Blanket Chest: Episode 9

Blanket Chest Episode 9 Keyframe

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The final part of the construction process is to hinge the  lid to the box. Paul shows how to scotch the hinges, fits a stay and then applies a shellac finish.

33 Comments

  1. bensberg on 23 May 2018 at 1:57 pm

    Great project! You make the use of your off hand look easy. Thank You!

  2. Peter Bernhardt on 23 May 2018 at 2:28 pm

    Another, and more expensive, option for the lid is a torsion hinge that also functions as a stay. I’ve used them on a chest and they work very well and are the only hardware you need. They surface mount directly on the edge of the back panel, so you wouldn’t need that extra strip of wood that’s necessary for the hinges Paul uses here. See, for example, http://www.rockler.com/lid-stay-torsion-hinge-lid-support-satin-nickel

    • harry wheeler on 23 May 2018 at 3:18 pm

      Keep in mind that the center line of the hinge pin has to be behind the line formed by the extreme outside edges of the legs. Otherwise the lid can’t open. That strip is mandatory for this design because it isn’t just a flat backed box and it should actually allow a little extra distance to avoid binding. I made the thickness of my strip so that the hinge point is about 1/16″ behind the extreme points of the back legs and that works fine.

      • Peter Bernhardt on 23 May 2018 at 3:22 pm

        Ah! You’re absolutely right, Harry. Thanks for the correction – those rockler hinges I linked to won’t work with this design.

        • harry wheeler on 23 May 2018 at 3:50 pm

          It’s just a quirk of this unique design Peter. I’ve used those Rockler hinges before and I love them for a nice flat box. I got a little ahead and already have my lid mounted using Brusso hinges. I wish I had thought about that decision a little more because while the JB-107 stop hinges I purchased are very nice, they cost too much and to my dismay, they came with #4 screws which didn’t make me happy at all. I drilled out the holes and re-cut the countersinks for #6’s. At the end of the day, I could have paid half as much and done no additional modification work. Live and learn I suppose.

          A point Paul makes here is the necessity for a stay and I can absolutely confirm that! I originally thought that 95 degree stop hinges would do the trick, but no way will that work on a lid this size. They’re OK on a small box but not for this.

  3. David B on 23 May 2018 at 2:41 pm

    Beautiful! Well done!

  4. Craig Medvecky on 23 May 2018 at 4:45 pm

    i notice a lot of times when Paul is pare cutting with a chisel he has the shaft of the chisel blade grasped in one hand. My chisels have sharp edges and I have easily cut my hands-not with the blade but just with the square edges. I was resisting sanding those down because I had thought it was important to keep them sharp for chiseling in deeper mortises, but I am wondering does Paul soften those edges with sandpaper so he can hold the chisel that way more easily?

    • Philip Adams on 25 May 2018 at 11:25 am

      Hello Craig, most chisels have a small flat on the sides of the chisel blade, so don’t need sanding. A small flat is not an issue on mortises, hence the fact that you can get sash mortise chisels that are not beveled in the same way.
      Best, Phil

      • Ed on 25 May 2018 at 12:12 pm

        The arris formed between the side (land) and the back or top of the chisel can be sharp enough to cut you. I think @CRMEDV is asking if they should be eased. I think the answer is, yes. I’ve needed to do so, but I don’t ease the last 1/2″ or so. Otherwise, yes, some chisels will cut you and you won’t be able to do routine things without bleeding.

        • Craig Medvecky on 25 May 2018 at 1:35 pm

          Thanks yes that arris is what I was talking about! When I pare cut I have to wrap some adhesive tape around the first two fingers of my left hand or the rocking motion of the chisel will cut me almost right away. That’s a good suggestion to leave a bit at the end.

          • dovetails on 27 June 2018 at 3:03 pm

            It’s a tool, don’t be afraid to modify it to suit your needs. Just sand those sharp edges down. No problem.



  5. rafi on 23 May 2018 at 6:33 pm

    An alternate way to support the lid while fixing the hinges to the case would be to place the case on the floor close to your workbench. Drape a blanket over the edge of the workbench to avoid scratches and lean the lid against the workbench. This allows both hands to be free to work from the open side while supporting the lid securely. Leaning the lid against a wall would also provide the same support.

