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Greetings all!

I am building a blanket chest for a client who wants it to be lined with aromatic cedar. I've attached pics of the dry fit that I did yesterday.

I have never done anything with cedar lining before and I have a few questions:

1) Do you typically line the "floor" of the chest or just the sides?

2) Should an adhesive be used, screws/nails, or should it just be allowed to float?

I am "capturing" the cedar for the sides in a dadoed strip that is going to be screwed to the top and bottom apron of the chest. Since the cedar I got from Home Depot is T&G, I wasn't planning on using any glue or fastener for the sides.

Any help/suggestions is greatly appreciated!



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Ive seen it done both ways. I personally did a chest quite similar to yours and i just did the floor. I laid it with tounge and groove boards and left room for expansion (nailed sporadically). With just the bottom lined it still smells quite nice 10 years later.

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I'm not sure if there is any hard and fast rule about lining the bottom of the chest (and I can't really think of any major pros or cons either way). As for attaching the lining, you don't want to attach the cedar permanently. First, the cedar could move seasonally at a different rate than the material you used for the box and cause splitting or cracking if it were glued or nailed to the inside of the chest. Especially since you used frame and panel construction, the cedar will expand and contract quite a bit more the case. Secondly, I like to make the cedar completely removable so that when it eventually loses its aromatic qualities over time, it can be replaced. It sounds like your design of screwing in the cleat will allow for this, and using T&G strips should make it easy for your client to find replacement panels in the future. I think that's a great design and you're on the right path. Your client should be very happy with the work.

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Jeremy, I refinished and half-rebuilt a cedar chest for blankets just last weekend. It had the tongue and groove fit just across the bottom like Jimmy did, but it was also reinforced underneath with 1/2 X 4 slats cut to length. That's plenty of cedar for the look and scent to make it beautiful. T think that reinforcement was really needed, though. It had about the same dimensions as yours (but was rounded across with a treasure chest style) and I put 5 slats instead of the three that were originally there. Also, like boise was saying, if you use screws for the reinforcement and the tongue and groove fit, you can remove or work with the wood without any trouble and allow for expansion.

However you go, it's lookin' pretty man.

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I just happened to have my copy of Woodcraft Magazine handy, with their version of a cedar lined chest. They have the 5 cedar strips sitting on the bottom only of the cabinet, fastened (according to the text of the build) by pin nails. Yes, they have been chamfered, and they state to try to leave an equal amount of space between the boards when you remove material from them, but they were fixed to the base shelf. There's some confusion on my part regarding the shelf material; the cut list states that the material used is more cedar, but the cutting diagram indicates that it's from plywood. Given the dimensions listed in the cut list are the same thickness as other parts from the plywood, I'm inclined to believe the material is plywood.

(Incidentally, this is from the October/November 2009 issue. I happened to have it out because I was looking at the miter saw stand, checking to see if I could modify it for another project I've already posted about.)

I personally think just a ship lap joint would be fine across the bottom, held (loosely) in place by a cleat / runner screwed into the sides of the chest. Stack a couple of playing cards between each board as you put it in the chest, and I'd say the spacing will accommodate any movement.

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