Blanket Chest.

I’m not really going to go into the construction or anything, just show the results. This is probably the most complicated thing I’ve made to date besides my workbench. I made a 1/2 dozen mistakes, but it came out pretty well in the end. Like with everything, the next one I build will go much quicker.

And just so noone thinks I’m actually a good designer, I copied Thomas Moser’s blanket chest as best I could.

You’ll also notice that there are no knobs on the drawer. Well, I don’t have a lathe, and all my attempts at shaping a knob by hand or by using my drill press went pretty bad pretty fast. So I’ve got some knobs coming my way via UPS. The recipient of this chest is supposed to be picking it up this weekend tho, so hopefully they get here quick.

I think it came out pretty well. The case is walnut harvested from a dead tree I had taken down when we lived in Knoxville. Drawer and other interior parts are maple and ash, and some aromatic cedar for the inside bottom. Dang thing is heavy, too.

UPDATE: I just got the knobs and threw them on.  NOW it’s complete.

– Matt

Dogs, Square.

I guess this isn’t really a benefit of square dogs over round ones, since the same thing could be accomplished with either.

I was chopping out a spot on a leg for a shelf to rest on, and it popped into my head that the dogs could keep the leg from shifting backwards. I suppose I didn’t think of it before because I’m used to thinking of using the dogs only in their “proper” orientation, IE inline with the wagon vise.

Anyways, it worked great. This does underscore the convenience of putting a dog in every single dog hole..  If you are making your own, it really pays to take the extra hour or 3 and make all of them.

– Matt


I’ve had the veritas plow and rabbet (rabbit?) for a while now. Whenever you order something you’re like “ohhh, I’m going to treasure this forever. I’m going to build all the accessories and jigs for it, I’m going to dip it in camila oil every night, blah blah”. Then you get it, you set it aside for a few days, the euphoria wears off… All of a sudden you have a plane that needs setup, the blade needs honing, and you’ve already got some surface rust.  SUMABITCH!

Anyways, I needed something to do the other night while my wife was watching “So you think you can dance”, but I didn’t feel like doing anything major. So I finally made the fences for the plow and rabbet plane that I promised myself I would make like a year ago.

Nothing fancy here. Some scrap walnut, planed to size and some rounded edges put on with a rasp. I probably should have made them bigger, honestly, but whatever. These will do for the next 5 years.

My first plane was a veritas BU jack plane. I loved it (still do). I would read reviews of people bad-mouthing veritas handles, and I would be all “what-EVER you whiners. Do the handles make your virginia hurt too?”

Well, then I got a LN No8. And a couple handmade saws. Knowing what a nicely shaped tote feels like, I’m now in the cry-baby camp. Grabbing the veritas planes now is an exercise in grimacing. I pout when I use them. I’m not sure I’m so much of a dork that I’m actually going to replace the handles, but I may.  I know I can get replacements for my jack and smoother, but the plow and rabbet are another story. I may get out a rasp to try reshaping them one of these days, but lord knows how that will turn out.

If I do, I’ll be sure to take pictures.

– Matt

Split Top Clamping

I took this picture a few weeks ago, but forgot to post it… Here’s exactly why I ended up going with the split-top design. You can just slip your piece around the front part of the bench and grab it with the wagon vise. Bingo-Bongo, it’s not going anywhere.

Honestly, this drawer was a little huge and awkward, and it still worked really well.  Sliding smaller drawers and casework around the back and clamping it down for finish planing is going to be a complete joy.


– Matt