Cedar Chest

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Project by Donowoodworks posted 05-07-2012 11:48 PM 2069 views 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I found an old cedar chest that was sitting in my great, great grandfather’s garage when we were cleaning his house after he passed away. From what history my family knew of it, it was at least 100 years old, and may have come across the ocean when some of the family migrated from over seas.

It was dinged-up, chipped, splintered, and covered in stains and paint, but the inside was in relatively decent condition, and I thought that I could salvage a bit of history and add a bit of (perhaps too much, in this case!) embellishment to the chest. I repaired the hinges and fixed up the wood as best I could (you can still see the nail holes where there was copper banding on it at one point, and some cracks on the inside) and added some trim from a lucky find of a board in a pile of regular maple.

New handles, new feet, and a key that fit the lock that my grandfather happened to have (thanks grandad!) and I had a new chest! It was pretty early in my woodworking, and the quality of the joints and repairs reflects it, but it is a fun memory. Who knows? I hope it sticks around for another 100 years!

-- -Mark Donovan,

5 comments so far

View JoeyG's profile


1275 posts in 2747 days

#1 posted 05-07-2012 11:49 PM

Nice save. Do you have any before pictures? It would be interesting to see what you started with to make such a lovely chest.

-- JoeyG ~~~

View Donowoodworks's profile


14 posts in 2332 days

#2 posted 05-07-2012 11:56 PM

You know, I did have some before pictures, but I lost them a few years ago when my computer graphics card fried and I didn’t have them backed up. :( Sorry! The rest of the fam was going to toss it before they asked me if I wanted to try and repair it – it was pretty bad from being used as garage storage for many years by a machinist!

-- -Mark Donovan,

View RichinsCarpentry's profile


44 posts in 3587 days

#3 posted 05-08-2012 12:16 AM

Very nice job!!

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View IndianJoe's profile


425 posts in 2371 days

#4 posted 05-08-2012 01:33 AM


-- Nimkee** Joe

View Martyroc's profile


2712 posts in 2427 days

#5 posted 05-08-2012 02:45 AM

Very well done, looks brand new.

-- Martin ....always count the number of fingers you have before, and after using the saw.

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