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Cedar Chests

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Project by HenryH posted 1600 days ago 3094 views 10 times favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Solid Eastern red Cedar
Aprox 31 L x 21 H x 18 D
Based on a Shaker Union Village blanket chest.

My wife asked me to make a cedar chest for her and two days later a colleague ask if I would build one for his wife. With a coincidence like that I figured I had to build them so… two blanket chests. Also my first accepted commission. I wrote a short blog about it.
http://lumberjocks.com/HenryH/blog/13790
The wood was grown and milled locally and smells fantastic. It was the first time working with Cedar and it was a little brittle, especially making the finger joints.
All in all not a bad project.

-- HenryH - PA





22 comments so far

View SgtSnafu's profile

SgtSnafu

957 posts in 1856 days


#1 posted 1600 days ago

Great looking chest – What finish do you plan to use?

Thanks for sharing

-- Scotty - aka... SgtSnafu - Randleman NC

View HenryH's profile

HenryH

132 posts in 1989 days


#2 posted 1600 days ago

No finish.
I forgot to mention that.
I researched a finish for Cedar and what I found is that some finishes will seal the wood and you will not have aroma that I want. Also some finishes will actually have a chemical reaction with the wood. So I just opted for no finish.
Does anyone know a finish for Cedar?

-- HenryH - PA

View Jonathan's profile

Jonathan

2603 posts in 1635 days


#3 posted 1600 days ago

I suppose you could use lacquer on the outside. That way, the outside would be sealed, but the contents would still retain that entoxicating cedar aroma.

Depends on if you really want to be able to smell it all the time, or just when the box is opened? Sealing the outside would obviously kill most of the ambiant aroma and you’d only smell it well once the lid was lifted.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View Stanley Coker's profile

Stanley Coker

206 posts in 1780 days


#4 posted 1600 days ago

Great job on the balnket chests. I have worked with cedar for a while and for the chest I would definetly put a finish on the outside. I would just put a clear poly finish on with a light sanding or steelwool in between. It really brings out the color and grain of the cedar. Cedar is hard to work with sometimes, especially if you have several knots. I would also recommend to always to use a mask when working with cedar, the dust can be some mean stuff. It can really mess up your sinuses very bad, I know.
Again a great job on the chests.

-- Stanley, North Georgia

View Daren Nelson's profile

Daren Nelson

767 posts in 2490 days


#5 posted 1600 days ago

And sealing the outside will keep the color, it will fade due to oxidation/uv exposure and be less attractive IMO. If you chose to put a finish on them, sand them again to bring the bright color out and finish very soon after (the same day)

Nice wide boards BTW !

-- http://nelsonwoodworks.biz/

View Randy Sharp's profile

Randy Sharp

348 posts in 2257 days


#6 posted 1600 days ago

Henry, those are beautiful! I like the finger joint size proportions and the side compartment is a great idea.

-- Randy, Tupelo, MS ~ A man who honors his wife will have children who honor their father.

View DannyBoy's profile

DannyBoy

521 posts in 2450 days


#7 posted 1600 days ago

Great job!

-- He said wood...http://hickbyassociation.blogspot.com/

View SEE's profile

SEE

119 posts in 1752 days


#8 posted 1600 days ago

Very nice cedar chests! I’ve used lacquer, poly and spar for the outside of cedar chests, leaving the inside unfinished for the aroma. The outside will lose it’s color quickly if you don’t finish it. If you do finish it will darken over time to a nice rich reddish brown color.

I build quite a few miniature cedar chests. Deft satin spray lacquer is a good quick finish ‘cause you can do several coats in one day. I also like the spray cans of spar urethane but it takes a bit longer to dry between coats. Whichever I use, I finish it off with Howard’s Citrus Shield paste wax. Johnson’s would work fine, too.

Again, nice project!

-- Build for the joy of it!

View AaronK's profile

AaronK

1389 posts in 2049 days


#9 posted 1600 days ago

very nice chests. I’m in the planning stages of my own… was wondering what sort of hinges those are and where you got them?

View HenryH's profile

HenryH

132 posts in 1989 days


#10 posted 1600 days ago

The hinges are from woodcraft. They are traditional cedar chest hinges. They seem to hold the lid up pretty good and install was relativly easy.
Brass Hinge And Lid Support, item #141533

-- HenryH - PA

View pommy's profile

pommy

1697 posts in 2276 days


#11 posted 1600 days ago

H they my friend are cool

Do you but a finish on them or leave oh natural ???

-- cut it saw it scrap it SKPE: ANDREW.CARTER69

View tooldad's profile

tooldad

657 posts in 2299 days


#12 posted 1600 days ago

I use Spray on Lacquer with the lid closed. Even 3 years later when you open them you get that awesome aroma. The outside pops with the gloss on it.

Check out my project page to see my cedar chest.

Click for details

View HenryH's profile

HenryH

132 posts in 1989 days


#13 posted 1600 days ago

Tooldad – Nice! I’ll consider the Lacquer. There is such a difference with a quality finish.

-- HenryH - PA

View Diamondback's profile

Diamondback

88 posts in 1724 days


#14 posted 1600 days ago

Very nice but I would agree with most others. You should put a finish on the outside to make the color pop and preserve that great cedar look, like tooldad above.

-- Oshkosh, Wisconsin

View tooldad's profile

tooldad

657 posts in 2299 days


#15 posted 1600 days ago

I get all kinds of questions from my students as to how I stained the wood to get the red and white color. Some think the wood is white/yellow and I stain it red in certain places. It takes some convincing to get them to believe me.

Your chests will pop too once you get the lacquer on, kind of like a hooker with too many boob jobs! lol,

showing 1 through 15 of 22 comments

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