    • harry wheeler on 23 May 2018 at 10:29 pm

      I know it’s not the normal way, but I decided to lay my chest down on it’s back and on top of the lid. That makes it very easy to mark the hinge positions. You can then take a hinge as Paul did to determine the depth and back position of the mortise. After you cut the mortises and drill the holes, you’ll only need to raise the back of the chest very slightly to slip the hinges in place and mine was self supporting so both hands were free. Doing it that way, I think it may be even easier if the hinges are installed on the chest first, but either way will work.

  6. willyd57 on 23 May 2018 at 6:33 pm

    When it comes to putting wax on wood screws, I use a toilet bowl wax ring. Because it is a bit sticky and messy, I push some into an old deodorant dispenser. The kind with a wheel at the bottom that you turn to make the product extend out the top. And the wax works like a dream for lubricating screws. One deodorant dispenser full of toilet bowl ring wax is enough to last most woodworkers a lifetime.

    • David B on 24 May 2018 at 12:32 am

      lol, that’s kind of gross (I know you’re not using a new one;))–those things are just so sticky and gross to deal with. I’m more curious how you came up with the idea–had to be improv?

    • Ed on 24 May 2018 at 3:59 am

      A tube of lip balm is a convenient option.

  7. rayc21 on 23 May 2018 at 6:37 pm

    that scotch hinge as come just at the right time, I’m finishing a project tomorrow where my lid pro tubes the back also. This afternoon I was thinking how to approach it. Now I know, thanks to Woodworking Masterclasses.
    Thank you Paul and Team.o

  8. Justin Masone on 24 May 2018 at 6:03 am

    What happened to the old brush?

    • Craig on 24 May 2018 at 5:51 pm

      Justin,
      Small project=small brush
      Big project=big brush
      Really big project= sprayer
      🙂
      Best,
      Craig

  9. SharpPencil on 25 May 2018 at 1:05 pm

    Hi Paul ..you talk of using shellac then you show using wax after…..this to me is a mystery…..what wax? is it just furniture wax. It is best to ask a silly question than guess.

    Thank you John

  10. Damien Walker on 7 March 2021 at 1:08 am

    There is an obvious wind in the lid frame – this was apparent when Paul was gluing the lid together. Is there any way to correct this after glueing?

  11. sanford on 30 September 2021 at 6:40 pm

    I wonder whether anyone has used gas strut stays like the ones Paul is using. He does not tell us much about them. I am not sure if I want to use them, but if I did, I would not want to experiment on a chest that took so long to make! I know this sort of thing is used for various kinds of cabinet doors, the kind that either raise or lower, and I have seen things like them used on tool chests in the back of pickup trucks! But I know nothing about them. One question I have is about the necessary gas strut forces for such an application. I see the number 100N on Paul’s, which designates the gas strut force, but I do not know whether that is a carefully considered choice or more or less arbitrary. Clearly you do not want to much force or too little, but how big a range is acceptable for this use? Another question is about placement. I see Paul attaches his strut roughly midway on the side rail of the main box and only about four inches up on the lid. (I just eyeballed that.) Is that arbitrary? Could it be radically different, say half way up the box lid? Finally, am I wrong or does this sort of stay seem rather out of place on a traditional sort of chest like Paul has made? I have seen them on far less traditional kinds of cabinets and chests. Do people like them on this sort of chest? I understand they would have a good bit of value for keeping a chest lid from slamming, say, on a child’s fingers. (I have seen them used on toy boxes.) But I fear it would look very odd on my post and panel walnut chest.

  12. Larry Geib on 30 September 2021 at 7:53 pm

    Gas trust traditionally come in different strengths expressed in N or LBS or both.and the come in different lengths.
    You can get an idea of what strength you need by putting a bath scale between the lid and the Chest. You’ll have to decide if you just want assist in opening or you want the chest to pop open when unlocked.

