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Question
I have a cedar chest that has been in my family for many years and have noticed that the wood is drying out in places.  I have tried putting lemon oil on it to re-moisturize it, but to now avail.  Any suggestions?

Answer
Hi Karen

Can I mention a fact about wood; wood is a hydroscopic material which means that wood will gain or lose moisture depending upon its environment. In your question, it doesn't state clearly what is happening to the cedar in the areas you have notice it drying out. Is it cracking or developing cracks? This is what would make me worried, especially if it has happened all of a sudden. My advice is to store or move the cedar chest to a dry room with out heat, especially not next to a radiators or heater. The lemon oil is a surface timber wood finish and doesn't penetrate into the wood more than a few microns. It seals the wood and enhances the beauty, especially adds a wonderful smell. Apart from leaving the chest in a suitable room you could wax polish once a year. Hope this helps you.

Stuart

Woodworking

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Stuart Mawle

Expertise

Now been a carpenter & joiner for the past twenty years in the UK. I can give avice / help on carpentry & joinery, health & safety, woodworking machinery, power tools and suppliers.

Experience

I have served an indentured carpentry apprenticeship with a medium sized building contractor doing a wide range of domestic and commercial work. This has included office buildings, barn conversions, building extensions and renovations. During my career, I spent over three years as a wood trades technician at a college. My job involved joinery work, wood maching and helping CITB carpentry & joinery students` pratical projects. Spent three years as a accredited NVQ assessor covering site carpentry and bench joinery. Now I teach my skills to others.

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Institute of carpenters

Education/Credentials
I have city and guild qualifications in site carpentry and purpose made joinery. An indentured apprenticeship Hold the equivalent of a master craftsman status.

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