While rummaging through the closets to move the clothes matching the coming season to the front and those for the fading season to the rear, I uncovered the unmistakable evidence of the dreaded wool predators: silverfish and moths.
The bad news, is that some pricey garments were unsalvageable. The silver lining to the silverfish-moth problem was that it provided an excuse for a useful woodworking project.
Aromatic cedar is the natural enemy of silver, and it smells better and it smells a lot better than mothballs. As I’ve noted in past posts, I’ve made quite a few cedar chests and gave away or sold most of them. I still have the first one I made, but it’s jammed full.
I set out to make another one, but both of the fine-lumber stores I use in Austin were out of cedar. Special ordering is a pain in the butt, mostly because of the wait time. The alternative was to make a chest I could simply line the inside with cedar.
It turned out to be less expensive and easier to build.
By cutting a 4-foot, by 4-foot piece of 9/16ths oak plywood along the grain into three equal sections, there was plenty of lumber for 16-inch high long panels needed for the front and the back, and for the two side panels.
One they were formed into the rectangular cube with less-grade pine plywood for the floor, I glued tongue-and-groove cedar closet liner, available in most Home Depot outlets, to fill the inside.
For the top, I glued several planks of 3/4-by-6 and 3/4-by-4 red oak lumber. On the underside, a couple of lengths of 3/4-by-2 against the grain were added for support. The 1/2-by-3 planks were added to frame the outside of the box and to mask the butt ends of the plywood.
After sanding the outside, first with a medium-grit paper and then with fine-grit, I stained it black and sealed the outside with three coats of high-gloss polyurethane. Black fence hinges and handles gave it a little bit of a rustic look.
The build took about a day. Finishing took a few more to make sure each coat of poly dried thoroughly. Now it’s home to the winter wool.