Build a Pine Chest With a Cedar Lining

So it's not a pure example of the form. A cedar lining in a pine chest will still give you all the benefits of cedar, is far better than having none, and costs less besides.

| January/February 1983

  • pine chest with cedar lining
    The cedar lining in this pine chest will deter insects and keep clothing fresh just as well as a chest made entirely of cedar.
    Photo by MOTHER EARTH NEWS Staff

  • pine chest with cedar lining

For hundreds of years, cedar has been known for its insect-repellent qualities and its pleasant aroma. It's no wonder, then, that the wood has long been a mainstay for anyone building chests, wardrobes, or closets.

Unfortunately, aromatic cedar in board form is increasingly difficult to come by, and if you are fortunate enough to locate some, you'd better be prepared to pay dearly for it.

Still, the lure of the wood's natural fragrance is difficult to ignore, so MOTHER EARTH NEWS' research staffer Clarence Goosen decided to combine practicality with luxury. He built a plywood and pine chest with a heart that's pure cedar.

Go Shopping... or Scrounging

Clarence suggests starting the cedar lining project (that’s the heart we mentioned) by collecting your tools and materials. You'll need all the lumber and hardware called for in the Materials List, plus the following: some yellow carpenter's glue;  a table saw to make accurate cuts; a power drill with several different sized bits and a countersink (a No. 8 Stanley Screw-Mate bit — which makes pilot, shank, and countersink hole in one pass — would be a real boon); sandpaper in a variety of grits; some shellac (and pumice), clear varnish, or rung oil; a tape measure; a screwdriver; and a router for fancy finish work. (The unit featured in Mother's Router/Shaper Table would be an ideal tool for this project.)

To make your lumber shopping less of a chore (if, that is, you don't have enough usable scraps around to piece your project together), notice that the list indicates specific board lengths that will allow you to arrange your cuts to produce a minimum of waste. Also, though staffer Goosen opted to use tongue-and-groove strip cedar for the lining, the cost of such lumber may motivate you to substitute the less expensive cedar particle board.

Take a Few Tips

MOTHER EARTH NEWS' cabinet isn't difficult to assemble (we’ve provided this Assembly Diagram), but there are a few tricks you ought to be aware of that will make its construction easier. For one thing, the pedestal should be assembled first, and that entire support can be cut from your 12-foot length of 1 x 4. Notice, though, that it's only 2 3/4" tall, so you'll have to rip the entire 3 1/2"-wide board down to size before going on to make the miter cuts for the joints and gussets. (Save the leftover strip, though. You'll need it later.)

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