Cedar Blanket Chest

Hi All,
I'm looking for plans for a cedar chest. More specifically, I'm looking for a plan that requires a minimum number of power tools. And by "minimum" I mean "table saw" because I like to do things by hand.
I have no experience with cedar so I thought I'd look at some plans to see what's what. But when I do a search I get like a gazillion webpages. So, what I'm asking y'all is this, "have you bought a plan? which one? and would you recommend I get the same?"
Thanks
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Joe Shmoe wrote:

Here's a web site I found by doing a Google search for "free cedar chest plan" .
http://www.freeww.com/chests.html
I only checked one on the list, and was able to download the plan.
-- Jack Novak Buffalo, NY - USA
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Funny, off hand I can't think of any wood made project that REQUIRES ANY power tools.
--
Mike G.
Heirloom Woods
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Mike Dunbar built a blanket chest with hand tools in an article featured in Fine Woodworking No. 134 (Feb. 99). He used pine, but cedar could be incorporated. You can buy past copies from Taunton Press.

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Sun, Sep 28, 2003, 1:11am (EDT+4) snipped-for-privacy@shmoe.com (Joe Shmoe) proclaims: I'm looking for plans <snip>
Aren't we all?
You use a search phrase like "free chest plans", quotes and all, and go from there.
You don't need a table saw for any project. It just makes it faster, using one.
JOAT If history repeats itself, I should think we can expect the same thing again. - Terry Venables
Life just ain't life without good music. - JOAT Web Page Update 26 Sep 2003. Some tunes I like. http://community-2.webtv.net/Jakofalltrades/SOMETUNESILIKE /
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Jack-of-all-trades - JOAT wrote:

I wasn't really looking for free plans (although free is always good), what I really wanted was opinions from people who have bought and used plans.
I can google with the best of them; problem is this: unless you buy the plan you really don't know what the requirements are. (At least for the web pages I was looking at).
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Joe,

My first "real" woodworking project was a cedar hope chest I built for my girlfriend (now my wife). I was a teenager with no money, and no tools. I had no real woodworking experience, and no real plan in mind.
The cedar I used were scraps from a lumber mill that her dad was using for firewood. It was mostly in bad shape, many pieces still having the bark on it. The size and dimensions of the chest were mostly determined by the pieces of wood I had to work with.
I "borrowed" some basic handtools (handsaw, block plane, screwdriver, and a junky electric drill) from my stepdad. I ripped the boards to width with the handsaw, and planed them smooth with the blockplane. I then predrilled holes and screwed the boards to simple fir 2x2 supports. I plugged each hole with little wood "mushroom" plugs I found at a hardware store. I borrowed a finish sander from my friends dad to do most of the smoothing, but much of it was done with a piece of sandpaper held in my hand. I finished it all off with a few coats of clear gloss polyurethane, and added some brass handles and corner protectors. It's admittedly rough, but considering my talent at the time and the tools I had to work with, I'm rather proud of it. My wife still displays it in our living room to this day. The color and richness of the wood has only gotten better as it has aged, and sometimes it's hard to believe it was all destined to be firewood.
In comparison, my wife decided to build a similar hope chest for her sister about 10 years later. By then I had an old table saw to use. While it made some jobs faster and easier, and the precision made for better fitting joints, her hope chest turned out about the same as mine did (though she had the benefit of mine as a pattern to refer to.)
In other words, with a little determination, you can build lots of things with even basic hand tools if you need to.
Have fun!
Anthony
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Doesn't have to be entirely cedar. If you go for a post-and-rail design, then I'd maybe make the panels from cedar, but certainly not the framing.
Personally I wouldn't make a cedar chest, unless I was doing something small in true Cedar of Lebanon. Cedars are just too soft to make good hard-working furniture - I'd use them for lining or baseboards, but not for the exterior.

Minimum sensible set of power tools is really "table saw and thicknesser" - but you can always have a timberyard thickness it for you. Preparing boards by hand is either serious re-enactment (which is a different hobby to "making things from wood") or a mug's game. Life is short - don't spend it hand-thicknessing, just to prove a point.
I've made Mike Dunbar's 6 board design "with hand tools", but I cheated on the early stock preparation. I jointed the boards up and biscuit jointed them by machine, simply because I was using narrow boards where the original makers would have had access to much wider wide stock. From then on though, I worked by hand - all sawing, rebating and edge moulding.
-- Smert' spamionam
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Andy Dingley wrote:

Thank you! That's what was really worrying me; would the cedar (Thuja plicata aka Western Red Cedar) be strong enough? I didn't think it would but I've never worked with it before (for woodworking).

That's on my wish list :) Christmas is coming up I keep tell SWMBO. In the interim, I have access to a value added mill that will plane/joint/size anything (within reason) for me.

Thanks again.
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WRC is quite strong, but _very_ soft. I wouldn't use it. If I am using cedar, and it's not "humidor-grade", then it will be Eastern Red Cedar. This is a lot different to the Western; denser, harder and better smelling. Still commonplace and cheap though.
-- Smert' spamionam
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