Monday, August 10, 2015

Video and Pics: The Chest Lid Article

Last week the October issue of Popular Woodworking landed in my mailbox. Inside (among many other great articles, like Jeff Miller's slat back chair) is my article on how I made the marquetry-encrusted lid for my joint tool chest project with Chris Schwarz from earlier this year. Watch this video for a tour of the chest with Chris.

I've got a few articles under my belt now, but this one was by far and away the most difficult. The chest lid itself require many techniques, all of which I tried to cover in a thorough but succinct way. It's not easy to cram three months of work into five pages. (I made many many passes over the final draft to get to my required word count.) It is after all, a woodworking magazine, not my personal blog.

But because of the internet, I can share further details about the lid that one just can't fit into a magazine article.

I managed to take a bit of video during the construction process, all quite impromptu and rough, since I was working on a deadline, but it edited down to some interesting moments during the lid's creation.

I took 833 photos during the construction of the lid. I weeded out the bad ones and still ended up with close to 500, including some renderings and mockups of how the design developed.

I've uploaded these into a public gallery here. There's no captions or text. You'll have to read the article.

The first pics show the early stages of the design. At first I was going to do a painted medallion, but that got replaced by the tool montage. At one point Chris and I changed the dimensions of the lid, so the early pics and renderings of the sunburst show the lid a full 12" longer than the final product. I glued up the rays that size, then later cut 6" off each end before veneering the lid.

If you don't subscribe (and you should, it's an inexpensive subscription) you can pick up the issue at your local bookstore/newsstand (not sure when those are scheduled to arrive) or you can order the issue online through the PWM website.


  1. thanks for posting the video Jameel - really enjoyed watching your hands work.

  2. Yes I subscribe to PWM but your video shows much more than the magazine can describe. Your shooting board skills are quite evident as you work the wood parts to your liking. In days past it would have been like a boat builder on the Great Lakes in winter waiting for the thaw not because they had to but because they could, to make it as perfect as possible...

    1. It was probably good I had a deadline, as I probably would have spent even more time on this. Thanks.

  3. I started my subscription in order to get this issue, these photos and video highlight the great craft involved in the design and creation of this lid. Well done, exceedingly talented process, carried out at the highest level. Such a treasure, thank you for sharing the journey.

  4. If only I could invest in the tech to include videos in the print magazine...also, I want a pony :-)

  5. It was great seeing the chest at Handworks, but I think enjoy seeing the process even more!


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