Blanket Chest Book Scores a Home Run with Industry Blog
How to Build an Heirloom-Worthy Blanket Chest
Everything you need to know packed in one solid book.
For those of you in search of a bit of project inspiration, fine woodworking contributing author Peter Turner’s latest book, Blanket Chests, was recently reviewed by Cabinet & Furniture Trends & Information. This collection of 30 blanket chests includes plenty of techniques as well as design and construction details for each of the pieces highlighted. Styles range from traditional to contemporary and the book is chock full of great ideas!
Blanket Chest Plans from Fine Woodworking
That Happy Few
Reprinted from Cabinet & Furniture Trends & Information
Some people call them blanket chests because they store blankets in them. Some people call them Hope Chests and give them to young ladies still in high school to fill with objects and dreams for their someday wedding. I’ve also heard of woodworkers who have made some of the most intricate chests imaginable on the occasion of their own daughters’ weddings, a few of which were actually started while the young lady was in middle school. They can be plain or carved or elaborate, but the one element that seems to connect them all is love. Love of the recipient sometimes, love of the craft always.
One of the things those of us who have reached a certain age like to do is to make gifts for loved ones. Over the years I have made a number of college graduates very happy by cutting my own mats and then framing their diplomas with frames I designed and made myself. Another wonderful gift, for those of us who have children or grandchildren, is the blanket chest I’ve described at some length.
Woodworking is an art, a skill, a passion, that most of all, a passion, because it is passion that drives a person to learn all that is required to truly be considered a master in this field. One of the things that most amazes me about woodworking, though, is the amount of skill that can be obtained by anyone willing to simply put forth a consistent effort and seek out those who know. In woodworking, as it is with anything, really, there are a handful of people at the top who do things that cause the rest of us to just shake our heads, knowing full well that we are never in this world going to be able to do something like that. But sometimes that happy few takes the time to write down their secrets in a book for the rest of us, and that, in turn, brings us to the subject of today’s blog.
Taunton Press has recently published a book by Scott Gibson & Peter Turner entitled “Blanket Chests” which presents outstanding designs from thirty of the world’s finest furniture makers. It was brought to my attention by one of the featured artisans, Craig Thibodeau. As a matter of fact, Craig’s Dogwood Blanket Chest was one of those featured on the cover of the book!
Craig’s a local woodworker whose work I first encountered when Joe Dusel and I started this blog site in February, 2008. It was during my first panicky search for something to write about, and Joe suggested a guy he knew who did wonderful work with marquetry, and that began what is becoming a beautiful friendship. This time Craig is one of thirty, and the thirty themselves are part of something larger, the book itself.
Speaking of the other woodworkers featured throughout, I should take a moment and identify the work in the accompanying pictures. I have already identified Craig Thibodeau as the maker of the Dogwood Blanket Chest. The chest in the round was made by Gregory Smith, and the Arts and Crafts chest was made by Darrell Peart.
The guy with the beard is Peter Turner, and he’s the one who takes us through the beginning part of the book, which is a short, but detailed how-to-do-it on the various joinery techniques that are employed in blanket chest making, then gets into the chests themselves. There is a wide range of chests, ranging from the fairly simple to those that would challenge almost any woodworker. A number of the woodworkers, including Craig, have taken the time to write a little about the methods used to construct their chests. But the book has a generous number of pictures and drawings throughout, enough to enable woodworkers to make most of the items featured. And for those that are a bit beyond our skill level, well, that’s what practice is all about. Who knows, perhaps we’ll join that happy few!