removing cedar crystals
I HAVE RECENTLY AQUIRED A VERY NICE cedar HOPE CHEST. IT WAS PURCHASED BY MY FAMILY ABOUT 1918 OR 1919. MADE BY THE JACOB BLOOM COMPANY.ITS A GENIUNE TENN.RED CEDAR CHEST.. ITS A VERY LARGE HOPE CHEST(4ft 9in wide X2ft. 4in high X 2ft. deep) AND I NEED TO DO SOMETHING WITH IT. BUT REALLY DONT KNOW IF ILL RUIN IT BY SANDING THE CRYSTAL DEPOSITS OFF...THE CYRSTALS ARE VERY THICK (MAINLY ON THE LID).
IF I SAND THEM OFF OR DOWN WILL ONE STILL BE ABLE TO TELL THE AGE OF THE CHEST????? SHOULD I LEAVE SOME OF THE CRYSTALIZED AREAS ???SUCH AS AROUND THE OUTSIDE EDGE OF THE LID. PLEASE REMEMBER, THIS CHEST IS WELL OVER 80 YEARS OLD AND I DONT BELIEVE THAT IT HAS EVER BEEN TOUCHED WITH SAND PAPER. ONE MORE QUESTION.....IF I SAND THE LID DOWN TO THE RAW WOOD IS THERE SOMETHING I CAN DO TO TRY AND MATCH THE COLOR OF THE LID TO THE REST OF THE (AGED) CHEST ?
I KNOW ! "NO STAIN"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
YOUR KNOWLEDGE, YOUR TIME
AND YOUR ASSISTANCE IN THIS MATTER IS GREATLY APPRECIATED.
KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!!!!!!!!!!!!!
However if you want to keep it to use, try a liquid restorer such as Formby's on the outside. To restore the cedar aroma to the inside, lightly sand it. Remember do not put anything on the inside of the chest to seal it.
The crystals are probably sap or resin from the wood and I have to agree that if you want to keep the "antique" value (if it really has any) then you should not do anything without consulting with a local expert first. You didn't mention if the outside has a finish or not but if you dampen a rag with turpentine and rub just the crystals it should thin them out and probably even remove them all without sanding without any damage to the chest. If there is a finish you might remove some of it with the turps but that can be re-done. Good luck.....Mark Hammond
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