Tag Archives: Hand carved

Hand Carved, Painted, Northern New Mexico Style Chest

Taos Style Chest 102

This chest is my original design, utilizing carved detailing characteristic of 17th and 18th century chests from northern New Mexico around the Taos area.  It is constructed of clear Ponderosa pine, the wood of choice for that area and time period.  (Click on any image to enlarge)

Taos Style Chest 104

The stepped motif in the four corners of the lid is a part of the southwestern pueblo iconography, and can represent either mountains or clouds.  The next three photos show the chest in its unpainted state.  All four sides of the chest employ true framed, hand planed, raised panels, with the front made up of two such panels.

Small NM chest 001

Small NM chest 004

Taos Style Chest 100

In order to keep any wood end grain from showing on framing for the relief carved lid, I used some carefully executed joinery, with blind tenons as the main connective element.  This and other refined details on this chest are not commonly found in the original more rustic chests of the 17th and 18th centuries.

Small NM chest 003

Rustic Wall Cabinet w/Hand Carved Hinges & Latch


This is an experimental piece, loosely modeled after an antique original.  It gave me an opportunity to try some hand carved, chamfered “hardware” (hinges and latch), and to join the pieces making up the cabinet with traditional, square-cut nails.  (Click on any image to enlarge)


Although it was not terribly difficult, the hinge pieces (pintle and strap) had to be sized properly to allow the door to swing open without binding, and for the door to close with even spacing around the door opening.


The latch “keeper” also had to be scaled in order for the latch to both close and “lock” in the notch, and to clear the notch when being opened.


The square-cut nails that hold the straps to the door are “clinched” (the points bent over) on the inside to avoid protruding, and to permanently secure the hinge straps to the door.  The front, side, top and bottom boards are all clear pine, but the two ship-lapped back panels are lower grade lumber with knots.