Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Sea chest build part 3

Once the panels were flat, I cut them to size using the handheld circular saw.
I eventually opted for the canted design, also known as a "tumblehome chest". I was afraid, that I I made a square design, I would just make a small version of the ATC.

I found a random orbit sander in the deck workshop, so I borrowed it, and sanded the inside of the panels lightly. The grain pattern on some of the boards is too wild for me to plane without a really sharp plane.

I started dovetailing, and the hacksaw works really well as a dovetail saw, especially since the wood is very hard.
I sawed the pins on both the endboards, and started remowing the waste with a chisel. with a little patience and some grinding to keep the edge OK, I manged to remove the waste from one complete set of pins before it was time to call it a day.

Making nails.
We do have some ordinary nails onboard, but after researching, I found out that some sea chests were made using copper nails, since they wouldn't rust.
We don't have any copper nails onboard. We don't have any solid core copper wire either.
But I found some old high temperature resistant single core wires that looks like it is a brass alloy.
They were in the "claims" box i.e. on the way to the garbage bin.
I rescued those and set out making my own nails for the project.

From left to right:
  • The high temperature cable (it was originally used for electric connection below the cooking range in the galley)
  • The disassembled cable, with small porcelain beads on the side.
  • A small piece that has been straigtened out and lightly sanded to clean the surface.
  • A 3.2 cm piece of wire before processing.
  • A nail with the head fabricated, the head is formed using the ball end of the hammer.
  • A nail that has been pressed between the jaws of the vise to give some structure.
  • The nail machine (a piece of ironbar with a 2 mm hole drilled to the depth of 3 cm), note there is a nail which is inserted in the hole.
The reason I give the nail some structure is because the wood is so hard, that the pilot hole has to be the same size as the nail, and for the entire length. So the structure will provide the nails with a lot more holding power. But we will see how it works once we get to attaching the bottom.


  1. Jeez, Jonas! You are really going crazy with using the tools you have.

    Maybe your chest will need some gold leaf next. There's gotta be something on board you can use for that!

    1. Hi Brian.

      My projects tend to get a bit out of hand, but actually I thought that it would be cool with homemade nails.

      I know that we have some brass hinges, so I don't plan on aking those myself. Eventhough they will need some work, since they are for a thicker panel.

      How is the panel blow up doing?

  2. Yo! If you're doing a true sea chest, you oughta make the top look like a Pirate's Chest... like this:

  3. I like chests with rounded lids, but my research showed, that sea chests had flat lids. So I'll try to stick with that.
    It is bad enough, that I am making it a lot smaller that they were supposed to be.
    Othervise, thanks for the picture.