SEA CHEST

Terribly lousy with an iron, there’s no doubt that I will be hanging the majority of my clothing. That said, I still need a home for socks and undies, and some of the bulkier items of a well-rounded wardrobe. To fulfil this need, I decided to build myself a wee chest of drawers.

Design & Build

The end of September saw our progress on the exterior take a hit due to some rather miserable weather, but happily, this presented me with the excuse to finally get started on the interior fixtures. Something I have been looking forward to for quite a while! Wishing to start small, I resolved to give a set of drawers a crack. With a designated space of 700mm wide and 600mm deep, I settled on three drawers, with a space below for shoes. As always, I started in Sketch Up, then took my measurements to the shed to get to work. For me, this project highlighted the substantial improvement of my skills. Thanks to our work on the frame, my understanding of bracing has bettered immensely, not to mention my efficiency. I managed to knock together the design and frame within two days and another day spent on refinement and ‘finishing’. Oh and I should mention that the plywood was some leftovers from the subfloor!

Refinement

I had never made a drawer before so had a good look at my sister’s wardrobe before tackling the rails. The decision against drawer slides was somewhat a budget choice, but really my collection of offcuts has grown so rapidly that it made sense to make use of some scraps. The drawers travel along a pair of rails, with just enough space to ensure they pull out smoothly, but not too large that they tip forward when opened fully. Throughout this stage, I only had to make a few adjustments because, for once, I managed to get my measurement pretty darn accurate! Originally, I had planned to fix a front face onto the ply drawers, perhaps a fancy piece of plywood or a veneer, but after some deliberation I decided to make use of some leftover cedar, (plus, nothing like a little weight reduction!) So though probably unusual, the pocket holes are visible, but I will fill these prior to installation. 

Looking Pretty

My first decision was that I would lime wash the ply. This would allow me to preserve the appearance of the grain, and prevent the cabinetry from looking too heavy. I gave the plywood two coats and a final layer of Intergrain Non-Yellowing Clear Varnish. Now, personally, I’m not too keen on a plywood edge, so I decided to slice up some western red cedar on the table saw and make myself some trim, which I stained with a dark brown. 

I have always been very enamoured with traditional sailing ships, of the pirate kind, (blame a love of Pirates of the Caribbean, and later, Robin Hobb’s ‘The Liveship Traders,’) so with this one I wanted to capture the essence of a handsome sea chest. I was fortunate to stumble across Costal Blacksmith on Etsy and discovered these lovely hand forged drawer pulls, and in my opinion, they look pretty fine against the warmth of the cedar. 

‘The dark blue trousers and short jacket had seen some mending, but the work of his own needle never shamed a good sailor’

The Mad Ship - Robin Hobb
Finishing Touches
COMING SOON

And that is where I have left off. There is still some finer work to be done- the dressing of the insides and the trimming down of the wooden nails. I have flat packed it away for now however, to be finished when it's time to install.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on pocket
Share on email

Leave a Reply