Last post on the Hope Chest – enjoyed it!

My Hope Chest now looks like this. The pattern is simple, as a hope chest was more about the content than the box. I hope you have enjoyed watching my progress and experienced some of the processes I work through in forward planning to make things happen in order. There is no such thing as cutting corners when we work with real wood and real hand tools. The learning process should never be cut and neither the training processes either. Dumbing down the standards has led to the troubles we see in the deterioration of workmanship.


I can’t give this to my daughter as she is married with children now. Bit too late. Hopefully all of my pieces will become heirlooms for my children and my grandchildren. I hope so. I live in sad times when companies like IKEA boast the longevity of a hinge or drawer runner but create disposable throwaway furniture made from MDF. You must look at the chain to see the weakest link. Why have a lifetime hinge if the MDF lasts only five years or so. It’s hard to imagine giving away an MDF bookshelf made by them, never mind a dining table or chair. Such is the way. People tell me they love IKEA. They are amused momentarily until the new colour and shape comes in. It eases the boredom they say. I hope they can salve their consciences when MDF lies powdered in the landfill and resins and the trees are all gone.

My dovetails wont come apart and neither will my mortise and tenon joints. My children will eat off my dining table when I am long since gone and my grandchildren will lift the hope chest lid to put their toys away or pull out a wintertime quilt.



It’s peaceful this evening as I finish for the day and look over the work this week. I close the workshop doors and walk away from the castle along the road that leads to home. “No engines there to start and stop.”  Just the quietness of a dark woodland road. It’s icy cold, but somehow I feel warm inside as I move. The village is quiet now too. Lights on in the windows. This time last year we had 16 inches of snow. It was lovely with the silence that snow brings.