Old Cedar Blanket Chest

This is my first real project from the yard sale finds of 10 days ago. I started on this old cedar chest and boy is it in bad disrepair...can't believe I shelled out $10 for it! But I know once it is all finished it will be beautiful!!!

And talk about old...I removed the old hinges and took them to a local hardware store thinking I could easily replace them. The guy there just shook his head and said that they are REALLY old and referred me to a place about 20 miles away to see if I could find replacements there. I'm not so sure I'll do that, I think I'll just put the old ones back on and make do with them.

In the meantime I started to strip the top using the Klean Strip spray...this stuff is so good and the piece is so old that it actually loosened the veneer top so I ended up pulling the whole thing off. Unfortunately I used the end of a can from my last project so I had to resort back to the gel stripper...not pretty!

The top of the chest is made of two different colored wood, so this is going to have to be painted.

After getting the veneer off I sanded down the whole top. Next I tipped the thing on its side to start working on it there. Not sure if the sides are veneered or just covered in several layers of old paint although I am suspicious that the front is veneered so I plan to just do a light sanding there and calk where needed. The bottom piece has to be solid wood so out will come the Klean Strip for removing the paint on the rounded surfaces and intricate grooves. I really hate stripper but this stuff sprays on so you are not dealing with all the glop ping of the conventional strippers and it works in only 15 minutes.

Anyone ever heard of this furniture company?
Looks like ER Co., Forest Park Lin


  1. Barb-
    This is an Ed. Roos Cedar Chest, manufactured on Harrison Street in Forest Park, Illinois between 1918-1951. Prior to the address in Forest Park, the business was begun in Chicago during 1916, at the start of the first world war. Edward Roos was a younger son of the founder of the Roos Manufacturing Co. After their father died in 1906, the sons (Otto, b.1877 and Edward, b.1880) took over his business but had a disagreement and Edward left to begin his own company. If you'd like to document it in an envelope stapled to the inside of your piece, or merely for your own records it might be nice... Some chests still have all the old paperwork, keys in envelopes, etc. and sell for upwards of $350 in the best conditions and for the most desirable models to someone in search of that model. Model numbers and/or names i.e., "Sweetheart", etc. were also stamped into the bottoms, I believe, along with special features such as the patent dates for lids, etc. but there is no pictorial or other reference available on them. Otherwise, the value at resale is regularly <$100, (<$50 at a garage sale) especially with such veneer damage. Someone had documentation that proved theirs was purchased new in 1940 for a retail price of $49.00... I will see if I can find out more info for you- hope this helped!

    Here is a photo of the long defunct headquarters http://www.flickr.com/photos/mss2400/4001966429/

  2. you don't use strippers on old furniture if you want to keep the value. anyway ive learned to be very careful when I work on pieces because you want to keep them original as poss. I,ve been working with wood for 50 yrs. and started sometime close to 8-10 yrs. old. worked in navy pattern shop, had my own and worked in 4-5 cabinet shops. also, some pcs. were painted instead of natural. milk paint being one from way back. so know what it is before you start is best unless that's not your thing. vaneer sometime very hard to see if done with love of the art. b. made 2014


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