In Shop Blog, Techniques

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Flush pulls. Heavy and awesome.

After much searching, purchasing and examination I settled on a suite of hardware for the Campaign Chest I’m building for Popular Woodworking Magazine. The hardware arrived this week, and I could not be more pleased.

While hardware is always one of the most important aspects to a piece of furniture, it is even more critical to pieces of Campaign-style furniture. While some pieces of Campaign furniture feature ornate carvings and turning, for most pieces the hardware is the only ornament. So you better get it right.

This chest, which features a secretary in the top drawer, has a lot of hardware – about $800 worth – which I purchased at full retail from Horton Brasses of Cromwell, Ct.

Here's one of the custom corners in place on the chest. I need to mortise it flush.

Why did I choose Horton for the hardware? Their flexibility, selection and speed. Orion Henderson of Horton was happy to modify two of the company’s stock items to suit this particular chest I’m building. They modified their brass corners in three ways: they altered the profile to a classic ogee, they sized the hardware to suit 3/4” material and added countersunk holes for screws instead of nails. They also modified the corner brackets similarly.

Henderson says these hardware items will be available to the public by simply calling Horton (800-754-9127) and asking for the custom shapes and details.

The custom brackets.

Henderson also was happy to order the flush pulls and lid stays from one of their suppliers in England for me and color the entire batch so all the exterior hardware matched. This service – available to everyone – saves time, effort and mucking around with chemicals I’d rather not deal with.

I chose the company’s “light antique” finish, which `is a great tone. It looks like brass that has aged but has been well cared for. So it doesn’t look new, but it also doesn’t look abused.

Rosettes for the chest's lifts.

In my search for excellent hardware I found some really good stuff from other companies, including Londonderry Brasses. I have some unusual pieces on order from them for other Campaign-style furniture pieces I’ll be building this year in the hopes of publishing a woodworking book on the style.

If you don’t have catalogs from these two great hardware companies, I highly recommend you remedy that. Your furniture will thank you.

— Christopher Schwarz

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Showing 5 comments
  • oldster

    Trust is the key word here. When Chris wrote about my Knew Concepts saws, you knew that he had personally bought it. When I heard that he was interested in the saws, I had offered to send him one for trial, but he refused.

    In the same vein as Consumers Reports, he maintains a distance from the manufacturer that is unassailable.

    Lee (the saw guy)

  • Fred West

    Hey Chris, that is beautiful hardware and reminded me of a place very near me in PA where I worked a LN Hand Tool Event. I believe that Chuck Bender uses these guys quite a bit. It is a long time family owned manufacturer and retail. Just may be another good alternative and I have no affiliation whatsoever. Fred

  • BLZeebub

    About that book on campaign furniture, will you perchance include any tansu work?

  • spotcheem

    Hi Chris,
    Rather than paying “full retail”, I think you should have worked out a deal with the hardware supplier.
    After all, just think how many people are going to be making this chest and the resulting sales the hardware supplier will be getting! At $800 per chest, who knows how many they will sell! And I’m willing to bet that there will be plans available for purchase in some future edition of the magazine as well!

  • tsstahl

    Wow. So the retail price of a single completed chest is North of 2k?

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