Creating a family heirloom is easy. Cedar chest plans range from beginner level plans that include illustrated step-by-step instructions to advanced level plans that require the use of special tools. There are plans available for building cedar chests as they have been made for 200 years, and modern versions that include circus wagons and replicas of stagecoach wagons.
For hundreds of years blanket chests and hope chests were made from cedar. Cedar is a natural bug repellent that keep wool and cotton blankets from being chewed by moths. The types of wood most commonly used to build a chest from include cherry, walnut, oak, cedar, ash and poplar. Consider how large the completed project will be. Some wood is heavier than other woods. A large chest made from oak will be very heavy while a smaller chest made from poplar will be lightweight. Pine is an inexpensive wood to use and it is inexpensive. If you are a beginner, you might want to use a less expensive type of wood; even experienced woodworkers make mistakes.
Cedar Chest Plans
The variety of cedar chest plans available range from simple projects that can be completed in a weekend to complex plans that may require a week to complete. A good cedar chest plan will include a list of materials that should include any special hardware that will be needed, the amount of wood and what size, step by step instructions and suggestions on how to finish your project.
Hope chests were once the prized possession of the lady of the house. It was in this chest where she would store the familys most valuable clothing, bedding and treasures. Personalization of a hope chest can be as easy as using pre-fabricated wooden letters, painting, or using a dremel tool to etch a name onto the top or side of the chest. Advanced woodworkers can use routers to embellish these types of chests adding scrollwork and patterns around the name.
Most experienced woodworkers will sand and finish all surfaces prior to construction. This allows every surface to be sanded thoroughly and stain, varnish or paint applied evenly. Oil finishes are soft and flat. This type of finish will require regular oiling to keep the wood from drying out. Using wood stains and varnish as the finish will not require as much maintenance. Suggestions on finishes are usually included in cedar chest plans as well as ideas on how to accent a rooms décor or to blend in with the other furniture in a room. For many woodworking projects, the finishing is the most time consuming part of the project. Stain, varnish and paint may require up to two days to finish drying. It is important to allow the finish to dry completely before assembly.
Whether you are a beginner or an advanced woodworker, these chest plans will allow you to create a gorgeous piece of furniture yourself. Adding personal touches will create a family heirloom that can be passed from generation to generation.