WoodCraft repurposes a wood bench

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This is the fourth installment in the Trash to Treasure contest and we here at WoodCraft are really pleased with the participation and response to the contest.  We're looking forward to the next winning entry.
This month's winning project comes from Brittany Watts.
This wood chest is about 2' tall, 1'deep and 4' long. It has a faux leather top (which she hates) and doors on the front. The chest came with her boyfriend and very quickly made its way to the back of an unused bedroom with hopes of never being seen.
After we selected this piece we had a lot of design ideas but in the end chose to create a hall tree. We elected to do a simple design that would fit into many different rooms. If we did our job right it will not be banished to the backroom never to be seen again.
The process for the transformation of this was a simple one. First we stripped off the parts that we were not going to be used the top, hinges and the handles. Then we removed the feet of the chest and turned them 180 degrees so they angles in this would present the bottom of the chest with a lighter appearance. Next we sanded the finish and used a General Finishes milk paint, the color we selected was Basil. After painting, we screwed the doors shut and turned it into a chest.
We started on the top half of the tree next.  For our foundation we used a sheet of ½ inch plywood that we painted the color same as the bottom part of the chest.  Around the sides we laid out a 4" boarder of Peruvian Walnut with corner blocks made from Yellowheart. For the corner blocks we used a Rosette cutter to inset a circle pattern. The boarder we used a router with a simple point over V grove bit for a little extra detail and to help lighten the piece to the eye.
For the main field of the tree four panels of wormy Chestnut with a 45 degree chamfer around the edge to soften the edges. The Chestnut is reclaimed from an old railroad depot that was torn down in Ohio. The depot was 150 years old at the time.  In between the Chestnut panels Yellowheart was used to create three small shelves that bow out from the back of the tree and two smaller accent pieces on the top and bottom.
The top of the chest is made out of Chestnut and hinged using a brass piano hinge. The top half of the tree was mated to the chest with screws and then a final sanding and sprayed with General Finishes High Performance Top Coat.  Two coat and hat hooks were added one on each side to complete the Hall Tree.
This project is simple and can be completed with just a basic level of woodworking experience. All of the pieces are applied to the plywood and held into place with screws and a little glue.

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