A perennial favorite made from store-bought plans.
SHOP OWNER: Jim Barry
LOCATION: Gander, Newfoundland
My wife has had an old steamer trunk since before I met her, but it's in rough shape. Since I love a challenge and always wanted to make a steamer trunk, I decided to buy a package from Rockler that included plans and a hardware kit. This was one of the few times I actually used plans to build something. Now I know why I would rather just look at a picture and go make it. That's the real challenge!
As for joinery, all the panels fit into 5/16-in. dado cuts--my first time at it. The corners are each made of two pieces of oak mitered together and joined with 1/2-in. splines--another first for me. The panels that hold the straps in place are 3/4-in. oak tenoned to fit the 5/16-in. dados on the rails and stiles. I cut yet another 3/4-in. dado around the inside of the trunk for an oak ledge that holds the removable tray.
The lid turned out to be the challenge, mainly because the plans weren't very accurate. I cut the curved ribs with a jig saw, and mortised the ends of the ribs into the front and back pieces. I confess to a few mistakes here, but it's amazing what what you can cover up when you try. ;-)
The hardware kit, including the plans, cost about $100.00 by the time I got it, with the exchange rate, custom duties and shipping.
... Jim Barry, "The Woodchuck Canuck"
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