I just got started on my latest project which is another one of these for my second granddaughter.
There's seems to be a lot of interest in various kinds of chests, especially for kids and grandkids, so I'll show a few pictures along the way as I get the second one built.
This time I started with the really fun part which is the inlay for the top. On the first one I used purple heart letters on a background of birds eye maple with a walnut border.
I liked the final look so I'm going to do basically the same thing this time. The only difference is that this time I'm orienting the grain on the walnut border in a radial direction rather than in the tangential direction.
For the letters, I resawed some purple heart and with my planer, reduced it down to a thick veneer of around 5/64" (~2 mm). This was done by using double sided tape to stick it to a 3/4" piece of mdf before passing it through the planer. Then I glued a piece of fir veneer that I had around, in a cross grain direction before cutting the letters out on a jig saw. After a bit of hand sanding the letters are pretty much ready to go.
The birds eye maple background field was resawn and planed in the same process, and then in a book match manner, glued on a piece of 1/8" hardboard.
For the elliptical walnut border, I first did a bit of design with a drawing program to get the pattern I would use to fit and join pieces of thick walnut veneer (same resaw and planing process).
The veneer pieces in the pattern were individually cut to rough size with a veneer saw and straight edge and then the edges were jointed with a low angle block plane. Each piece was fitted and attached to its neighbour using veneer tape. After the whole ring was complete, it was of course quite fragile, so again I glued a secondary veneer on the back, in the opposite grain direction. The ring was then glued to another piece of 1/8" hardboard.
What I'll be doing next is to inlay the letters into the birds eye maple background. Then there will be some template work to form the ellipse and border, all of which will be described once I get it done.