This is a wood and steel chest I made a while back. The timber is pine that I found on sale at a local hardware store and the steel was from a local steel merchant.
I had to make the wooden lid first as this would set the curvature the I would have to hammer the steel to. To do this I hand planed bevels onto strips of pine and joined them together. This was very much a trial and error approach as I got close to the curve I wanted by using a large number of strips, and then just made the curve smooth by bevelling the edges until they met up.
Once the wooden lid was done I could move on to making the steel edges for it. This was the really hard part, as I had to manually hammer the steel over an anvil until it reached the right curvature. This was done cold, as I have no forge and no plans to build one as I live in a bushfire prone area. After I finished hammering the steel I welded it all together, and did the same for the rectangular box section as well, thought this was a lot easier than the round lid.
Finally I simply made a pine box, fit it to the steel frame, and then sanded everything ready for finishing. Unfortunately I could not get my hands on steel blackening solution, so the patina was generated with a mixture of paint and cleaning solution. The timber finish was a stain-varnish blend applied in several thin coats
The latch on the front was made with some 5mm thick steel I bought, and a heavy steel butt hinge from the local hardware store. I patina-ed this by heating it up on the stove and then spraying with wd40. If you attempt this, please make sure you have adequate ventilation, the spray of wd40 on hot steel generates a lot of vapour and sometimes flames.
I tend to get carried away with my work so I don't often stop to take pictures, but here are a few that show the gist of the construction. This one shows the steel frame prior to the timber lid and box being fitted
Here's a test fit of the lid. Ive also finished the latch here. Its made from some spare 5mm steel and a heavy butt hinge. Fortunately I could just weld the components together since they were all steel.
Here the box and lid are fitted. They fit very tightly, it took a lot of trial and error to get them to fit just right.
Even though the timber and steel fit together nicely, I've added screws for extra strength and for decoration. I decided to use screws because they anchor better to timber. Brass studs may look better but they don't lock into the timber as well
First coat of stain and varnish
Happy with the stain colour