A Raised Panel Cedar Chest

When I got the call about this cedar chest, I was given full artistic license to create that special Christmas gift for a man to give his wife. I went to a couple of furniture stores to see just what the "furniture makers" were offering in cedar chests. Most of them have very little wood in them. Some of the offerings from a well-known cedar chest manufacturer have a molded plastic outside that is stamped to look like real wood, with a very thin cedar veneer on the inside. For something like that, you can expect to pay about $350-$400. When I think of a cedar chest, I think of a quality heirloom that can be passed down to the next generation.

This cedar chest is created in sinker cypress. The raised panels on the front and both ends are all crafted from the same board, and the frames are crafted from another board of very similar color and grain pattern. The top is one board that was 20" wide. If this were not stable old-growth lumber, this would be disasterous. However, this wood is so stable that I can use boards that wide without fear of warping or cupping. The finish is a clear lacquer that was hand-rubbed between coats. The top has just a little brown tone added to the lacquer to warm the color to perfectly match the color of the rest of the piece.

This heirloom chest is lined with aromatic red cedar that is a full 5/16" thick. The bottom is also lined. The only thing on this piece that is not solid wood is the back and bottom, which are plywood. The cedar chests you'll find in the furniture stores are primarily MDF or particle board with a thin cedar veneer on the inside with some type of veneer on the outside for looks. The cedar is left unfinished to maximize the effectiveness of the cedar. Anytime you finish the cedar, it is no longer "aromatic", and thus no longer useful to deter moths.

This cedar chest runs $950 plus shipping. This particular piece is built from sinker cypress with a clear finish. Other woods and finishes are always available. This particular piece is 18" deep, 24" tall, and 48" wide. Of course, I can build them in any size.

For any woodworking needs, I'm only a call or email away. I'll look forward to hearing from you.

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