Dalton man stemming from three generations of carpenters uses skills to make cedar chests

Ed with one of his cedar chests. Image by WTVC.

Ed Jennings says he grew up around wood. He is the 3rd generation carpenter and artist in his family.

His grandfather taught his father everything there was to know about wood.

Ed with one of his cedar chests. Image by WTVC.

"When he was growing up his father in Winchester Tennessee was known as the best carpenter around

Ed says he was busy with his career for 40 years before his interest sparked.

"My biggest regret in life is not having spent more time with him before he passed away and gotten some of the skills that he took with him to the grave," says Ed.

12 years ago Ed finally decided to pick up where his father left off.

"The sawdust in my veins come back to the surface so I started working with wood," says Ed.

Using his fathers 70-year-old saw. Image by WTVC.

And found his own niche in cedar chests.

He starts at his cedar pile in his back yard.

"I have my stack of cedar here," says Ed.

He then goes back inside to begin the sawing process.

Once he trims the wood to the right length, he uses a different saw that has a bit of history behind it...it's the same piece of equipment his father used for over 60 years.

"I have to adjust it because of the age and ware," says Ed.

It's with fine precision that Ed smooths out the cedar.... to prepare for the next step. Assembly.

Screwing on each side Ed says the key to a sturdy chest is making sure each part is lined up perfectly.

Putting the chest together. Image by WTVC.

Aligning the boards together with his hands.

Once the chest is assembled..it's ready for fresh coats of finish.

The total time it takes for him to complete a piece is over 10 hours..but he says it's worth it in the end.

"I get a lot of joy out of making it..actually fitting the pieces together making them fit and putting them together, that means a lot," says Ed.

While making these cedar chests brings him a lot of joy...Ed says there's just one thing he wishes for.

"I just wish he could have lived and seen some of my work I think he would have been very proud of it," says Ed.

To order some of Ed's Cedar Chests you can call him at (

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