My bank was open today – an oddity for President’s Day – so I took out as much cash as I dared and ventured to Midwest Woodworking in Norwood, Ohio.
The goal was to get some teak for the drawer fronts of my next campaign chest, plus some clear sugar pine for the drawers.
(Yes, I know that many campaign chests used no secondary wood. But many did, especially the ones that were intended for domestic service, according to a couple dealers I’ve interviewed.)
Buried in a stack of teak that was about 10’ off the ground, I uncovered the one teak board I needed. It was like the tree had grown this way to become the most perfect drawer fronts for my chest. It was 8” wide x 175” long, the cathedral was perfectly centered on the board and the two pin knots in the board were exactly 38” apart from one another. Perfect for drawer spacing.
Also, we dug up some old teak “rippers” that Frank David of Midwest sold me at a considerable discount. “Rippers” are the 2”- to 3”-wide stuff that falls off from a rip cut. These rippers are quartered or rift and perfect for web frames. So I grabbed three of these.
I brought my daughter Katy along and Megan Fitzpatrick – their presence skyrocketed the estrogen content of Midwest, and they helped me pull the lumber from the stacks and break it down to fit into Megan’s Subaru.
Today I also pulled out the hardware for this chest. If this next part sounds like a gloat, it is.
All the brasses for this project are cast vintage pieces of original hardware that were never used. The cast pulls are still wrapped in their original papers. The brackets and corner guards are cast (not stamped) and are the perfect color and vintage.
I found them all on eBay and paid only $100 for enough hardware for two chests.
Yes, I suck.
— Christopher Schwarz