Restored Sailor's chest

Sharing information regarding 18th and early 19th century nautical culture.

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Restored Sailor's chest

Postby Ken Hamilton » Tue Jun 06, 2017 7:49 pm

Hello mates,
This was a recently purchased ($40) busted up sailor's chest. It took about 4 days to restore, but FUN!

It was originally BLUE...and was then painted green (apparently BOTH lead paint???) The original board bottom boards were VERY heavy and I though might be teak or some other dense tropical exotic wood?????

New moldings, reinforced cracked sides and lid (with long screws, wood pegs, and glue), and new bottom. Tightened up the hinges too. Many small square headed nails. At least 6 BRASS patches to secure the original cracks inside and out...(also using square heade3d tacks). I left a couple of them Repainted inside and out. Nice little keep-sake box on the top right (original fine moldings).

NEW beckets..........wood handle ear.lugs and my first attempt at rope work loops. All rope work is either white marline, , small tarred marline, or old cod-line. I used the approximate foot print of the original wooden beckets as one could discern the out line on the wood.
Exotic COCOBOLO spiral ended carved handle "spindles" (is that the right word?).
Classic angled front (80 degrees), with a straight back and sides....and dovetailed on each corner.

32 + " long
16" tall
15" deep on the top
17" deep on the bottom

A lot of work but I think will make a good addition to our "sailor's camp" :D
Ken
http://i950.photobucket.com/albums/ad34 ... G_0482.jpg
http://i950.photobucket.com/albums/ad34 ... G_0481.jpg
http://i950.photobucket.com/albums/ad34 ... G_0484.jpg
http://i950.photobucket.com/albums/ad34 ... 0483_1.jpg
http://i950.photobucket.com/albums/ad34 ... 0486_2.jpg














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Re: Restored Sailor's chest

Postby Shaun » Wed Jun 07, 2017 12:53 pm

Ken, outstanding restoration work! I love the details on it--well done!
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Re: Restored Sailor's chest

Postby snapper » Thu Jun 08, 2017 9:31 am

Damnnnnnnn... I read this quickly and thought it might be for sale. When I didn't see a price, I knew it was staying in its new home. Great work! Look forward to seeing it up close & personal at Pemaquid.

Take care and until next time...be well.

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Re: Restored Sailor's chest

Postby Ken Hamilton » Fri Jun 09, 2017 6:52 am

Thanks guys, .....but I am just a NEW "sailor" and my sailor's art is amateurish compared to the unbelievable art done by those early mariners. I think it reached it's peak in the early to mid-19th cent?

I have Turk's heads and monkey fists down pretty good at this point :D . (Better every time)

Here is a link (hopefully?) to a web-site about BECKETS.

What WE need to do is figure out what relates to the 17th and 18th centuries.
Respectfully,
Ken
http://www.frayedknotarts.com/tutorials/makebecket.html
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Re: Restored Sailor's chest

Postby PAUL C. DAIUTE » Sat Jun 10, 2017 5:36 am

Ken,
Good for you to have it and good job on your restoration. From what little I know of these containers, the bottoms are usually a hard wood, (exotic woods sometimes used ) and often the molding would lift the bottom off the deck and give just a little bottom space for drainage. The ditty box cover when opened also serves to hold the chests cover open so the owner can use both hands to rummage around. The fancy work beckets are typical of the 19th century or a time when there was a three or four section watch that gave Sailors some discretionary time off. Bligh was one of the first captains to embrace the concept of more than port and starboard watches by the way. Not to be critical but I would consider sinking the screws and covering them with bungs of the same wood used with the grain running the same way the wood is running or clench nailing instead of screwing. I am mindful of the commandment, "Though shalt not covet thy shipmates sea chest !" Very nice acquisition!!
Paul
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Re: Restored Sailor's chest

Postby Ken Hamilton » Sun Jun 11, 2017 8:50 am

hello Paul et al,
I used the chest this weekend at a small event in Machias, ME (Margerite Days, first Naval action of the American Revolution and capture of the English brig/sloop Margeritte). We set up a small "Saiolor's camp" and I used the trunk. VERY handy for sitting on ...but I am still at a loss on what to put in it, ha ha...so it was mostly empty.

Out of curiosity, I split the old bottom boards the other day and it revealed that they were simply a water-logged ("heavy") pitch pine or spruce?????????? THey were flush with the bottom originally.


I hear you, Paul about hiding the screws. But because it is a work in progress, I will need to possibly remove the handles in the future and the screws can therefore come off and on as needed

Oh also...........last week, I found this 22" long hand forged GRAPPLING HOOK (with ring) at a yard sale here in town. I don't know what was stranger.....the fact that id was only $5...or that it was found here in Central interior Maine (woods, hills, swamps corn, hay and potato country)????????? :shock: Anyway, I welded a 3 foot chain on it which, as you might already know when used in boarding actions against other ships, the chain extension on the rope protected the rope from being hacked by the crew or the OTHER ship with their boarding axes and/or cutlasses. Further, (as I understand it) the LONG shank in also indicative of it's intent because of it's long "handle" for throwing.

So, That too was new to the "Sailor camp" exhibit! It's presence in the exhibit on Saturday did not go un -noticed by visitors because of it's positively menacing "MEDIEVAL", appearance :twisted:
http://i950.photobucket.com/albums/ad34 ... G_0488.jpg
Ken
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Re: Restored Sailor's chest

Postby PAUL C. DAIUTE » Sun Jul 09, 2017 5:43 am

Ken,
The grappling hook sounds great! I look foreward to seeing it!
Paul
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