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Discussion Starter #1
I've about finalized my plans on a cedar chest I going to do for my granddaughter, but have one concern before I start.
I've worked with this cedar a couple times before, but it was just making drawers in a closet. This time I will be gluing up large panels of 3/4" stock for front, rear, sides and top of the chest and I'm little concerned about wood movement. I believe this wood is fairly stable. I have a couple old Lane cedar chest that belonged to my mother and grandmother, and they're made of solid 3/4" cedar with a veneer on top and the front, sides and rear are assembled with 45 degree miters with spline. On my chest plan I will be using 4 corner stiles with 1/4" groves cut and will be gluing my front, side and rear panels with 1/4" tongues cut into these stiles. The front and rear panels will be horizontal grain to vertical grain stiles. The side panels will be vertical grain to vertical grain stiles. Should there be any concern about wood movement this way?
If there was a concern on wood movement I could always do a framed up floating panel with stiles and rails, but I would prefer to keep solid face surfaces with no groves showing.
The lid is also a concern, because I'd like to make the top more like the Lane chests with a round over front and about 3" tall. I'll attach a photo of my plans that hopefully show what I want to do and an old Lane cedar chest.
I'd appreciate any input you may have.

Lamar antique-cedar-chest.jpg Cedar chest plans.JPG
antique-cedar-chest.jpg
Cedar chest plans.JPG
 

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As long as you are not putting veneer over the cedar you won't have any problems. I probably made and sold a hundred cedar chests out of solid cedar and none of them came back.

The old lane chests I would recommend having a professional strip the finish off. They are able to get good removers that will quickly remove the lacquer finish before it damages the veneer.
 

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Lamar
I have been building with eastern red cedar for years. When I glue up for chests I basically use 3/4" plained 8' long and varying widths at least 3 1/2' w to 4' w then start cutting sides, ends etc. From rough cut I start milling my wood at 15 to 18% MC, by the time I am ready to start assembling my boards most have dropped below 10%MC or lower. ERC moves very little and is a great wood to work with. I have built (at the customers request) rough maybe 2 days off my mill just sticker stacked and put a fan on it till I cut, glued and nailed it up. I sprayed spar varnish starting with the bottom to compleatly seal the remaining moisture in the wood. He has had them on a uncovered patio for 6 months now and no checking, separating, they look great!
Short answer: ERC is a very stable wood and does not have anywhere near the shrinkage factor of other soft woods.
Also the cedar boxes go inside, and the inside of the boxes have no finish on them. I have never had one come back!
When I learn how I'll post some pics of one of my first boxes I built for my daughter over 20 years ago.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks Steve & Thunder for the replies back. I was fairly confident that I wouldn't need to worry about the wood movement of the red cedar after studying the construction of my 2 old Lane chests.
You both have lots of experience with these chests and I have two more questions I'd like to ask.

Both my Lane cedar chests have a tray that lifts up as you raise the lid, and I would like to incorporate that with my build, but I can't find a hardware source for the mechanism. Would you have any idea where to look? I've tried Lee Valley, Rockler, Van **** and Google search on the internet.

The next question is, I did a restoration of my grandmothers chest years ago and it turned out fine. The veneer was still in good shape and it was just a matter of very carefully sanding the outside and applying a finish. My mother's chest has never been restored. It was her HS graduation gift in 1942, and has damaged veneer mostly on the lid rear. I would like to do a restoration on it and give it to my youngest granddaughter who is named after my mother. I don't know how I should tackle the veneer problem. I had thoughts of doing a clean cut of a couple inches from the back edge and applying a matching veneer. Stripping all the veneer off to the cedar and finishing that way, or stripping off all the veneer and trying to do a new veneer over the whole chest. I've never worked with veneer before.

Lamar
395E0CB0-65FF-4E4C-8778-E14E2D523F63.jpeg
chest tray.jpeg
 

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You are welcome, I thought I saw something very similar to that floating shelf/drawer on Bailey's web site not totally for sure.
VENEERS? Like you I have less than a little experience with it! I have none at all. I have made some just less than an 1/8th" cuts on slabs with my sawmill, just to check it out for consistency. Veneers I'm sorry but I cannot be of any help there.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thunder
I'm not familiar with Baileys. Is that a hardware source? What's the website?
 

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Does anyone have an answer to a question I posted awhile back?
Both my Lane cedar chests have a tray that lifts up as you raise the lid, and I would like to incorporate that with my build, but I can't find a hardware source for the mechanism. Would you have any idea where to look? I've tried Lee Valley, Rockler, Van **** and Google search on the internet.
 

