A Fancier Base for a 6-board Chest


While the six-board chest is a simple form, there are some variants that make the chest look more high-style, like it might have a fancy bracket-foot base.

Today I decided to convert the chest I built for the Alabama Woodworkers Guild into one of these fancier chests. I removed the moulding that returned down the sides of the chest (see the video here), and made some base pieces to fit under the moulding.

98-01I also removed the crappy hinges I installed in Alabama. One leaf of each hinge was entirely too long. Today I installed iron Lee Valley unequal strap hinges, which look better. Unfortunately, I have some work ahead of me to hide the screw holes from the earlier hinge set.

I also installed a vintage crab/grab lock, which I picked up on eBay for $30 (gloat).

So far, I like the enclosed base, but I don’t want to pass judgment until I get the piece painted. The base coat will be flat black, followed by a coat of thinned hide glue. Then a top coat of dark blue, which will crackle thanks to the hide glue layer between.

And now back to editing Peter Galbert’s book.

— Christopher Schwarz

About Lost Art Press

Publisher of woodworking books and videos specializing in hand tool techniques.
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18 Responses to A Fancier Base for a 6-board Chest

  1. Hey Chris,

    I read your excerpt on six board chests from last year and it mentions taking everything apart to paint. Do you ever paint while it’s assembled or do you think that’ll ruin the look of the nail heads? Also, when you take it apart do you “bang” out the front and back out with a scrap block and a hammer or do you try to pull out the nails without damaging them.

    I’m building my first chest and I’m trying to figure out what makes the most sense.


  2. Marilyn says:

    Argh! Your detail on the bottom is so much nicer and cleaner than what I did. I like it. Some day, I will be good at creating simple and elegant project adjustments. Good thing I used hide glue on mine and I now know how to reverse it.

  3. Jason Seals says:

    I couldn’t find a strap hing built for the edge of a chest on the LV website. Do you have to place the bend in the shorter member of the strap hinges yourself?

  4. Nice, good work! The six board chest is always a great project, I made three of these for my children and then another two for friends after they saw those I made for my children. One of them I lines with 1/4″ cedar.
    I am new following your blog and have enjoyed reading your post!
    Michael 🙂
    recent post: Wood Gloat

  5. Chris, I’m interested in the crackle finish. How thin do you make the hide glue. Are you using hot or liquid hide glue? Would you post some pictures after you finish?

    • lostartpress says:

      I’ll post photos and details. You can use either liquid or hot. I usually use liquid and thin it until I can easily brush it on. Let it dry. Then apply the top coat of paint.

  6. wfariss says:

    Did you attach the ogee base to the molding with nails? What are you using to fill the old nail holes?

  7. hosea66 says:

    Do those hinges have a stop built in, or is the lid precariously balanced straight up in the air? In other words, will you have to add a chain or something else to hold it open?

    Also, the base looks great.

    • lostartpress says:

      No stop. I was going to add a till that had a lid, which acts as a stop. But I ran short on time.

      I’ll add a hinged iron stop after the paint is dry.

      • Daniel Roy says:

        Chris, the brown chest in the second picture, is this an antique? If so, approx. date?

        • lostartpress says:

          Here is the auction description:

          Furniture: A New England paint-decorated blanket chest, probably Massachusetts, [with cutout bootjack ends]. Inscribed inside lid “L.K. Boston 1809″, red and dark red painted ground with unusual incised lines which create the appearance of two drawers, faux mahogany paint to the ends.

          36″ x 17″ x 23”

  8. Chris Ruffo says:

    Love the chest, but oh my goodness dude you are making a mess! You shouldn’t use that much hide glue in the first place. Have a look at what luthier’s do to remove violin tops.

    Rene Morel removes the top from a Vuillaume cello at about 4 min in.

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