Hope Chest Build

One of the gifts I gave my 19 year old daughter for Christmas was a hope chest. Well, actually, I gave her a n0t-yet-hope-chest. I call it that because I hadn’t made one yet, but I gave her a drawing of a hope chest and said “Let’s create it together.” Perhaps I should have called it “hope for a hope chest.”

Shortly after Christmas, we sat down together for a couple of hours and scoured the internet (ok, Pinterest) for ideas. One of the reasons I didn’t surprise her with an already built hope chest is because my daughter is very artistic and has a wonderful eye for things. She also has ideas about what she wants. The idea we settled on together surprised me a little, but on reflection I should have expected as much. She wants a sea-chest style hope chest, and of course she wants it made the old-fashioned way, with oxidized hardware, dovetails, and hemp rope handles.

Oh, and it has to be made of pine, she says. And stained a medium brown (“not too dark, not too light, dad!”).

So I picked up some project wood and got started right away. First things first was to mark and cut out the dovetailed corners. Here’s a couple of photos to show the progress.

First set of dovetails
First set of dovetails
Hope chest dovetails completed.
Hope chest dovetails completed.

I’ve cut dovetails fairly often, but only in hardwood. Never in pine. But they turned out just fine, I think. The next step is to carve a tall ship in a contrasting wood to be appliqued to the front of the chest. More on that later.

We’ve been extra busy these days with some interior decorating changes at home, and travelling a fair bit with our youngest son’s basketball team, the Walnut Grove Gators. The Gators, who are ranked second in BC for AAA high school basketball, the highest level of high school ball there is in BC, start playoffs this afternoon.


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