This pine 6 panel chest is "H21.5"x W26.5"x D15.5".

Bill of Materials:
  • 1: 6' 1x12
  • 2: 8' 1x4
  • 4: 8' 2x3
  • 2: 1"x2" hinges, with screws
  • 4: 4d nails
  • Glue

    Cut the 1x12 into six 12"lengths. On the router, route all four edges to a depth of 3/8", and a width of 6/8". This will probably take multiple passes. THen use a wide V-bit to bevel the edges of the raised part of the panel. (See Diagram 1)

    Cut four 19" sections of 2x3. for each one: Measure down from the top of the post 7/8", and draw a line all the way around the top of the post. measure another 10/8ths (to 2& 1/8") and draw a second line all the way around. Measure in 3/8ths of an inch from each side, and draw parallel lines on the narrow face, the entire length of the post. This should create a rectangle near the top that's 6/8" by 1&2/8". Measure UP from the bottom 3&1/8", and draw a line around, and a second line at 4&7/8s up, which should create a rectangle 6/8" wide, and 1&6/8" high.
    On the wide face, along the back edge, draw a line 3/8" in, and a second, parallel line, 1&1/8" in. For two of the posts, these lines should be on the LEFT broad face, and for the other two, on the RIGHT. Having marked the mortices, drill and/or chisel them out to a depth of 1". If you have a drill-press with a morticing attachment, this is easy. If you're using a hand drill, drill 6/8" holes a little less than 1" deep, and chisel out the rectangle. Do NOT pry against the top edge of the upper mortices, or you will tear out the 7/8" of wood above them. You may wish to leave the upper edge rounded, and carve the matching tennons to fit. If you're using a drill-press, do the mortices in the wide faces first, and the ones in the narrow faces last. That way you can leave the press set up for morticing the long rails. Cut slots that are 3/8" wide, and 3/8" deep, running the length of the corner posts from mortice to mortice, 3/8" from the OUTSIDE edge of each post. The outside edge is the one FARTHEST from the other edge with mortises in it. (see diagram 2)

    The short rails are constructed exactly like the long rails, except that they start as 12 & 4/8" chunks of 2x3, and you should not cut mortices into them. the tennons are the same size, (with the tennons on the top rail trimmed down, and with a 6/8" dado cut in the inside edge of the bottom rails.

    Stiles are 13&2/8 lengths of 2x3. Cut tennons like the ones on the bottom rails, and then carve slots in the narrow faces from end to end, 3/8" deep, 3/8" wide, and 3/8" from the OUTSIDE face.

    Floor planks are seven 1x4s cut to 13 & 2/8ths. The ends of each plank will probably have to be pared down with the chisel, since 3/4" boards don't quite fit into 3/4" dados. The outer edge of the first and last floorboard will also have to be pared down. In addition, you will have to cut 3/8" deep x 1 & 6/8" chunks out of the outer corners of the end boards, to go around the unslotted posts. Do not notch the end boards for the lid, but pare the ends and outer edges.

    The Lid Frame is made of two 26.5" lengths of 2x3, and two 15.5" lengths of 2x3, dovetailed together. Start with the short lengths, and mark a line all the way around them at 1 & 4/8" from each end. Choose an inside, and a top face. On the OUTSIDE face, mark a line from the end to the drawn line, 3/8" down from the top, and another such line 3/8" up from the bottom. Connect the lines from the inside to the outside face across the end-grain, to form the outline of the dovetail. Cut down through the end-grain to meet the girdling line at 1.5" in from the ends. Then cut in from the sides to remove the waste. Cut a slot 3/8" deep, 6/8" wide, the length of the stick, 3/8" down from the top, on the inside edge. (This will hold the lid planks) This slot will remove part of the wide edge of the Dovetail. Trim the rest of the wide edge of the dovetail to match. Prop the short frame up on the end of the long frame, with the narrow end of the dovetail flush with the end-grain. Trace the dovetail onto the wide face of the long frame piece. Chisel a matching mortice.

    Assembly: Put the Stiles into the top and bottom long-rails, and slide panels in on each side. You'll probably have to trim the manel edges to make them fit. Then put the corner-posts on, oriented 90 degrees from how the stiles are set. Thus, the long rails should socket into the WIDE face of the corner posts. Making both corner posts fit at once may require trimming the stile. In all cases, you may have to shorten the tennons by 1/8th inch to keep them from bottoming out in the mortices. After the front and back panel are assembled, put the short rails in the corner posts of the front assembly. and set in the two remaining panels. Then stick the back assembly onto the other end of the short rails. Trim everything to fit. Pop one corner loose from the short rails, and slide the floor boards into the wide slot at the bottom. (again, some chisel work will be required.) Once everything has been dry fit, pop the rails out of the corner posts again, smear the tennons with glue, and re-assemble. You do not need to glue the panels, the stiles, or the floor boards in place. Assembling the lid is a little harder, because the ends of all the lid-boards have to slide into the last long-frame at once. You will probably have to cut down the last board to make it fit. If your dovetails are loose, you can drill up through the dovetail from the bottom of the lid, and peg them, and/or glue them together. Or use the 4-penny nails, like I did.