Another 6-board Chest


For me, naming things is akin to violence. So you can imagine how fond I am of the habit of people “naming” their pieces of furniture.

But no matter. Today I finished up a six-board chest made of Eastern white pine for the “Furniture of Necessity” book. For this piece, I took Peter Follansbee’s advice and scratched a geometric design in the front panel.

The pattern is based on the number “six.” The inner circle is a 6” radius and the internal arcs are one-sixth of that circle’s circumference, like that of a hollow or round plane for making mouldings. Yet there are no applied mouldings on this chest. And there are only five nails up each end of the chest.


And so I name this piece: “Moulded & Unmoulded No. 1.” (It’s always best to attach a number to the piece. Beret, please.)

— Christopher Schwarz

About Lost Art Press

Publisher of woodworking books and videos specializing in hand tool techniques.
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18 Responses to Another 6-board Chest

  1. That’s beautiful!!!! It’s amazing how simple can be so beautiful.
    Now, some questions.
    How did you do the scratching?
    Is the top just a flat panel with no edge treatment?
    Are the battens on the end of the lid still held on with clenched nails?

    • lostartpress says:

      How did you do the scratching?

      A stick of wood with two 3d nails. A primitive trammel.

      Is the top just a flat panel with no edge treatment?

      It has a 1/16″ fillet and the edge is rounded with a block plane. Basically, a thumbnail moulding made with a rabbet plane and a block plane.

      Are the battens on the end of the lid still held on with clenched nails?


  2. The Furniture of Necessity book hasn’t been mentioned for some time. I noted it wasn’t on the list of recent projects and was a bit bummed, but understand limited time for all the projects one would like to take on. Glad to see that some work is still happening on that book. Very much looking forward to it whenever it comes along.

  3. May it be moulded and unmoulded but never once molded ’til long after you are mouldered.

  4. tsstahl says:

    The next step is a turtleneck and caffeinated beverages in absurdly tiny cups.

    Any idea how many of those little cups it takes to drain a beer? Eh, neither do I.

  5. But is is okay to name your tools? I have a mallet named “Encouragement”.

  6. Albert A Rasch says:

    Furniture of Necessity; That’s another book I am eagerly awaiting! i told John to make sure he keeps a copy set aside for me along with the Campaign book. You know how tough it is to order stuff on time!

  7. Your chest looks waaaaaay better than the one I made in your class recently. Perhaps it’s the photography. Or, maybe it’s the fancy scratched design on the front. I think it must be the fact that I haven’t applied the finish to mine yet. I have some garnet shellac flakes scheduled to arrive today via my friendly FEDEX driver.

  8. Oh, I forgot to tell you the name of my chest…I named it “my wife’s blanket chest”.

  9. I’m a big fan of this. I like the idea of six-board chests but I also like more contemporary lines in my furniture. This seems like a great way to “modernize” an ancient design.

    Chris, do you have inlay tools? If so, could you have used them on this design or is it too big?

    Finally, the Eastern White pine looks pretty dark. Is the finish just shellac or is it the lighting or what? At first, I thought it was mahogany.

    Thanks and looking forward to the book.

  10. Less is more and in this case a whole lot more. Beautiful .

  11. *snap* *snap* *snap* *snap*

  12. Tim Henriksen says:

    When I first studied the designs of these chests you presented I found the applied mouldings and paint similar to breast implants and lipstick. Nothing wrong with either when attempting to distract the eye from a glue joint or less favorable wood species. But when you have a gorgeously wide clear board … more and more rare to find these days … why hide it? So I’m thrilled to see this wonderfully simple design showcase its material in a natural state.

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