Hickory and Ash Blanket Chest
Floating tenons and a consistent angle keep joinery manageable
Synopsis: Peter Turner’s blanket chest combines angled joinery with straightforward construction. The legs of the frame-and-panel chest serve as end pieces for the front, back, and end frames. Battens help keep the one-piece top flat. All thicknesses are beefy for heft, with double floating tenons for strength. To emphasize the length of the chest, the grain of the panels runs horizontally. To keep the construction manageable, all the angles are the same, off from square by 3°. Floating tenons make for secure angled joints with little fuss.
Peter Turner’s finish recipe is also available for this project.
From Fine Woodworking #203
Editor’s note: Updated PDF file 7/10/2009 to fix an error on the blanket chest plan. The dimensions for the bottom panels are 10-3/4 in. wide by 11-1/2 in. long.
When thumbing through furniture books, I find myself drawn to long, low chests, similar to the wooden chests my folks had in our living room when I was a kid. So when I was invited to participate as a guest artist in the new Hampshire Furniture Masters association’s 2008 auction, a blanket chest was one of the three proposals I submitted, and this is the piece the jury chose.
To present my proposal, I offered scaled drawings that gave top, front, and end views. The process of drawing usually lets my mind walk through the fabrication so that I’m sure the piece will work. Everything comes off the drawings. When things get tricky, like angled or intricate joinery, I go back to them, laying pieces right on the full-size drawings to physically check measurements and angles. I did full-sizers of the leg blank and the ends, and to be extra sure I made story sticks to lay out the frames and panels.
The legs of this frame-and-panel chest serve…
Get the Full-Size Plan
CAD-drawn plans and a cutlist for this project are available in the Fine Woodworking store.