Oh, that pure cedarwood, specially crafted into that charming four corned boxes…the cedar chest.
Are you considering the purchase of one of these stunning and good-smelling heirlooms?
If you have done any research thus far, you may be wondering, “Why does every store have different prices for a cedar chest? How do I know if a cedar chest is worth buying?” And ultimately you wonder,
“How much does a cedar chest cost?”
The short answer to the cost of a cedar chest is anywhere between $400 – $1,500 for quality build cedar chests.
However, the above price range is affected by the size, the type of cedarwood, and the quality of the build.
For example, a small cedar chest from Amish Handcrafted costs $485.00. This price includes a solid red cedar chest (30L x 15.5W x 16.5H) that is finished on all four sides and includes shipping. If you add additional features such as dovetail joints or an engraved nameplate, the price will increase based on the cost for each special addition.
Let’s break down the cedar chest cost further by looking at 7 important factors influencing its price. These 7 factors will help you understand the varying prices of cedar chests on the market and how to tell which cedar chest is quality-built and worthy of your investment.
7 Important Factors Influencing the Cost of a Cedar Chest
1. Desired Material | What kind of cedar is used in a cedar chest? Why?
A quality cedar chest is crafted with solid cedar. Sometimes stores, especially online stores, will advertise for cedar chests, but their available chests are anything but cedar or only cedar lined. This is why you may find cedar chests cheaper in some stores.
A common cedar used to craft a real cedar chest is quality aromatic Eastern Red Cedar. This type of cedarwood is more expensive than the Western Red Cedar or the Northern White Cedar.
This cedar is ideal for its insect repellant properties, its incredible cedar scent, its durability, and its rot resistance. Plus, this wood choice is naturally lovely with its reddish-toned flesh, white streaks, and contrasting knots.
A quality cedar chest should be crafted out of solid cedar and preferably aromatic red cedar.
2. Build Quality | Techniques to build the cedar chest
The process by which a cedar chest is built will impact its cost. A quality cedar chest will be quality built.
In fact, some of the more expensive cedar chests you see online may be set at the price partly because they are handcrafted instead of factory assembled. Handcrafted cedar chest requires a skilled level of craftmanship which also prioritizes careful attention to every detail and step of the building process.
Their final product will be heirloom-worthy and last for generations to come.
It is not uncommon for these cedar chests to have been built by the Amish (whose ancestral skill in woodworking).
The following techniques contribute to the quality build of a cedar chest.
- Selecting quality cedar wood – Preferably aromatic red cedar
- Cutting off any large white sections, cracks, or knots in the wood
- Securely and professionally gluing together the perfected boards
- Using a planer and sander to bring the panels to the right thickness
- For assembly of the box, using rabbit joints with both glue and nails
- Using clamping and adequate time to allow strong glue adhesion
- Utilizing a shaper to create the curves on the edges of the wood
- Hiding the nails by nailing the bottom of the cedar chest from underneath
- Predrilling holes to avoid cracking and splintering when placing the screws
- Using a polish sander with increasing grit from coarse to fine to finish the chest
- Applying a spray on conversion varnish, sanding again by hand, and adding a final spray coat
- Predrilling holes for the addition of the hardware
How to Compare the Build Quality of a Cedar Chest?
Sometimes you can tell by just observing that a cedar chest is of lower quality. Though, if you are buying online, you will not have the opportunity to see the product in person. However, here are some warning signs to beware of.
- Visible glue or staples where the joints and corners come together
- The cedar chest is wobbly or uneven once set on the floor
- Uneven finishes or rough surfaces
- Fake cedar wood that dents easily (test by scratching with fingernail)
In a nutshell, how your cedar chest is built contributes to why some of the cedar chests cost more than others. A high-quality cedar chest will be built by skilled craftsmen who will pay special attention to every detail of the building process of your cedar chest. So, beware of cedar chest companies that advertise a cheaply priced cedar chest as very high quality.
