Campaign Chest Questions Answered

The cover story for the August 2012 issue, the stunning campaign chest built by Christopher Schwarz, has already generated a lot of interest. And now, it’s easy to find the exact hardware Christopher used on the project. On the Horton Brasses home page, you’ll find a list of all the hardware, from the stock lock strikeplates to the custom lid stays Orion Henderson and his team at Horton developed at Christopher’s request. (And by the by: If you need custom hardware for any project – whether you’re a contributing editor to a magazine or not – Horton Brasses is always happy to help.)

We’ve also received some questions about the campaign chest, which I’ve boiled down into a couple Q&As below.

How much was the wood for this project?
The cost for the 16″-wide mahogany Christopher used was about $1,000. To be true to period pieces, he used no secondary wood (you can read about why in the article). It could, of course, be made for less, either by using a less-expensive species (white oak is appropriate) or by gluing up panels from narrower stock that isn’t as spendy – or both.

How much was the hardware?
Altogether, the many pieces of brass, locks, etc. that Christopher used totaled about $700. Good, solid hardware is not cheap – and there is a lot of hardware on this showcase build. But there are less expensive options available. Check out “Campaign Chests on a Budget” for options.

Christopher investigated lots of hardware options (not all of them “budget”) while constructing the piece, including hardware from Londonderry Brasses (you can read more about it by clicking here, too) and Ansaldi & Sons, if you’re looking for other options.

How long did it take to build it?
Christopher reports that it took him about 80 hours of shop time, soup to nuts.

How did you build the gallery?
The gallery can be built using whatever methods you’re comfortable with. It’s simply a carcase (Christopher’s is dovetailed) that’s sized to slide into the top drawer of the chest, and it can be pulled out completely. The cubbies and drawer dividers can be nailed in (how Christopher did it), housed in V- or flat grooves, slip-fit using egg-crate joints – as fancy or as basic as you care to make it. And of course, the small drawers can also be made however you prefer. If you need inspiration or instruction, any project with a gallery will serve – simply resize to fit inside the gallery carcase.

What’s with that screw on the side of the top drawer? (You can see it in the photo above.)
That’s the number-one question – and Christopher has posted the answer on his blog at lostartpress.com.

Any other questions? Post them in the comments section below, and I’ll get you an answer.

But the August 2012 issue has more than just the Campaign Chest article (which includes a fascinating history of campaign furniture). You’ll also find Robert W. Lang’s Stickley Book Rack (No. 74) – a great way to tune-up (or show off) your through-mortise-and-tenon skills. Three high-style variations on the classic trifid foot, by Charles Bender, gives step-by-step instruction shows you how to shape this elegant form typically used on a cabriole leg in “A Trio of Trifids.” Willard Anderson shows you how to make “Rule Joints: by Hand & by Power.” Each of our in-house editors shares one of his or her favorite box designs. Plus, period furniture maker Freddy Roman shows you how to plot “The Elusive Ellipse” in four minutes or less.

Adam Cherubini delves into some finer points of “Mortising by Hand.” This month’s I Can Do That column is a “Contemporary Coffee Table” by Robert W. Lang. And Bob Flexner keeps you informed on recent changes to wood finishes – and how that might affect your work. And more! (No free Ginsu knife set, though; sorry.)

The August 2012 issue is available in either print or digital format. And of course, we also offer print subscriptions and digital subscriptions, at a significant savings off the newsstand price.

– Megan Fitzpatrick

3 thoughts on “Campaign Chest Questions Answered

  1. richcox1957

    Reminds me alot of a family hierloom we have in out dining room. I don’t know alot about it. It is oak with brass fittings. Very ornate. It has been in the family several generations.
    I would love to share pictures of it.

    1. Megan Fitzpatrick Post author

      If you want to send me a pic or two, I’d be happy to post them (Megan.fitzpatrick@fwmedia.com). Or, if you’re on Facebook, you can post them on the PWM page: Facebook.com/popularwoodworking

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