Making the Curved Trunk Lid

Construction Progress


After cutting out most of the pieces, the next step in the process is to fit them together. Much of the joinery in the trunk consists of panels and tenons inserted into grooves. Here you can see some of the progress I have made in dry fitting the pieces together.

The key to constructing the top is the curved ribs which define the shape.  Each rib is mortised into the front and back rail, and the panels fit into grooves.  Since there are so many pieces to the top, the trick is how to assemble them in the gluing process quickly enough so the glue doesn’t begin to dry out too soon.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Post navigation

5 thoughts on “Making the Curved Trunk Lid

  1. william jacobs

    how did you cut the notches in the ribs? router jig?

    • wilburton

      I did make a template of mdf and used a pattern cutting bit on my router to make the curved ribs in the top. The notches in the ribs were done on a bandsaw. Hope that helps!

  2. David

    What angle did you cut the front and back pieces and front and back rails on the curved top? My directions says 34 degrees for both pieces, doesn’t work out.

    • wilburton

      Hi David,
      If you are using the Rockler plans, it can get confusing. My plans say 37 degrees, but what you actually need is the complimentary angle. If you take 90 degrees and subtract 37, that leaves a 53 degree angle. (Since most saws only go up to 45 degrees, I guess that is why they called for 37 degrees.) So, if you rip each piece at a 53 degree angle and put them together as a miter, you get 53 plus 53, or a total angle of 106 degrees. That is the resulting finished angle of the top to the sides. Hope that helps.

      • David

        My plan came from came from “Best of Woodworker’s Journal”. 56 degrees would be the complimentary angle for this plan, but looks like 51 degrees is a good fit. Thanks for the reply and info, it gives me the confidence to go on to the next step.
        By the way, the picture i have looks just like a Rockler steamer trunk, this style must be popular!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: