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If you are considering building a six-board chest like the ones shown in the November 2013 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine, we have a great link for you.

Mark Firley of the blog The Furniture Record, has assembled a set of more than 140 photos of chests he has collected on his journeys through auction houses, antique shops and museums across the country.

The chests cover a wide range of styles, from the mule chest to joined chests and boarded chests. Plus there are a variety of joinery methods shown, from dovetails to nails. But what is most interesting (to me, at least) is to see how the chests were decorated.

No matter what style of chest you make, in the end it’s a box that begs for a little ornament (otherwise, it’s really just a crate). So take a look at the plinths, the mouldings, the lids and (most of all) the surface finish. This set of photos covers a wide range, from clear finish up to the very cool painted chests.

You can view the set of chests here. And Mark created a second set here.

— Christopher Schwarz

P.S. If you are planning on coming to Charleston, S.C., this month for the Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool event, you can meet Mark Firley (and myself). Details here.

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Showing 2 comments
  • Emile

    Nice chests on this chest !

  • Sawduster

    Christopher, Thanks! Very interesting and some beautiful pieces. But, I still prefer Your campaign furnture, chest and secretaries and their very beautiful brass you adorned them with. Some day I’ll attempt one and if half acceptable I’ll find some nice brass.

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