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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My oldest (first of 3 girls) is turning 10 on Dec 29th, so it's time to start the tradition of giving them something special for the major event. I decided a chest would make the most sense....durable, useful, and heirloomish.

Fortunately, the design for this first girl is a pretty easy choice....we're both Minecraft fans. For those unfamiliar with that (how could you be??), Minecraft is a game where you can do pretty much whatever you want, build whatever you want, etc. It's a sandbox game, and we enjoy it a lot.

One of the objects in the game is a minecraft chest where you can store stuff.



So that's what I'm going to attempt. And just to make it fun, I figured I'd log it as I went. Dunno if the showcase thread is the place for stuff that's not yet showworthy, but meh...

The first thing to decide was dimensions. Fortunately the DESIGN is already there, but the dimensions are unknown. Officially, in the game, the chest would be a meter square. I decided that was a bit large for a chest. At the same time, the actual picture of the chest is made up of 16 pixels...so in other words, each side is made up of 16 little squares. So, if I just use 1" for each square, then that makes it easy to convert to measurements I can use. But a 16" square chest is kinda small. So, I decided on a 2' square chest. Doing that, I just have to convert the measurements of each side by multiplying by 1.5.

So, in the chest pic, you can see that each side of golden colored wood is surrounded by a border of dark wood (forget the rectangular patterns on each side, I'm not going to bother with those). Measuring from the top down, the dark border is 1 square, then 4 squares of golden wood, then 1 square dark, then 9 squares golden, then 1 square of dark, for a total of 16 squares. Multiplying by 1.5 gives the width of each section I'll need.

The top is the easiest part, since it is a 16pixelX16pixel (2'x2') square, including a 1pixel border all the way around of dark wood. To figure out the width of that border, I just multiply the number of pixels (1) by 1.5, so the border will be 1.5" thick.

Now on to wood selection. The dark wood is easy...walnut, since I have a decent enough supply. The white latch on the front I'm not worried about yet. So, that leaves the main wood everywhere else. I have hemlock, red and white oak, and ash on hand that could handle this. I started with the hemlock because I had some very large boards, it looked a good color, and was easy to work with. But I began to have doubts after planing some down, because I began to see just how easy this stuff was to gouge. Not a very good choice for a chest she'll probably be taking to a dorm room some day.

I posted a thread in the forums and got some good feedback on which wood to use, and oak seems to have won the day.

With 4 sides and a top (I'll use plywood for the bottom) that need to be 24" square, I began to try to collect the wood I would need. The oak doesn't actually need to be 24" because of the borders of walnut. So, I only need boards 21" long, and then glued up to make the pieces for the bottom and the lid.

This isn't quite the hardest undertaking I've done, but it's close, and as usual, last minute. Thankfully I have no christmas projects competing for my time this year.

I'll be posting progress (or lack thereof) as I go. Just know that by Dec 29 I'll either be done or despondent. :boat: Feel free to offer suggestions...in fact, I'm practically begging you to.
 

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I wood if I could.
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I'm interested in seeing how this works out. I might have to shield my son's eyes from it though. Lest I be tasked with another project. He loves Minecraft!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Here is all of the oak I should need, ready for jointing and planing.

I was able to joint all of it and plane most of it. I'll finish tomorrow and then cut the pieces to their rough size and see what I've got.

I just realized I already probably could have done something better. Instead of having a 1 and 1/2 inch border of walnut all the way around, I could have had it be a 1 and 1/2 inch inlay of walnut. It would have made making the Oak part simpler as just a simple 2 foot by 2 foot square. Oh well.
 

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Never got minecraft figured out, but I grew up with pixelated video games. I'm ready to watch this unfold.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Minecraft's charm comes from its completely open world... The graphics aren't an emphasis. It's actually not a low res game like the kind we grew up with. It's rare nowadays to get a game where gameplay is better than the graphics. It's like a movie with plot instead of special effects.

One thing I haven't quite figured out yet is how I'm going to join everything. Butt joints will work, but I'm thinking the kind where there's a small rabbit on each edge. It's more the order of doing it I'm not sure of. I could build the bottom of the chest, and then the lid... Or I could build the complete 2x2 front and back and then rip them through the walnut strip to make the lip front and back. I'm not sure my table saw could handle a 2'panel though... that's a lot in front of the blade.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Heh, that's true, any square shape would probably fit in well with the pixel look. But it would draw attention to the corners too much I think. Plus to be the right shape, the end grain showing would have to be 1.5" thick.. That would be tricky since I'm just shooting for between 1/2 and 3/4" thick walls. (wall thickness isn't so much a concern to me.. Anything over 1/2" should be plenty strong).

