Chests You May (and Should) Stare at


I am sorry that I gave you geometry homework yesterday. To make it up to you, I cobbled together a 60-page document of more than 100 campaign chests, plus construction and hardware details.

You can download the pdf document here: CF_DESIGN. It’s about 17mb, in color and the pages are in 6×9 format. That’s the same form factor as the book “Campaign Furniture” and leaves plenty of room for you to make notes in the margins on an 8-1/2” x 11” sheet of paper.

I offer these images without comment or details other than what is shown in the photos. Most chests are fairly standard in size (40” L x 40” W x 17” D), so you should be able to figure out the proportions and details on your own if you want to reproduce one of these chests.

To be honest, I made this document so you can train your eye to appreciate this somewhat non-standard form. I hope that you will design your own chest using the details you like.

If I have time, I hope to produce some more documents like this on chairs, trunks and bookcases before “Campaign Furniture” is released in early March.

— Christopher Schwarz

About Lost Art Press

Publisher of woodworking books and videos specializing in hand tool techniques.
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18 Responses to Chests You May (and Should) Stare at

  1. heidtwd says:

    Thanks man, this is fun.

  2. diceloader says:

    Can you confirm the standard dimensions ?
    I don’t think that came out quite right.

    P.S. Aimee Mann did a cover of Baby Blue on her 1st album back in 1993.

  3. Dude, thanks! Really cool stuff.

  4. bobbarnettpe says:

    Thanks for sharing the photo. There are some great details revealed in them.

  5. Brad D. says:

    This is like wine testing for campaign chests – despite the basic boxy shape, it’s difficult to tell the minor differences until you see a lot of them together. Thanks for sharing this. One thing that stands out to me is how the different weighting in the turned feet design really impacts the overall appearance.

    Curious about the brass monkey. I assume these were in vogue during the same period that campaign chests were, so it is probably just coincidence that this picture was sent as another arctic front blasts into one of the coldest winters in memory. Can’t see behind him, but would assume he is NOT intact:

  6. Roger Benton says:

    “We got the bottle, you got the cup…”
    Great pics.

  7. Eric R says:

    What do you call that joint on page 47, where the top in incorporated into the miter?
    Thank you

  8. A monkey? I though the figure was early evidence confirming the existence of the chupacabra.

  9. Daniel Roy says:

    Thanks for the pictures of those chests. What a pair on picture number 32! Oh, wait, wrong web site! Damn, how do I delete this…

  10. bdormer says:

    For the “pegs” that keep the top from shifting off the bottom case – it seems that having the peg on the bottom case is “traditional”. Is there any reason for that? i’m in the midst of a build of the mythical *Dutch/Campaign Toolchest” and I was leaning toward pegs in the top, facing down, but the few pictures (and your PWW article) seem to indicate bottom up is the way to go.

  11. wooddocker says:

    Beautiful pieces. I try to imagine them wrapped in waxed canvas ducking and loaded on the backs of a pack animal in the trains of a British Army unit in India or Africa. Having been in the military, I will tell you that when you are living in the field, every little luxury is priceless. These officers were very comfortable.
    Thanks for some awesome eye candy.

  12. I can’t help but notice that very few of these photos feature screws heads that are clocked 🙂

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