Woodwright’s joined chest class – day 1

I once had a t-shirt I got at an Arlo Guthrie concert that read “we know it’s stupid, that’s why we’re here.” goodness only knows what it meant, but a similar notion must have run through the minds of these students -a very good-natured group of would-be joiners who came down to Roy Underhill’s school to attempt to make a joined chest in a week. 10 students means 10 chests. each chest with about 25 pieces of riven oak in it. Plus extras in case something goes wrong…

more oak 2

Roy & I dreamed up this idiotic course, “let’s make a joined chest in a week!” And we booked it & it filled up. well, it became a reality (of sorts) and on the first day, these students split, crosscut, & rived out over 200 piece of oak for said chests. That’s a lot of oak. Here’s the beginning of just one small pile of parts:

growing piles of oak


We tried to sort and count them as we went, but it was doomed.

more oak


We need over 70 panels; about 8″ wide by 12-14″ long. SEVENTY!


We scurried back to the woods to get more of this amazingly straight-grained oak. what a tree!

cross cut 2

I don’t know who this is, but he was not alone.


Thankfully, we found that with proper supervision, it only took Kat a short while to bust out all the oak. it’s not that hard, really.

it's not that hard really


Next, they plane all the long rails, layout the joinery, chop mortises, plow grooves & cut tenons.

9 thoughts on “Woodwright’s joined chest class – day 1

  1. Kat overstates our prowess! And forgets to mention that we needed sawing “shifts” to keep the saw moving. Saw for 2 minutes, break for 4 minutes. Saw for 2 minutes, break for 4 minutes. After 20+ minutes, we (thankfully) bound the saw up for good in the log!

    Who needs a rowing machine when you have a 2-person saw!

  2. Now that’s my idea of a vacation! Looks and sounds like an awesome time. I’d love to take one of these classes. Up in New England any time soon?

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