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The cover on the August 2009 issue shows two walnut blanket chests stacked one on top of the other. I built the two chests at the same time, but to different dimensions. I kept notes on each and, of course, did my scratch-pad drawings on both as the building progressed.

As I worked, I struggled with which size chest I would write about in the accompanying article. Should it be the larger of the two? Or would it be better to run through the building of the smaller blanket chest? I selected the smaller chest due to its unique size, because that smaller size might fit better in more of our readers’ homes. I had a 50 percent shot at getting the choice right. And I think I did OK because I haven’t been overwhelmed with woodworkers asking for plans for the larger chest , but I have received a few requests.

I posted a blog entry on how to scale furniture from drawings and other plans, or how to bypass the entire process by taking a drawing to a copy shop and having the piece enlarged. (That, however, should be a last resort due to the board thicknesses becoming enlarged as well.)

Because I was looking for a reason to use SketchUp and improve my skills with the free program (you better believe that I’ll be in the SketchUp seminar at Woodworking in America next month in St. Charles, Ill.) I thought I’d prepare a front and end elevation for those of you who want to have something more to work with. You can download a pdf of the file below (or access the SketchUp file here). Enjoy, but do take the time to learn how to scale from photos and drawings. And by all means, get a firm grip on Google SketchUp so you can use our entire library of SketchUp projects.

– Glen D. Huey

Large Blanket Chest.pdf (79.31 KB)

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Showing 6 comments
  • Jim Grill

    I just sank some bank on some walnut for this chest. I’ve built more projects from PW than any other publication. Great job, guys.

    P.S. I wouldn’t mind some bikini models on the cover now and then. If I can convince my wife that other women (especially sexy, bikini clad women) are excited about woodworking, maybe she’ll come around a little easier the next time I need $500 for lumber. 🙂

  • Glen

    The article has plans for the small chest, I’ve briefly described how to scale pieces in another blog entry and we added the simple line drawings (PDF above)for the large chest.

    One of the best applications of the SketchUp model that’s available in the Popular Woodworking 3D warehouse is to download the piece model and dis-assemble the unit. The small chest in the SU model is built exactly as the larger chest is, so if you understand how the blanket chest is built in the smaller size, you can carry that information to the larger piece.

    If you find areas in the building process where you don’t quite have a handle on the process, please contact me and I’ll clarify all that I can. Email me at or call me, my number is listed in each issue of the magazine.

  • Rick

    Are there plans available for this chest? I read the article and while excellent in its description there are parts of it I couldn’t follow. I would love to build this (as my wife finally decided this is the one she wanted) but don’t have the confidence without a little more clarity.


  • John,

    There are some odd conceits in every magazine. Believe me, we’re not the instigators for this tradition, nor do we take credit for it. It does drive us nuts at times….

    My favorite detail is when you take a picture of the woodworker with his or her finished project and they are rubbing it out with wax (or whatever) like they just finished it.

    I think we picked that up from the car magazine industry. Good thing (for the readers) that we didn’t pick up the car magazine tendency to put bikini-clad people on the cover. I’m not as young as I used to be.


  • Ashok Khosla

    The link to your entire library of projects doesnt work.

  • John

    Your blog photos kill me. I love how every photo of a finished project needs to include some sawdust, plane shavings and a random tool or two. Even Chris’s recent book post had a handplane on top of it as if Chris just got done flattening the Roubo. Keep up the good work. I enjoy the props as much as I enjoy the articles.

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