Cedar Chest

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Project by Bill Akins posted 09-09-2008 04:16 PM 2676 views 4 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The chest is finally finished and the wife loves it. I was given some free rough cut cedar last spring which my wife and I decided on a cedar chest. You can see the lumber here on my cross project that I was playing around with. I made the raised panels on my table saw that you can see here: I was pleased how they turned out.

All of the rails and stiles and legs are mortised and tenon with grooves for the panels. I left the inside unfinished and 4 coats of poly on the outside. Brass hinges, support rods and corner protectors. I had bought the protectors for the top but after I went around the top with the router I said Ooops! but my wife wanted them anyway so I put them on the corners of the chest instead of the top.

There is a picture of the chest in the bedroom, one of the chest and me in the shop and one of the back with the lid up.

It took me all summer, with a good month break in the middle, but I really enjoyed the project. My only regret was that the lumber was rough and I do not have a planer or jointer. Everything was made smooth with a belt sander. I couldn’t tell you how many belts I went through.

My next project, hopefully, will be a proper woodworkers bench.

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

8 comments so far

View GMman's profile


3902 posts in 3695 days

#1 posted 09-09-2008 04:26 PM

Bill using this method do you have lots of sanding

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 3883 days

#2 posted 09-09-2008 04:45 PM

Beautiful!!!! Thanks for the post I favorited it.

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4216 days

#3 posted 09-09-2008 05:17 PM

Great job…’s beautiful!

I can sympathize with you as I also have to rely on my belt sander.

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

View jtdyal's profile


74 posts in 3647 days

#4 posted 09-09-2008 05:17 PM

I like the way the grain make an “I” in the top. Were the knots hard to work with? I would love to see how you hinged it. Can you send me a pic?

-- ~jtd

View Alex Lane's profile

Alex Lane

508 posts in 3888 days

#5 posted 09-09-2008 07:46 PM

Whoa!! You must have had some 12” wide boards in this project!! That’s hard to come by for Aromatic Cedar. I know this because the pieces I have that are that wide had to be bought (and brought) from a private mill Tennesee, and I live in MI.

Whoever gave you that wood was REALLY GENEROUS!! See if you can get some more from this person, maybe by offering to build them something with the wood??? Congrats on a job well done.

And if you want a planer, check eBay for a used DeWalt DW733 planer. Last time I looked, the prices were hovering around $200 + 50 to 75 shipping. I bought mine used for $250 and have had no trouble from it, even though the first owner really beat it up!! Or I’d recommend investing in a nice jointer plane. For as much money as will get you a DeWalt planer on eBay, you could go here and get a PREMIUM jointer plane. I personally use the Anant jointer plane with my DW733 planer to dimension my rough lumber. I like the hand plane (and the low price), but wish it was a little higher in quality.

Anyway, enough of my blabbing… ;-D
Make it a priority to get your hands on some sort of nice jointer plane or power planer (or both). It’s a shop essential!!

-- Lane Custom Guitars and Basses

View ScaryDAve's profile


31 posts in 3550 days

#6 posted 09-10-2008 12:18 AM

That is just flippin beautiful! I have had a few people ask me to make ceder chests but I have not attempted it yet. When I was toolin up I did get a 12” Chinese planer but so far I haven’t set it up or used it yet so I have no idea how well it works. I only have a few more steps to finish my 50” circular saw mill and then I figure I am gonna want to give that planer a try. Right now I am cuttin boards by eye with a chainsaw. Try that some time lol That’ll wear out a few belts on yer sander heheheh.

-- Failures are successes in training.

View griff's profile


1207 posts in 3760 days

#7 posted 09-10-2008 04:27 AM

Bill, Now thats a beautiful chest, Raised panels are not normally used on a cedar chest but they add beauty and class to it. Very Good build

-- Mike, Bruce Mississippi = Jack of many trades master of none

View bryano's profile


546 posts in 3931 days

#8 posted 10-09-2008 05:51 AM

Nice! Ive been collecting some old cedar chests for the wood to build a good one for myself, your pics gave me a few ideas
Bryan O

-- bryano

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