Traditionally used to store the linens from a bride's dowry–because the fragrance of cedar discouraged moths–a cedar chest (or "hope chest") still makes a spectacular gift for any potential bride-to-be, as well as a great place to store extra blankets at the foot of the bed. But cedar chests aren't just for brides anymore.
This do-it-yourself version features solid construction and handsome styling that make it a natural for almost any room of the house. And although cedar chests can be pretty expensive to buy, almost any woodworker can build this heirloom-quality chest for a fraction of the cost.
While western cedar with a bold grain (as pictured) is the obvious choice in lumber, other species (like pine, oak, cherry, mahogany or walnut) work just as well–simply line the chest with cedar closet lining, available at most home centers.
Some edge-joining is required to create the necessary stock, but the project calls for mostly straight cuts; curved cuts are traced from full-size patterns. Assembly is a simple matter of gluing and nailing the pieces together. To finish, sand and apply a coat of Danish oil.
The finished chest measures 48 inches long by 20 inches high by about 20 inches deep.
The Cedar Chest plan (No. 572) includes step-by-step directions with photos, full-size traceable patterns, construction diagrams, a shopping list and cutting schedule and a toll-free help line for project questions.