1941 Lane Hope Chest

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Forum topic by danicali posted 07-29-2013 07:26 AM 7288 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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5 posts in 1725 days

07-29-2013 07:26 AM

Topic tags/keywords: cedar refurbishing question


I am working to restore my 1941 Lane cedar hope chest. I got this chest when my mom was pregnant with me for my nursery. Over the years this poor chest has taken a beating. It has many scratches and large chips. So far in the restore process I have changed the lock on the chest because of a safety recall and the fact that my sister locked the key in the chest. I am wondering on how to proceed with the rest of the chest especially fixing the chips.

-- Dani- Las Vegas, NV

7 replies so far

View HorizontalMike's profile


7749 posts in 2876 days

#1 posted 07-29-2013 12:46 PM

I have one almost EXACTLY like this! The only difference is the front trim edge of the lid… Mine matches how the side lid trim looks.

You didn’t show the bottom trim/leg area. Mine had faux wood graining (almost a plastic laminate) that looked very odd as the chest aged. I refinished mine in the late 1970s and stripped the faux finish off of it and stained the entire chest with MinWax Walnut Stain (since the veneer is walnut) and then MW Tung Oil Finish.

Repairing veneer is a PITA, so my suggestion is to glue the remaining edges down and try to stain match the base to the veneer. Trying to match new veneer to the old will only stand out because of the difference in graining.

You could add some grain painting to match as close as you can. My warning is to NOT use any wood putty/filler because IT WILL NOT match once the stain touches it. I made that mistake on a QS veneer vanity once and now have had to live with the results the past 40yr.

Just my 2-cents.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Gary's profile


9322 posts in 3395 days

#2 posted 07-29-2013 01:12 PM

I did one that was quite similar to this one. It was my mother-in-laws. It had been in a barn for 20 some years. The veneer was shot and the lid was cupped. I had to build a new lid and veneer the entire box. Also had to make a new piece for the leg. It had broken off and was missing. It took some time but, it was worth the effort once finished. Good luck with yours. Hope it comes out the way you want it to.

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View danicali's profile


5 posts in 1725 days

#3 posted 07-30-2013 11:49 PM

Update: Stripped and Sanded

-- Dani- Las Vegas, NV

View Tennessee's profile


2860 posts in 2477 days

#4 posted 07-31-2013 06:32 PM

I finished a lot of this stuff back in the 80’s. We always replaced the veneer before we would strip the unit, it helps greatly in getting the veneer to match the original. Lots of times, it would almost disappear. Good old refinishing trick.
We used to keep cheap, old furniture with veneer and usually poplar core in stock, broken down, usually from cheap desks or whatever. When we needed some veneer, we would exacto knife out the piece we needed from the junk furniture, and glue it down in position on the good piece before we did anything else. After some light sanding to mainly eliminate any glue squeeze, we would strip it and you would be amazed how stripper will help match veneer to veneer.
You have now, on the other hand, the unenviable task of making raw wood match to raw wood.

But the stripping and sanding came out great.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

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5 posts in 1725 days

#5 posted 07-31-2013 07:19 PM

First coat of stain.

-- Dani- Las Vegas, NV

View Don W's profile

Don W

18684 posts in 2530 days

#6 posted 07-31-2013 07:26 PM

Nice recovery.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Domer's profile


252 posts in 3329 days

#7 posted 07-31-2013 07:36 PM

It is a little hard to see from the photos how bad the chips are. But—-

I inherited a veneered dining table from the 1930’s from my parents. It has cigarette burns, scratches, and lots of other marks on the table top. The legs were separating. It was a mess.

I just decided that the defects on the top were character marks and lightly sanded as best I could. I was worried about sanding through the veneered top. I use Watco as the first coat of finish to even everything out and then topped it with Armor Seal. It was chore as there were lots of details but it came out great.

I took the legs apart as best I could and glued them back together.

The whole thing was a labor of love. I came pretty close to trashing the table but am really glad I did not. Those cigarette burns remind me of my days of youth with my parents, now both long gone, and their friends sitting around that table.

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