Campaign Furniture

Rethinking Graduated Drawers

When it comes to building chests of drawers, most examples I’ve seen since the 18th century and later have drawers that graduate from top to bottom. Bigger drawers at the bottom; smaller drawers at the top. This arrangement wasn’t always the case: 17th-century chests of drawers would commonly alternate shallow and deep drawers –...

Campaign Hardware from Whitechapel Ltd.

One of the hardware vendors that is always on my short list is Whitechapel Ltd., which offers a lot of quality, hard-to-find pieces. So after some digging through the company’s catalog and web site, I purchased some samples of campaign-style hardware to take a look. Overall, these English-made brasses are excellent. The pulls are...

Campaign Pulls from Londonderry Brasses

My credit card is groaning a bit thanks to all the hardware samples I’ve been ordering to find a selection of quality brasses for some Campaign-style pieces I’m building. Today I received a chest pull that I ordered from Londonderry Brasses of Cochranville, Penn. I have some other pieces on order from Londonderry, but...

The Case for Hidden Joinery

When I took my first woodworking class in 1993 I was gung-ho to learn two things: through-tenons and through-dovetails. At the time I was intoxicated by Arts & Crafts furniture and exposed joinery. For many woodworkers, I suspect that exposed joinery sends a message: This piece is made well. It’s not made using corrugated...

Hardware Review: Ansaldi & Sons Campaign Hardware

While Horton Brasses has agreed to produce some custom pieces of campaign hardware for the chest/secretary I’m building for Popular Woodworking Magazine, that doesn’t squelch my desire to see what other makers have on offer. So I ordered a load of campaign brasses from Ansaldi & Sons of Hudson, N.H. The company has a...

A Little More on the Fork

After posting this story about the campaign-style fork and knife, I got an e-mail from woodworking researcher extraordinaire Jeff Burks. Burks, a trade carpenter, is a voracious collector of books, magazines and journals relating to woodworking. He also spends a lot of time researching patents related to tools and the trade. Which brings us...

Things Woodworkers Don’t Say

When I hang out with other woodworkers, the conversation almost always turns to what we are building now and what we are building next. Recently I said something I didn’t think I’d ever say: “I want to build a fork.” As I’ve been digging deeper into the 250-year history of campaign furniture, I’m turning...

Dovetails: The Strong, Silent & Shy Type

Campaign chests had to take a beating. They traveled all over the British Empire during the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries. And yet they bore their burden without complaint or explanation. Which is to say: When you look at most campaign chests, it’s unclear how they were constructed. Yes, the drawers were dovetailed....

Let the Campaign Begin

A knock at the door at 8:01 a.m. today marked the beginning of my campaign chest project. Sure, I’ve been sketching, studying and digging up details on campaign chests for weeks now, but for me the project doesn’t really begin until wood gets hurt. The trucker at my door this morning looked a little...