Perhaps your solution in in the design.
Why not construct the chest using mahogany ply with a decorative corner
detail out of solid mahogany over the biscuit corner. You could use the same
detailing in the trunk stand. I am willing to bet that as long as the edges
are decorative your wife and her friends won't know the difference.
Wow, thanks to everyone for the replies! I still don't know exactly what
I'm going to do here but I've seen some good ideas. I'm going to let her
take a look at a couple books with finishes in them to see if anything else
jumps out at her. This might be the craziest idea of all but I've been
considering buying a very nice hand saw and a couple high quality chisels
and practicing my heart out on hand cut dovetails this weekend. I'm sure
I'll need to give myself a crash course in sharpening (scary) as well but
maybe if I sneak up on the cuts with the handsaw and finish them carefully
with a truly sharp chisel I'll end up with something nice. I'm thinking the
idea about building a frame and using plywood to fill the large space might
be the way to go here. I'll try to mention the idea again and see if I get
the same look.
There is a Woodcraft store about 20 miles east of me and a Rockler about 20
miles south so I think I'll probably make a round trip through both this
weekend and bug the folks that work at each with novice questions. I'm sure
they love that kind of thing on a busy day. I'm betting one or both will
have some good books on hand cut dovetails too.
For anyone still tuned in to this, I went Friday and bought a Dozuki saw, a
couple chisels, a Veritas sharpening guide, marking gauge, Starret combo
square plus some other odds and ends. I also bout the Complete Guide to
Sharpening, Tage Frid Teaches Woodworking and the Treasure Chests book
recommended below. Oh, and a Video on hand cut dovetails plus some pine to
practice on. I spent much of yesterday reading about proper sharpening and
then picked up some 1000 and 2000 grit wet paper. I've been playing around
with it this morning and I've got a pretty good lap on the back of one of my
chisels now. I'm still trying to figure out when I've gone far enough on
the bevel though. I think I'll ask about that in a new post though. I
don't think I'm going to get this done within my budget but I do think I've
got a plan to make a nice chest now. Thanks again for all the ideas!
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