Now, to Find that Angle


I dragged the finished teak campaign chest out of the shop this afternoon to get it out of harm’s way down there. Some heavy stuff is about to go down.

I am fairly pleased with the color of the finish and the surface quality of the chest. I went for an old-school texture. You can feel the scallops left by the smoothing plane on the exterior.

But aside from my mild non-displeasure with the piece, the most important comment about the piece was uttered today by my wife.

Lucy looked it over and said: “We get keep this one?”


“For real this time?”


That’s the highest compliment from a woman who has seen a lot of furniture go out the door this year.

The only disappointment? My photography. I snapped the quick photo above, which is plagued by parallax and a thousand other words. Perhaps I’ll find the right angle when I shoot some photos of it for my upcoming book on campaign furniture.

On that matter, I finished writing the two chapters on these chests. But I have to set the manuscript aside (briefly) to build another workbench. No, not the massive one from the Barnesville, Ga., French oak project. A different one.

More details tomorrow.

— Christopher Schwarz

About Lost Art Press

Publisher of woodworking books and videos specializing in hand tool techniques.
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17 Responses to Now, to Find that Angle

  1. Chris,
    That came out freakin’ awesome!
    I believe my next wad of cash will go towards a campaign chest.
    I only wish I knew about the giant board of teak it was made from before you.
    Finders, keepers when it comes to a board of a lifetime.
    I’ve got my eye on some ribbon sapele boards at our favorite place that will be on my next campaign.
    Congrats and can’t wait for the book.

    • lostartpress says:

      Here’s the funny thing: The wide-a$$ teak board was TOO wide for this chest.

      So I used a smaller one from Midwest. Still, it was awesome wood.

      The wide teak board is going to become a desktop for the campaign furniture book.

  2. paul6000000 says:

    Looks fantastic!

  3. calebjamesplanemaker says:

    First of the campaign pieces that caught my eye. Will consider this style some more. Nice work, whatever your fancy is.

  4. gburbank says:

    Benchaholics, unite! you’ve piqued my curiosity, though. Venturing away from roubo this time, perhaps?
    Incidentally, when you’re in connecticut next weekend, venture down to New Haven for the best pizza on the planet. No, I won’t tell you whether Sally’s, Pepe’s, or Modern Apizza is best. People have been known to brawl over that issue thereabouts. My personal fave is Naples, in the heart of Yale University, for their outstanding collection of hand carved tables. Bring your pocket knife. Oh, and Yale Art Museum has one of the best furniture collections around. Just sayin’.

  5. I am a fan of this chest. In fact, I have to build a new chest/dresser for my baby boy, who will arrive in January. Question: Is it possible to make one of these at a good height to double as a changing table? This one looks as though it may be a teensy bit too tall for a changing table. I am worried about changing the height and making it look strange.

    I think it would be a great chest for him to have growing up! Masculine, portable, perfect!!

    • Tim Henriksen says:

      1) CONGRATS halfblind!!!!
      2) I love this chest too! As said, masculine, somehow modern (?) yet simple in design. Bullseye for me.
      3) I still get giddy when you talk about benches. Looking forward to the next post!

    • lostartpress says:


      Congrats! Sir!

      This chest is 40″ tall. It is a bit high for a changing table, but I think you could build one for the forthcoming arrival and use something else for the short time where they poop their pants.

    • tsstahl says:

      Go for it! Run without the bun feet for the first year.

    • SeanT says:

      Congrats Halfblind! FWIW, our current changing table is about 37″ high, so a chest without the feet might be just the ticket as tsstahl suggested.

  6. Bo Childs says:

    Awesome Chris, Beautiful- AND- it is finished!!!!!!! Bo

  7. samcappo says:


    I have read that teak is difficult to glue. A while back I used some yellow glue and it appears to be fine…then the reading started.

    Recently I used “Oak and Teak Epoxy.” It seems fine as well… I thinking / reading too much about gluing teak?

    What type of glue did you use?


    • lostartpress says:

      I used liquid hide for carcase construction and epoxy for repairs.

      The problem with teak is the oil. The water in a water-based adhesive cannot soak into the pores because of the oil.

      There are several strategies for dealing with it:

      1. Wipe the surfaces with lacquer thinner before applying the glue. This is what I did.
      2. Use epoxy.
      3. Use poly glue (teak is why Gorilla Glue was developed).

      Some pieces of teak aren’t as oily as others. So sometimes you get lucky.

  8. SeanT says:

    Hubba, hubba! Love the final finish!

  9. abouna2 says:

    Personally I love parallax. It’s great on toast. It’s also good when the turbo version doesn’t work.

  10. MattC says:

    This reminds of the “Find the Hidden Object” pictures in Highlights magazine. Lets See.
    1. Yellow Bull
    2. Frog
    3. Hammer
    4. Millers Falls hand drill
    5. Barrett and Sons plow plane

  11. Clay Dowling says:

    You may be able to find a photographer in your area with a large format camera. They’re great for killing paralax problems. The trick, of course, is that photographers with large format cameras are almost uniformly professionals who need to be paid for their time. But if you start making calls to commercial photographers in your area, you may find some.

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