If I had MUCH more time, I could actually assemble each side out of squares.. Kind of like making a cutting board. But I think we'll have a win so long as the colors and dimensions are correct.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
I'm trying the best way possible to build this out of easy to assemble parts. So I'm thinking of building the front and back panels separately and then building the side panels to match them. Then in theory I can just join the side and front panels together with the correct rabbet edge.

Here's what I have for the dimensions of the front and back panels for the bottom part and lid.


ForumRunner_20131207_143752.jpg

I think that I'll extend the oak section a half inch in each direction for a rabbet edge to attach to the walnut. So I don't keep calling it a "rabbet edge" what is the name of that kind of joint again, where both boards have a rabbet that kind of interlocks?
 

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Scotty D
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I think that I'll extend the oak section a half inch in each direction for a rabbet edge to attach to the walnut. So I don't keep calling it a "rabbet edge" what is the name of that kind of joint again, where both boards have a rabbet that kind of interlocks?

Are you thinking of a locking rabbet? :smile:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hmmm... If that's what that is, then no. Heh. That's a rabbet and a groove, right? That could certainly work, if it's easy to do. I think what I had in mind was two rabbets that sort of connected but not necessarily locked together. Maybe it doesn't even have a specific name I just know I've used it before to put together drawers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Sorted according to width, now to mix and match to get good looking glue up panels.

ForumRunner_20131207_172152.jpg

But alas, a birthday party to go to, so it'll have to wait. Hopefully I can actually get one glued tonight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
We got back late from the party, and I really didn't want to go downstairs to the shop... But I knew I wouldn't get anything done sunday (football), so with some encouragement from my wife (she has Christmas projects to work on down there), I went down and got 1 panel glued up.


ForumRunner_20131208_001221.jpg

Progress every night....I hope.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I'm starting to try and give thought to how the 4 corners of the chest will be connected. I'm leaning towards the locking rabbet joint, since that should be easy enough to accomplish on my table saw with dado blade. But I'm concerned it may not be strong enough. Granted, this is a chest, not a bed or something that will be stressed in a lot of different directions, but I'm trying to build with longevity in mind. I could, I suppose, glue a 3/4" square stick into each corner on the inside. That would at least give me some glued edges with the grain.

I'm also starting to think about how the bottom will fit in. I'm just going to use 3/4" plywood. The walls of the chest will be 5/8" thick, so I could cut a rabbet 1/4 deep, but that doesn't seem like a lot of surface area to hold it in. It seems unlikely that anyone would be lifting this chest, full of anything, without holding the bottom of it as well.
 

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I'm also starting to think about how the bottom will fit in. I'm just going to use 3/4" plywood. The walls of the chest will be 5/8" thick, so I could cut a rabbet 1/4 deep, but that doesn't seem like a lot of surface area to hold it in. It seems unlikely that anyone would be lifting this chest, full of anything, without holding the bottom of it as well.
Dado 1/4" deep 1/4" off the bottom, 3/8 ply should be more than adequate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Well, precious days are slipping away and I did not get any progress done recently, so I'm starting to stress a little. The main problem is just knowing for sure what to do next. I am NOT a "wing-it" kind of guy, so the lack of clear directions on this project is un-nerving.

So, to try and add some certainty to what I'm doing and where I'm going, I'll try to develop the list of steps. Please interject anything you think I'm missing of have wrong.

  1. Glue up 4 panels of oak to be the bottom 4 sides of the chest. The finished dimensions should be 13.5" X 21", so for now, add a half inch to all sides, so 14.5" X 22".
  2. Rip the panels to a finished height of 13.5"
  3. Choose which panels are the front and back, and edge-glue a 1.5" strip of walnut to the "bottom" of the panel, and a 3/4" strip of walnut to the top. The walnut should extend to the edge of the oak (so, 22" long).
  4. Cut a rabbet along the edges of the front and back, 1/2" wide and 3/8" deep.
  5. Take a piece of walnut, 2" wide and 15 1/2" long and cut a rabbet along it length, 1/2" wide, 1/4" deep. This should fit into the rabbet along the edge of the front and back.
  6. I now should have a finished front and back panel for the bottom part of the chest.
  7. The sides will fit between the front and back, so the dimensions of the walnut on the sides will have to be reduced by the width of the front and back, which is 5/8". That means that for the sides, it is the same steps as the front and back, except the walnut on the edges is (2" - 5/8") = 1 3/8" wide. Then, if we're going to do the locking rabbet thing with the front and back, then I have to add 1/4" to the width. So, 1 5/8" wide.

That's of course not nearly done, but that at least gives me some pretty clear guidance for the short term.
 
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