Free advice is worth every penny you pay for it ;-).....
First, I'd recommend you go bother the local library - I think the book you
will be looking for is 'The Toolbox Book' by Jim Tolpin, published by
Taunton Press. It has an extensive section on pre-modern tool boxes,
nothing is provably pre-1700, but it has some good ideas on dividers,
partitions & sliding tills. Also see if they can get 'Artifacts from
Wrecks' edited by Mark Redknap, published by Oxbow Books (Oxbow Monograph
#84) - you want chapter 6, pages 87-98 if they can only get a photocopy.
As for the chest, I'd seriously look at extending the ends down into legs.
This does 2 things: first it keeps the main body of goods out of reach of
the damp, so your sabre won't grow its own brown fur coat. Secondly it
makes it a lot more comfortable to sit on - I don't know how tall you & you
good lady are, or how thick a cushion you want to sit on, if any, but those
extra few inches to rise & fall will take their toll after a while. You
can pack stuff under the chest between the legs when travelling in the van
if you don't want to lie the chest on its side.
I'd also think about making the lid of the chest an inch or so bigger all
round than the body, then make a grove around the underneath of the
overhang on all 3 or 4 sides (depends on how you do the hinges). This
should help stop rain (or other liquids) from running off the lid & into
If you are going to use nominal 1x12 pine I think you will end up with
something closer to 11x10x38 inside unless you join boards to make
something wider. Take a good look at
on construction details -
these are provable at least back to the Mary Rose. Chas. (Fingers) Oakley
is here on the list too.
At 02:58 PM 2/17/04, you wrote:
>I'm a 17th century Polish cavalry reenactor in need of a weapons
>chest. In period, I would have had a horsedrawn wagon and a couple of
>peasants to cart my stuff around, in the mundane world, I travel with
>wife & kids in a minivan.
>I'm considering a chest with internal dimensions of about 11"x13"x40".
> This covers the size needed for sabers, war hammers, arrows, and
>various soft kit stuff. It would also seat two adults. My thought
>was to use an internal frame to hold arrows and possibly in the bottom
>to hold the other weapons, sort of like an old-fashioned carpenters
>chest. Does anyone use a large chest like this? Any advice?
>On a related note, I'm thinking of 1x (one by) pine to lighten the
>case (rather than oak, for example). I read with interest the
>comments on oak vs pine vs other wood, but I have 1x12 pine on hand.
>Any thoughts on paint vs. oil? Personally, I like the look of dark
>By way of further introduction, I make reenactment grade medieval
>arrows. As a woodworker, I'm a true amateur but as a fletcher, I'm
>pretty good. I'm not in the SCA, but I've toyed with joining.
>XVIIc Polish Pancerni