A Dovetailed Tea Chest

This Tea Chest started off as scrap left over from the Adirondack chairs. I started with the Dovetails. This dovetailed tea chest is one continues piece of white oak.Lie Nielsen chisels and dovetails on woodworking workbench dovetails on white oak. Minnesota woodworking

I marked the pins using blue tape. Not pictured here, but the pins were cut with my new old dovetail saw. I made a new handle for it out of the same walnut used for the panels in the frame and panel doors for this chest. pin layout for dovetails. lie-nielsen bronze number 4 smoother. blue tapetest fitting the dovetails. dovetail white oak case. Minnesota woodworking.

Layout for the back panel.
lie-nielsen number 4 smoother. walnut. Minnesota woodworking. powermatic bandsaw.

Panel Glue-up. This panel falls into a rabbet in the back of the case. frame and panel. dovetailed white oak cabinet with frame and panel. Minnesota woodworking.

After the back panel was finished I started on the front doors. I finished the panels with a final pass with the number 4 smoother before assembly. This is a quick bench hook I put together which also serves as a shooting board on the bench top. I finished up by easing all the edges with the apron plane.
walnut panel. lie-nielsen number 4 and apron plane. Minnesota woodworking. lie-nielsen apron plane. Minnesota woodworker frame and panel.Frame and Panel white oak and walnut doors. Minnesota woodworking by woodworker and furniture maker Brandon Mathias Sweet.

And the finished case. This Cabinet has some hand-made catches/door stops I made out of scraps that hold the doors shut. The pulls were turned on the lathe. dovetailed tea chest. dovetailed cabinet with frame and panel doors. White Oak and Walnut. Made by Minnesota Woodworker, Brandon Mathias Sweet dovetailed tea chest. dovetailed cabinet with frame and panel doors. White Oak and Walnut. Made by Minnesota Woodworker, Brandon Mathias Sweet dovetailed tea chest. dovetailed cabinet with frame and panel doors. White Oak and Walnut. Made by Minnesota Woodworker, Brandon Mathias Sweet

I was experimenting with the finish here, and I am still not really sure where I want to go with a piece like this. Additionally I was going to turn this into a sort of Cabinet on a Stand piece but that is on hold for the time being while I finish some other work that’s been patiently waiting. I am pretty happy with how this turned out. In the future I would like to work on manufacturing my own hardware, catches, etc. and see what I can come up with. For a piece that was entirely made of scraps with nearly zero waste, I am really happy with the result. I ended up putting more time into this thing that I had originally planed, but I am happy I did.

An Introduction & Adirondack Chairs

My first post! I am not much of a writer but I thought sharing some of my work in a more in-depth format than instagram would be a neat way to share it with others interested in the craft & process of furniture making. Additionally, I thought it might be good for me to self reflect on design elements, strategy, and process. I’m not promising an insightful, learning experience, or saying my way is the best way, simply just sharing work as I create it and using this as a journal for my woodworking.

On to the chairs, 2 commissioned Adirondack Chairs. A simple project, but filled with many parts. I built these 2 Adirondack chairs out of White Oak. I nice reminder of just how tough this stuff is, I broke a few stainless steel screw heads off before deciding to hand tighten all of them. Time consuming, but worth it.

I began by laying out parts from the templates I had cut. This allowed me to pick out the best grain match for each piece as I went along in the design, finding subtle curves here and there that would compliment specific parts of the chair, or including the lighter sapwood where I thought it might enhance things aesthetically. I roughed all these parts out on the bandsaw, then proceeded to join and plane them to 3/4 of an inch. I also smoothed out the roughed bandsaw surface with a combination of a #4 hand plane and spokeshave. Additionally, I applied some quarter inch roundover’s on the router table to the arms, back slats, and seat slats of the Adirondack chair.  After some light sanding with a random orbital sander I pre-drilled and countersunk all screws and began assembly. I used Titebond III for extra assurance in assembly and plugged all screw holes which took some time. Lastly, I applied some Thompsons Water Seal to these Adirondacks which I was quite happy with.

white oak Adirondack chairs & templates. Quarter Inch Roundover on Adirondack chair arms. White Oak Adirondack chair. Minnesota Outdoor furniture

As this blog is really for me, more than anyone else I figured I’d add a little section to each of these posts on self reflection, learning experiences, or how I’d change the process in the future. Whether it be a new custom commissioned piece of furniture, or a box I’ve made 55 other times I’m sure there is always something to be learned or gained from making something with my hands and how you can do it better, more efficiently, or just more enjoyable the next time around.

Working from templates I had cut was a really great experience, and made choosing parts a breeze when I could just drop them on a 12′ board of white oak. I think in the end it also ended up saving me in lumber use as well which I am really pleased with. I want to build furniture that lasts, and while doing so not waste a large amount of precious materials along the way. Not only for financial reasons, but because I think its the right way to go ethically. Also plugs…. What a pain to cut in White Oak. I spent a large portion of time cutting, and tapering these little things, probably 100+ of them. I definitely in the future before I tackle more furniture that necessitates plugs will invest in a better plug cutter, and one that’s tapered.

Thanks for reading.



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