The past six weeks have been an intense toy chest build for my nephew’s first birthday. I constantly put these constraints on myself. I like the push of a deadline, the frantic pace when you screw up and know the end date won’t move out. It’s who I am.
So the relative blog silence is not due to lack of activity; quite the opposite. I made the delivery today. Not to sound conceited, but this is the best project I’ve ever made. From workflow, to troubleshooting, to joinery, to final result, this project made me realize I’ve stepped up my woodworking game. And it all starts with Grandpa Loncao’s saw.
Well, kinda. It started with a shared Pinterest board between the boy’s mom and me. Everything I kept liking had an open base but this is was rejected as they have a cat and his hair finds it’s way under things constantly. Fair enough. I settled on the inspirational photo below.
The woodshop I belong to has a CNC machine and I thought this might be a good thing to try if I had the time. I also had a nice piece of mahogany lying around, which was perfect for the top. I really enjoyed the moulding on this piece and knew I needed to get better at cutting miters and working with these elements. I spent some time over Christmas break scaling the photo to find the right ratios. My George Walker class really paid off.
With design set (at least mostly), I made a trip to the lumberyard and then broke out grandpa’s saw to breakdown my stock. I liked the baseboard moulding stocked by my lumber dealer so I picked some up with a few feet to spare. Next came the domino for some panel glue-ups, which was followed by a few passes of my cabinet scraper.
It was fitting to incorporate a little bit of grandpa into this build. Maybe one day my nephew will use the chest to house these same saws. Or he might just put up his feet, crack open a beer, and tell a story about Uncle Shawn. Either way, grandpa would be proud.