood. These are basically grooves cut into the side of the wood, so other wood can fit in the space and the pieces will stay together. I don't think it would have been possible to make these dados without my new router table (below), which is my favorite tool of all time. I LOVE routing!
But check it out!
We got it lined up and pieced together and it was starting to look like a real chest.
And see that arched front bottom piece? I cut that with my jigsaw. And see those countersunk screw holes? I did that with my new drill bit. And see all the gorgeous marbleing in the wood? I picked out those pieces specifically for that look. (Can you tell I might be a little bit proud of this?)
Next I put the front of the chest on.
Then the top rails.
I thought it was looking pretty darn good!
The top/lid was the last piece to go on.
And it fit!
(Thank God, because I would have had a damn nervous breakdown if it didn't.)
Of course, I didn't want to leave it this light pine color.
I wanted to stain it dark to match the rest of the wood in our house.
So that was the next step.
Then we added a coat of polyurethane over the stain.
The stain really brought out the contrast and marbleing of the wood.
And it even hid some of the flaws and imperfections that I was so worried about.
The final step was adding the lid and bringing it inside.
I think it looks great!
(Yes, I need to take some better pictures.)
And that's it! I couldn't be happier with the results! It now takes up residence in our living room and holds our blankets and all the Wii Guitar Hero crap. So it's a combination toy/blanket chest.
I'm pretty sure Ryan is proud of me as well - whenever he has a friend over he loves saying, "Hey, want to check out my wife's chest?" Hahahaha.
Plus, he lets me take all the credit for the whole thing and doesn't even mention that he helped.
What a great husband.
Anyone else have any woodworking experience?