Cedar Chest

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Project by Thepps posted 08-20-2008 05:37 PM 2622 views 6 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a cedar chest that I built as a gift for my brother-in-law’s upcoming wedding. I based the design off of a similar pine chest that my wife has had since she was younger. It is made entirely of aromatic cedar and all of the sides are angled out 5 degrees to create a ‘hopper’ style chest. I just recently bought a new Leigh Super jig, so I had to do some experimenting. I thought this was the pefect place to show off some dovetails. The dovetails actually turned out to be easier than I had first imagined.

One of the tricky things about this project was keeping all of the knots away from the ends so I could rout the pins and tails easier. It took some time in laying out and I was still not perfect as a couple of knots ended up on the ends after all. The tapered design did not make it any easier.

I finished it off by spraying on three coats of poly.

-- Thepps - Freeburg, IL

18 comments so far

View bhack's profile


349 posts in 3926 days

#1 posted 08-20-2008 05:56 PM

Very nice chest. I’m sure the new couple will treasure it.
Which size Leigh Super Jig did you get?
Keep up the good work.

-- Bill - If I knew GRANDKIDS were so much fun I would have had them first.

View Quint's profile


29 posts in 3793 days

#2 posted 08-20-2008 06:20 PM

We had one built for our wedding 6 years ago. We brought it to the reception and put a couple dozen sharpies in it and all the guests wrote little personal notes on the inside. I then finished it with a clear coat. It wasn’t cedar, so I wasn’t worried about sealing it. Fortunately no one got drunk enough to write on the outside, but I guess that’s why there’s sandpaper…

-- Never pet a burning dog...

View Bigbuck's profile


1347 posts in 3869 days

#3 posted 08-20-2008 06:26 PM

Very nice, I am sure they will love it. Looks like that jig worked great on the dovetails.

-- Glenn, New Mexico

View Chris 's profile


1879 posts in 4197 days

#4 posted 08-20-2008 06:30 PM

The wood grain show through beautifully. Outstanding work…

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

View Thepps's profile


139 posts in 3959 days

#5 posted 08-20-2008 06:43 PM

I went for the Super 18. It fit my budget and enabled me to do some casework.

-- Thepps - Freeburg, IL

View CharlieM1958's profile


16281 posts in 4424 days

#6 posted 08-20-2008 09:39 PM

Seems like doing the dovetails with the tapered design would be really complicated.

Looks great.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View stanley_clifton's profile


195 posts in 3909 days

#7 posted 08-20-2008 10:03 PM

The ‘hopper’ taper gives the piece a really interesting look.

-- Stanley generally struggling

View Thepps's profile


139 posts in 3959 days

#8 posted 08-20-2008 10:09 PM

Charlie, yeah, I thought the complex dovetails were going to be pretty complicated too. Turned out not to be too much different than regular dovetails. Leigh has some great technical bulletins on their site that helps out a lot.

Quint, that’s a good idea about taking it to the reception for people to sign. I may need to try that…

Thanks for all of the comments!

-- Thepps - Freeburg, IL

View Callum Kendall's profile

Callum Kendall

1918 posts in 3909 days

#9 posted 08-20-2008 10:48 PM

Great job!

Thanks for the post


-- For wood working podcasts with a twist check out

View Sawdustonmyshoulder's profile


478 posts in 3834 days

#10 posted 08-20-2008 10:50 PM

Sa-wheet!!! Nice looking. I really like the departure from square box style. I hope you haven’t sweep up the shop. Must have smelled great in there.

I am almost embarrassed to say, but I have a Leigh D4R that my mother-in-law gave me for Christmas 2006 that has yet to see a speck of sawdust on it. Please don’t hate me!!! I have been working on a set of kitchen cabinets and a conference table for the past 2 1/2 years and both didn’t require dovetails. Locking miters on the kitchen.

I am not too far off from finishing the conference table and my next project will involve dovetails even if it is a pergola!!!

-- The more skilled you are at something, the worse you are at it when someone is watching.

View brianinpa's profile


1812 posts in 3929 days

#11 posted 08-21-2008 02:27 AM

Very nice work. The dove tails look great and the poly really brings out the beauty of the cedar.

-- Brian, Lebanon PA, If you aren’t having fun doing it, find something else to do.

View trifern's profile


8135 posts in 3973 days

#12 posted 08-21-2008 04:18 AM

Awesome cedar chest that is destined to be a family treasure for many generations. Thanks for sharing.

-- My favorite piece is my last one, my best piece is my next one.

View Napaman's profile


5530 posts in 4283 days

#13 posted 08-21-2008 04:24 AM

great job…i love the shine…

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View Bob A in NJ's profile

Bob A in NJ

1232 posts in 4205 days

#14 posted 08-21-2008 11:36 AM

Sweet! I love building these types of Hope Chest also. I love the color of this one. Nice job!

-- Bob A in NJ

View Bill Akins's profile

Bill Akins

425 posts in 3904 days

#15 posted 08-21-2008 09:19 PM

Love the chest! I am currently working on one right now for my wife. I hope to start putting on the poly this weekend. I wish I had the nerve to try dovetails, it really made yours stand out.

-- Bill from Lithia Springs, GA I love the smell of sawdust in the morning.

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