Building a cedar chest is a
project that can be fun and practical. This
simple, butt-jointed cedar chest can hold a good number of
items or it can be customized
a larger size. You can build this
from one, 1 x 12 x 8' solid cedar board plus a few other
If old cedar boards are not
available, purchase one, 1 x 12 x 8' solid cedar board for
the sides and top panel (a 1 x 12 = 11-inch wide board).
One piece of 3/8" x 2' x 2'
for the bottom panel.
One piece of 1 x 4 x 48" piece of solid cedar board for the top hinge connecting board.
1/2 pound, 1 5/8" Woodscrews.
Two hinges for the top; one interior, lid support; wood plugs and/or wood filler, and two handles.
Step 1, Cut the Cedar Chest Pieces -
Select 1 x 12 x 8' solid cedar board; crosscut the
11" board into the three, 24" pieces and the two, 12"
pieces, as shown above.
Select the 3/8" x 24" x 24" plywood;
crosscut this bottom panel to 22 3/4"; rip this panel to 12
Select the 1 x 4 x 48" cedar
Crosscut it to 24"; rip this piece to 3"; this will be used as the top brace.
Step 2, Assemble the Base -
Select the Front, Back, and two Side panels; set the 3/8"
dado blade to cut 3/8" deep; set the fence to 3/8"; cut the
dado slot as defined along the bottom edge of all four
panels, as shown below.
Select the Bottom panel and set it
in place with the other four panels (Front, Back, two
Sides); Use three, 1 5/8" screws to secure at each edge as
shown above (pre-drill and counter sink each screw hole).
Step 3, Assemble the Top - Select
the 1" x 3" x 24" board; attach it to the back edge of
the box as shown above with 1 5/8" screws (pre-drill and
counter sink each hole); select the top panel
(11" x 24"), position it in place with its overhang
to the front for a dry fit.
Step 4, Cut and Attach the Rigid
Support Pieces - Select
the remaining piece of 1 x 4 cedar board; crosscut it to 9
1/2"; rip it to two pieces @ 3/4" x 3/4" square.
Attach the two strips to the Top Lid (interior surface) 2"
in from the edges, as shown above with 1 1/4" screws (pre-drill and
counter sink each hole). Select the Top Lid
(11" x 24"), position it in place with its overhang, and
attach the two hinges of your choice.
Select the interior lid support
bracket and attach it per the given instructions.
Step 5, Complete the Cedar Chest-
Fill all holes with wood plugs and/or filler, sand, and apply
stain and poly to the exterior only. Do not
stain or poly the interior; sand the interior only,
as cedar emits a natural, pleasing aroma; and it provides a
natural deterrence to bugs. Once the poly has cured on
the exterior, apply pads or
wheels to the bottom, two handles.
If you would
be interested in other
FREE chest plans, click