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Does anyone have an answer to a question I posted awhile back?
Lane is still in business, though they have changed hands over the years. Maybe contact them for the specific hinge or they may know the specific name of that hinge. Their contact site notes that you can get replacement locks, so maybe can get other specific hardware, also.

For many recliners and other products, one of the main suppliers of many types of hardware is from Leggett & Pratt. For upholstering/repairing, I've had to order from them once before (specifically from the Omega Motion branch). I was referred to them from the La-Z-Boy folks. Not always can we get replacement hardware from a local furniture outlet, but make arrangements to have something sent from the maker themselves... unusual situations. What I'm driving at is, Lane may not have the hinge, they may know the name of it and they may can direct you to their supplier if need be. But seems that sort of hinge is a good design, works well, etc. It may still be in production if its a good successful hinge and Lane may have them in stock or may have ready access to them. I've also had to order specific upholstery items from a furniture maker, when such wasn't available from a local/regional upholstery supply outlet, so the furniture companies will, at least at times, accommodate a customer for a particular item needed.

As to restoring the veneer on your Mom's cedar chest, I'd recommend replacing the areas at the back that are damaged. It shouldn't be hard to do. Use a razor to make clean cuts, over-size your replacement piece and trim the excess when done. BTW, if you didn't know, that style of curved front-edge furniture is called Waterfall, the front curves/falls forward and down as a waterfall.

Hope this helps.
Sonny
 

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Addendum: On the Lane contact page, they make note of ordering a lock. Your chest may have an old style lock and you may want to replace it. Lane will replace an old lock with a new safer lock for free. Read the safety concerns on this lock-order page.

Sonny
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Sonny, thankyou very much for the info on the Lane furniture. I will definitely be contacting them.

Lamar
 

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Here is a 1939 Lane Cedar Chest that I stripped and refinished. The date was stamped on the outside of the bottom. There were only a few small repairs I made where the veneer was damaged or pieces missing.

As for the hardware, there quite a few places on the internet. start with searching 'Antique Reproduction Hardware'


Before.JPG After.JPG
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I've made contact with Lane in regards to the tray lift mechanism, and got a response back very quick saying that they will be looking into my request and their team will get back with me soon.
I also filled out the request for a new safety lid lock and got a quick response back saying that there may be a delay in shipping the replacement lock.
Again Sonny, thanks for the additional link on serial no. converting to manufacture date. I went to the site, and with their information I concluded my mothers 1942 HS graduation gift of a Lane cedar chest was manufactured 03/12/42.

Tony, that is a beautiful Lane cedar chest. A little more fancy than my mothers. I will try another search on the internet as you mentioned. Thanks for the additional tip.

Lamar
 

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It was a total nightmare to strip. It made at least 3 trips into my Flow-0ver Stripping System, may 4 - don't remember. It was not wanting to strip. I believe it was painted over with what was called back in the 1960's an Antiquing Kit. Back then, the latest rage in new furniture was French and Italian Provincial. This 'paint on' kit was an attempt to look like French and Italian provincial. It was bullet proof, LOL. It was a ton of work stripping it. I had no idea of what lied beneath that layer. Slowly, it became visible. I kept thinking, wow - great, but it probably has major damage to it. Well, it didn't. Once it was stripped, the rest was easy. The owner also had no idea of what was underneath the paint and certainly did not expect it to look like it did.
 

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After further study, I think the reason you can't find that hinge (singular) is that it doesn't exist. Looking closely, that lid and tray are mounted using two different hinges, not one hinge. Rockler has this pic on their site.
424495


The Rockler pic (above) is shown with reference to this lid hinge (below), item # 28217.
424497

Rockler doesn't seem to have the other, tray, hinge. Seems the tray hinge has a tray connection such that the tray pivots as the lid is lifted and closed.

This other image
424499
shows the tray hinge has notches where a tray pin allows for the pivoting.

Sonny
 

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Wow, how did you get all that work?
When I first went into business I wanted to make furniture so I
Wow, how did you get all that work?
It was over a period of 10 to 12 years when I went into business. To get known I opened up a booth in a flea market and the cedar chest was about the only thing I did make that sold. It happened to be a flea market which sold antique and vintage furnishings and one of the dealers there had multiple stores and he convinced me to make them just for him and it worked out pretty good. That's how I got involved in antique repair. There was much more of a demand for me to repair furniture than try to make new stuff so I eventually got rid of the booth and just did that for quite a while.
 
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