    You can take some of the angst over exacly what strength to get by purchasing adjustable struts that you can une. Hey cos a bit more.

    His link Ives you an idea what to look or. Is NOT an endorsement. I haven’t used this particular strut.
    https://www.amazon.com/Adjustable-Pressure-Extended-Renovating-Compartment/dp/B08RDP59RJ/ref=asc_df_B08RDP59RJ/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=507812219034&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=16221444017649287510&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9032936&hvtargid=pla-1314308987991&psc=1

  13. sanford on 1 October 2021 at 4:54 pm

    Thanks Larry. That helps a bit. I still wonder why Paul made that particular choice rather than (for example) using chains or straps to control how far back the lid opens. It is obviously not an aesthetic choice since the gas stay is not particularly attractive. Is it fear the lid will slam on someones fingers? Does it just make it easier to open for someone (like me) who is getting on in hears? Does the gas trust provide more support for the heavy lid so that the hinges get less stress? The chest I am making is significantly larger than any I have made in the past and when I saw the heavy duty hardware Paul used, the gas stay, I got concerned that my simple chain might not be a good idea. Any thoughts on whether a simple chain is a problem for a chest roughly the size and weight of Paul’s blanket chest?

    Anyway, on reading your post, I suddenly realized that the N numbers I had been seeing in these gas struts were actually Newton numbers. Some stays advertise in Newtons and some in pounds. Lee Valley sells two products of this kind which look identical but have different product numbers and slightly different prices. But they sell them in a strange way. The first product has four options in Newtons but no lengths — I did not find any indication of the length of that product. The second only has length options but no indication of the N value or weight the stay is good for. Maybe I missed something, but that seems odd.

  14. Sven-Olof Jansson on 1 October 2021 at 11:05 pm

    Please, may I suggest a practicality favouring the gas strut stay. Having taken items out of the chest, one will at times only have one hand free, and as the lid weighs around 7 Kg (density 0.7 Kg/dm³; at 12% moisture content [more, if dried to 7%]), perhaps there can be a risk of losing the grip of it, which might cause it to break if it falls down on the frame. I assume a gas strut stay would prevent that.

  15. Larry Geib on 1 October 2021 at 11:28 pm

    I should have mentioned the adjustable struts are adjusted by bleeding off some of the gas pressure, so they are only adjustable DOWNWARDS in force and it’s a one shot deal. If you release too much pressure, most have no way of adding gas.

    Go slowly.

  16. Larry Geib on 2 October 2021 at 3:25 am

    Another means of keeping a lid open is with position control hinges, also known as adjustable friction hinges or torque hinges. Ot hat com upon sear he are just black plastic, but there are all kinds if you search enough.
    Some can be adjusted up to 50-60 foot pounds and would hold a lid in any position. Most likely, you would just adjust a lid so it stays in a vertical position, which takes much less force. Just google those terms and a plethora of types and materials show up, from nylon to brass to nickel plated types.

    I built a painter’s pochade box for a friend that opens into an easel and will stay in any position desired using only friction hinges.

  17. sanford on 3 October 2021 at 5:24 am

    I think I may give the gas struts a shot. I suppose if I do not like them I can take them off and just fill the holes! I will look into the adjustable ones. I have found a website that lets you calculate the requirements for gas struts (length and weight of lid or Newtons) for various uses, including chest lids.

  18. László Dr. Kálcza on 18 October 2022 at 9:48 pm

    Thanks Paul for making this video series available. It is very enjoyable to follow the process as the chest is completed. I saw a lot of new ideas that I will be able to use in my hobby as a hobby carpenter.
    I wish you good health to continue your wonderful work.

  19. wrstew on 19 October 2022 at 6:21 am

    I also noticed that a very high quality brush was substituted for Paul’s more frequently seen artist wash brush.. The feathering and bristle composition allow a greater amount of liquid to be carried on each “dip” and the soft pliable nature of the bristles makes for a smooth bubble free surface. I am so jealous! Great brushes are not inexpensive, nor easily found in box stores. Out of curiosity- Rabbit, Badger, or other natural material?

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