Heirloom Chest

One day, a lovely lady called Nicola gave me a very old mahogany dining table.  It had been bought, she told me, by her parents, many years ago.  Nicola kept the table all these years not wanting to dispose of it, for sentimental reasons.  She asked me if I would like to make something from the wood. I decided it would be a nice idea to make a small chest from the top, and let her have it as a memento.

 

Firstly, it was completely dismantled, and all the old varnish removed.

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From the clean mahogany top, I cut out the sides and top for a small chest, using simple rebated corner joints. 

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There was not quite enough to cut a bottom piece, so I needed to find a nice piece of wood to complement the mahogany.  I had recently acquired a couple of small coffee tables made of Sheesham wood, also known as Indian Rosewood, and I used a piece of this for the bottom, which went nicely with the mahogany grain and would blend in beautifully when it was all stained and polished up.

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Here is the complete box, minus lid, in its raw unfinished state.  Quite a bit of cleaning up to do, but it's coming together.

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Now with the lid, all sanded and clean ready to varnish and polish.  I had carefully chosen pieces of wood with the most interesting grain pattern for the top and front, 

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And the finished box.  It now has pride of place in Nicola's hall, she tells me, and her father enjoys the story of how it came to be there.   Strangely, I forgot to take a photo of the finished box with its lid closed, but here it is.

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