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building a blanket chest

3965 Views 9 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  crafty Dale
ok i'm about to TRY and build a blanket chest so what's the BEST way to put it together butt joint or dove tail?.....i DON'T have a dove tail template...I DO HAVE A DOVE TAIL BIT so how should i do this? :D
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When i did the DEacons Bench that was picture here,and its basically a blanket box with sides and a back, I put together using 3/8 dowels..The reason for that...When you open the lid you see no joinery on the top edge, It just looks better and this is the way the High end furniture is made..I also didnt want to see any screw holes on the inside of the case.
The prep time for doweling is longer but in the long run you end up with a very strong and well made case.
At one time blanket chests as well as tool chests were made with dovetails for strenght,now dovetails are used to highlite the joinery. Or as some of my friends say to show off. For whatever reason they are used the dovetail joint is the strongest mechanical joint for joining two pieces at 90 degrees. It is a great joint to learn how to make,wth a jig or preferably by hand.

Hi Crafty: You will need more than a dove tail bit, you will need a dove tail jig that can handle the height of the blanket chest. You could butt joint the corners and use biscuit joinery. Shear tests have proven the biscuit is stronger than the dowel joints.
Hope this helps.. Woodnut65
The best joint for this project is a rabbet/Dado joint. Why?

One: Because of the joint characteristics it will automatically make the corner at 90 degrees when glued together.
Two: You can match the edge grain of the side with the face grain of the front or back to make an invisible joint.
Three: Easy to assemble with very few clamps.
Four: Just need a 3/8" straight bit and a spacer fence.
It is the best joint for the project.
I would do an image search on a search engine like google with the words "blanket chest" that will give you 1000's of pictures of what others have done.... see what style you like and go from there. I have seen them done up as panels, with box joints, dovetails, almost anything you can imagine.

I personally like some of the early american designs with the very wide spaced dovetails and in wide pine boards, but, if the rest of your bedroom set is Queen Anne that would stickout like a hammered thumb.

After you figure out what it should look like then you pick out how you are going to make it.


I have made dozens of blanked boxes over the year. A simple Butt Joint is sure to fail, even under normal use. I have used Rabbet cuts for the corners successfully all the while. Doesn't matter what material you use I find that the Rabbet joint holds well. I am with RobandRick on this one.

Just finished my second blanket chest, this time with full dovetails. It was quite a challenge to make (and took twice as long as the first), but the end result was more than worth it. "Showing off" or not, it's the dovetails that everyone who sees this chest comments on first...I look at it this way: 1.) I improved my woodworking skills by learning to do the dovetails (BTW, I splurged and got the jig) and 2.) I am assured this will be a great piece of furniture for a number of years to come. Why spend the time and effort if you're not going to do it right?

"So much wood, so little time"
I agree, that chest should last a lifetime.

THANK YOU ALL for the comments for some unknown reason "MY GUT" was telling me to go with the dovetail joints so i thought i'd get as many opinions as i could i didn't really wanna go with the butt joint so it looks like i'll be using the dovetail joint whaahooo!! lol THANKS ONCE AGAIN!!
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