I Can Do That: Pleasant Hill Firewood Box


A classic Shaker design with enough curves to make it interesting.
By Christopher Schwarz
Pages: 30-31

From the February 2008 issue #167
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The buildings at the Shaker Village in Pleasant Hill, Ky., are filled with handy firewood boxes. After a few visits to the colony, I concluded that this example is the best one.

Tucked into a room in the Centre Family Dwelling, this firewood box represents what I like about the Western Shaker furniture styles. This box has a few graceful and unexpected curves, yet it still looks decidedly Shaker.

Building this box is simple. With the exception of the curves on the sides, all the cuts are straight. With the exception of the hinged lid, all the joinery on the box is glue and nails.

The biggest construction challenge is gluing up narrower boards into the panels that make up the box’s sides, front and bottom. I glued these up using pocket screws as clamps, a technique we detailed in the November 2007 issue (#165) of the magazine.

However, because this project is painted, there’s an easier solution at the home center. In the lumber section of the store you’ll likely find wide laminated pine panels that are pieced together at a factory from narrow strips. If you purchase this material, you won’t have to glue up any panels and can go right to cutting.

The other option is to buy No. 2 common 1 x 12s. I bought five 8′-long 1 x 12s so I could cut around knots. I also bought a small piece of 1/4″-thick Masonite. Why? Read on.

Online Extra

* To download the free “I Can Do That” manual, click here.


From the February 2008 issue #167
Buy this issue now