This morning I put the final touch on the silverware chest that Steve and I have been building by installing the insert that holds our silverware set. I bought it from Rockler and designed the chest around it. I'm proud of the chest and think it is beautiful even though it is not completely perfect in every way, and I certainly never could have done it without Steve.
We made the chest from a single large board of jatoba wood and it turned out to have some twists and warps that were a bear to manage. Also, it has high mitered corners and my design idea was to wrap the grain from the left side, across the front and continue onto the right side. The lid is also mostly a single piece with sides formed by the sides of the box and an ebony border around the insert. It was by far the most complicated thing I have ever attempted and Steve claims the same for himself.
I am going to post a bunch of pictures of the finished product, but not the blow by blow building shots as I did with the dining table from last month. I don't want to bore everyone and I don't have many photos anyway. The only two parts that I am going to highlight are the lid and the horizontal routing we did to make an ebony inlay on the edge of the drawer opening (which covered a mistake we made earlier). The lid piece was too big for my router so I had to build a router sled and route it that way. The first pic shows the setup with a dummy board, the second the jatoba board while being routed, and the third pic down shows the board after routing and a first sanding. It was a cool exercise.
The horizontal routing was done on the router table Steve and I built, which can be tipped 90 degrees so that the bit extends outward horizontally, duh, and allows for tenons to be cut precisely. It worked great to make a slot for the ebony insert that is exposed when the drawer is pulled out.
Lastly, here is the box when we glued it up with the lid still part of the box. Steve's plan all along was to build it this way and then cut off the lid an inch down from the top so that it would fit together with the box perfectly. It worked to an extent, but the twists and warps in the wood made it much more difficult to accomplish and not quite "perfect."
So, the rest of the pics are just the chest in some detail to show the continuous grain wrapping around the three sides, and the ebony accents and the handles that we made from ebony as well. It was anxiety inducing and I definitely lost sleep along the way (covid is to blame as well), but the results are pretty fabulous imho.