I’ve been working on some fun projects since I last posted.

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I made this trunk on stand from scratch. Found the plans in The Scale Cabinetmaker, I believe volume 4, issue 1. I’m always looking for unusual things to build, because I figure the usual stuff–chairs, couches, tables–I can find commercially. I thought this project wouldn’t be too difficult. (It was and wasn’t.)

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I modified the lid, because I didn’t have the right thickness of wood. The plans called for the lid to be carved out of a 5/8 piece, both inner and outer sides carved. I didn’t have the tools either to do this, so I built a regular lid with four sides, soaking and curving a 1/32 piece of mahogany for the top of the lid. Then I covered it with “leather.” (How I made the faux leather below.)

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The trunk opens to reveal an interior with a lift-out tray, which I covered with scrapbooking paper (the paper looks a little like a Monet painting, and pasted in, it looks like old leather).

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I drilled holes and put in every single one of the brass nails (from Houseworks) in all four sides myself. Front and back had 15 each, sides 9 each.

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I’m proud of the stand because it actually worked. I had grand intentions of making the cabriole legs myself, but then I found premade legs of the exact size I needed (I mean exact) in my stash. I figured the universe was telling me to use them, so I sanded and shaped them a little.

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The back legs, however, I cut myself on a scroll saw. I’m pleased that they turned out right and both the same!

I am also pleased because the plan called for the bottoms of the sides to be rabbeted and the bottom fitted into the groove. I’d never rabbeted joins before, so I learned a new skill! I think the added work on the joinery made the stand solid and sturdy.

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The plans called for real leather, but I didn’t have enough, nor did I want to waste it if it didn’t work. So I made a lot of faux leather, very simply.

The base is mulberry paper. This can be found at art supply stores or other places that carry handmade paper, or online. This paper is thin and inexpensive.

I laid out a large piece of mulberry paper on waxed paper. I mixed burnt umber oil paint with artist glazing medium. (I used water-cleanup oil paints which are both cheaper than oils and dry faster. The glazing medium is a common commercial brand I found at Michaels.)

I painted the paper (one side only, because the other side would be glued down), and hung it to dry overnight. The paper turns out soft and supple, looking and feeling like leather.

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The hasp and loop for the lock I cut out of a .005 brass sheet. My first time working with brass. Fun. The hinges were Houseworks.

I’m very pleased with the result!

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