Hope Chest #1: Hope Chest

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Blog entry by ManofStone posted 04-22-2009 07:22 PM 1273 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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Hello everyone, I am a beginner in woodworking. I have made a couple of mantle clocks courtesy of a Wood Craft class. I am now attempting to make a Hope Chest for my daughter’s 16th birthday. The exterior is cedar and the base is Paduak(sp?). I made plugs of Paduak to cover the screws. To gain some weight and solidity I placed a piece of 3/4” plywood at the bottom. The interior is covered in aromatic cedar. I am now trying to find a good finish for it. I have experimented with Tung and Danish oils but did not like the results. I live in FL and was told by the people of Wood Craft that the Tung oil does not hold up well in FL anyway. I believe this chest will take a beating during it’s lifetime so whatever finish I use I plan on covering it with an epoxy. Does anyone have any ideas as to what base finish to use? I have been working on this chest for over a year. I am a disabled veteran and sometimes cannot make it out of bed for days at a time so I can’t afford to make too many mistakes as her birthday is next month. I do have several pieces of cedar leftover to practice on. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thomas Stone

-- ManofStone trying to become a woodworker

3 comments so far

View interpim's profile


1170 posts in 3457 days

#1 posted 04-22-2009 07:24 PM

Most people usually leave the inside of cedar unfinished…

but as for the outside, I would recommend a few coats of Poly. I used that on some pieces in the deep south, that get used quite often, and they are still holding up well.

-- San Diego, CA

View ManofStone's profile


11 posts in 3320 days

#2 posted 04-22-2009 07:55 PM

Thanks. I plan on leaving the aromatic cedar as is, it is the exterior I am worried about. I am leaning towards the Poly. Do you think the epoxy will adhere to it?

-- ManofStone trying to become a woodworker

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4098 days

#3 posted 04-22-2009 08:31 PM

Going with epoxy is not necessary.

If you do not have any finishing equipment or experience, stick with a wipe-on poly and apply several coats. The coats go on thin so you can’t hardly mess up and clean up is a snap.

The thin coats also will dry faster than if you brush or spray. But the down side is that you will have to more coats. But that is not a big deal, you are shooting for a successful finish that will look good and be durable. You should be able to achieve both.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

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