delight in the details

For those of us who love process it is easy to obsess over details. I’ve lost count of the number of conversations with my wife that I have led off by saying,

“What do you think about this _______”

Nearly all of these conversations end with glazed eyes because she knows two things:

1.) I will do what I want anyway

2.) I won’t stop obsessing until I’ve found the thing I’m looking for


After finishing the school chest I did the usual dance with details over the escutcheon for the keyhole. I had a very nice escutcheon from Horton Brasses which I will most certainly use in the future, but it felt too big for this project. I went back to the drawing board, and to Etsy, and to eBay, but nothing really struck my fancy (or seemed like a price any reasonable human would pay) so I came back around to Lee Valley and this:


The escutcheon itself did not come with pins, but they rarely do. Luckily, I’ve inherited a million of these in my grandfather’s “small parts” drawers and it wasn’t hard to tack on a match.


As I’m already quoting conversations with my wife, I should also give her credit for asking the following question upon seeing the finished box: “How do you pick it up?”

Our young apprentice Thomas doesn’t fix any kind of handles to the chest for some reason, but it seemed like a worthwhile idea to me so I ordered a nice set of iron chest lifts from Lee Valley.



You could easily use something more delicate and change the whole look of the thing, but I liked the heft that these added to the design. What I did not like were the screws that came with them. They were too long to begin with, but they were also Phillips head and I prefer the look of slotted screws.


I found some new old stock #9 blued steel round head screws and they completed the look.



Maybe that’s a lot of sound and fury over nothing, but to me details like these are cover by which I instinctively judge the book and nothing is better than getting these just right.




5 Comments Add yours

  1. Marilyn says:

    Seems like up sizing this project to be a tool chest would be cool.


    1. It’s not far off. It would really be cool if it were 3 times as long and without the till. It could easily be made into a saw chest.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Looks great! How many coats of milk paint did you end up with?


    1. Thanks Tom. There are three coats of paint, one of boiled linseed oil and then a topcoat of soft wax.


  3. Brian Clites says:

    I was already thinking that you should give this beauty to one of the ladies in your family… And now that you’ve admitted to torturing your wife on a regular basis, I think the recipient ought be even more obvious 😃


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