Many of the campaign-style trunks I’ve examined are joined by through-dovetails at the corners. The trunk I built for “Campaign Furniture” uses a rabbeted joint at the corners that is reinforced with brass screws that have had their heads filed flush after assembly.
The screws are not a common joint, but they were pointed out to me on some pieces by David Silliman of Charleston, S.C., a dealer in furniture from the West Indies.
The trunk shown above, which was sold by Richard Gardner, has some interesting details for you to consider.
1. The sliding till. Many of the trunks I’ve seen have a single till at one end of the chest or nothing at all inside. This one has a till at the end and a sliding till – much like that on a tool chest. I quite like how the till extends above the rim of the lower carcase. A very efficient use of space.
2. The corner joint. I am sure this locking joint has a name. But it is a somewhat atypical machine-made corner joint (at least in this country). The most interesting aspect of the joint is that the maker rabbeted away the corner and added a filler strip to conceal the end grain.
3. Brasses with filed screw heads. I point this out and discuss it in “Campaign Furniture,” but here is another example of screw heads that have been filed flush or mostly flush. This filing removes most of the screw’s slot. It’s a feature that shows up on many infill planes.
So as you plan your trunk, consider adding these details.
— Christopher Schwarz