3. Hardware | What hardware is used for a cedar chest?
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Typically, the basic hardware of a cedar chest includes two brass plated hinges and lid supports (these keep the lid from falling shut) which normally are included in the cedar chest’s base price. As a result, the hardware does not contribute significantly to the overall cost of the chest.
However, if you wish to add a brass plated chest lock (which usually is not included in the base price), then you will increase the price of your cedar chest by approximately $40.
4. Design | How to add an engraved front design
While some people love keeping their cedar chest simple, others enjoy adding a design for an extra touch of personalization.
If the latter includes you, the options available for you to choose from include either chest front engravings or a custom-engraved nameplate.
Adding a chest front engraving will increase your chest’s price by approximately $140 while adding a custom-engraved nameplate increases its price by approximately $40.
The process for adding these special designs is simple. Go to the basic cedar chest page and as you scroll down the page you will see the available chest sizes, directly below these you will see the options for either adding a chest front engraving or a custom-engraved nameplate. Press on the one you like the best and continue adding your features or head towards checkout.
5. Size | What is the normal size of a cedar chest?
The size you desire for your cedar chest will impact its cost as well. The average size of a cedar chest is around 42” long and 20” high and wide.
Here are some cedar chest sizes and their prices from Amish Handcrafted:
Mini (24L x 13.5W x 14.5H): $420.00
Small (30L x 15.5W x 16.5H): $485.00
Medium (36L x 17.5W x 18.5H): $550.00
Large (42L x 18.5W x 19.5H): $725.00
Overall, the cost of your cedar chest could increase by approximately $305 depending upon your desired size.
6. Features | How to add additional features
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Additional features for cedar chests often include dovetail joints and a cedar sliding tray.
Dovetail joints exhibit the very finest of antique-style joinery and are often handcrafted. Because of the intricate process of adding dovetails to your chest, this additional feature will increase the overall cost of a cedar chest.
A cedar sliding tray offers the benefit of storing small items which makes it another popular addition to your cedar chest.
Dovetail joints can increase the value of your cedar chest by approximately $98. While the cedar sliding tray increases the value by approximately $60.
7. Labor | How much labor is required to build a cedar chest
The amount of labor that goes into building a cedar chest will affect the cedar chest cost as well.
A quality cedar chest is the result of quality labor. A solid cedar wood chest is extremely labor-intensive to build. A lot of handworks is required and particularly lots of sanding which is key to a perfect and smooth furniture finish.
Fortunately, at Amish Handcrafted, labor is included in the base price of a cedar chest.
Other Frequently Asked Questions Surrounding the Cost of a Cedar Chest
How to know if a cedar chest is worth buying?
Look for a chest that is made from solid wood, not veneer. Also, cedar chests can be very practical when it comes to storing wool clothing. Chests that are made from solid cedar or lined with cedar on the inside will work very well to prevent moths from getting in woolens.
Why are handmade cedar chests more expensive?
Handmade cedar chests are expensive mainly because of the time and care that is taken during the building process. Matching and gluing the boards together to make flawless panels for the sides, top, and bottom of the chest take a good bit of time. Lots of time is also invested into planning and sanding those panels to make them perfectly smooth for finishing.
Why does every store have different prices for a cedar chest?
Price can vary quite a bit depending on a cedar chest’s size and design. However, the biggest factor in the price difference has to do with the quality of material used to build the chest. Chests that are made from solid hardwood (versus pressboard with veneer over top) will be much more expensive but higher quality and more durable as well.
Get Your Very Own Cedar Chest Today!
Now that you have a good idea of the why behind the cost of a cedar chest, are you ready to claim one of these heirloom-quality wooden boxes for your very own?
If so, where would be the perfect spot for yours? In your bedroom? The living room? The hallway? Do not leave that perfect space empty any longer!
Get ready to enjoy a simple and exciting cedar chest buying process. Plus, enjoy quick responses to any questions you may have about buying an Amish Handcrafted cedar chest or any further questions about the cedar chest cost.
Prepare to smile with awe and pride as you set your stunning cedar chest inside your home.
Awe due to the stunning beauty of pure cedarwood and pride because you know you got a cedar chest that is worth owning for generations.