Share your favorites on Show & Tell

Older Captians Chest, all orgianl hardware.

In Furniture > Trunks > Show & Tell.
Trunks1642 of 2656Steamer TrunkCapt E.C. Lea's Captian's chest
Love it
Like it

trunkmantrunkman loves this.
fortapachefortapache loves this.
blunderbuss2blunderbuss2 loves this.
FatBoy64FatBoy64 loves this.
officialfuelofficialfuel loves this.
See 3 more
Add to collection

    Please create an account, or Log in here

    If you don't have an account, create one here.

    Create a Show & TellReport as inappropriate

    Posted 8 years ago

    (1 item)

    Older chest that was passed down to me. I was going to build a hand made, flat top for it, to make it into a coffee table (i'm a woodworker by trade) and try to match it as original as possible, but didn't want to starting messing with it, if it happens to be something. Any insight or advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks.

    Unsolved Mystery

    Help us close this case. Add your knowledge below.

    See all
    Antique Trunk & Chest-Restoration Hardware-Leather Handles & Fasteners--U-Kit
    Antique Trunk & Chest-Restoration H...
    Antique Vintage Steamer Trunk Bar W/Accessories GORGEOUS!!
    Antique Vintage Steamer Trunk Bar W...
    LOUIS VUITTON Small Cube Monogram Steamer Trunk chest purse bag LV antique #
    LOUIS VUITTON Small Cube Monogram S...
    Antique Trunk & Chest-Restoration Hardware-Leather Handles & Fasteners--U-Kit
    Antique Trunk & Chest-Restoration H...
    See all


    1. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 8 years ago
      Please don't alter it! I have been a furniture maker & surely there is a better way. How about a simple thin wood frame with legs & a glass top so people can admire the beauty of the trunk? What you suggest is sacrilege on CW with all our trunk collectors!
    2. JonB, 8 years ago
      I am new to collecting and refinishing antique trunks however I just had to add to this post. As I understand it, the U.S produced millions of trunks from 1860 to 1930. Those trunks were exported in vast amounts with a large percentage coming back to this country with newly arrived immigrants. Since then, antique trunks were sent to the trash heaps by the tens of thousands. Only a small unknown number remain. Of those, even a smaller number are “round tops” and in good shape. The trunk you have shown is a beautiful barrel stave and, I am not the expert here, from around the late 1860s to late 1870s. Because of this, I would use your skill in word working to bring it back to life, as is, or utilize Blunderbuss2’s advice of a frame that only a wood worker of your talent can produce. This would highlight the old wood working style of the trunk with your new world skills.
    3. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 8 years ago
      Maybe I read KF wrong & he has the same idea. I do like the idea of a glass table top. How about solid legs coming down from the top's height you want with a soft material where it sets on the 4 corners & narrow wood staves in angle iron shape the continues down the corner sides a few inches to make it stable and not easy to bump off the top. There's my design idea & think it would look good & stable. Beautiful chest & my design would require no altering of the chest. Just my idea, and you did ask.
    4. Drill Drill, 8 years ago
      These are good suggestions.This happens a lot ,Many times people don't want the Dome tops as they are harder to fit into modern day usage. Sad and ironic as they are some of the finer trunks made during their time periods.I have seen people place them on their back sides to get a flat top surface.Not my favorite thing to do. You could make a flat removable wood cover to match,one that just sits atop the dome not affecting the original lid. Anyway good luck with it and thanks for the post.
    5. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 8 years ago
      The glass top lets people admire the chest. Only person we aren't hearing from is KFKelly.
    6. KFKelly, 8 years ago
      Hey Guys. Thanks for the response. I like the ideas presented. What I did (so far) is make a custom slated top (1x4's) and put dowels in between with carpenter's glue. From there, ripped once piece down to fit the dimensions of the chest, with cross supports underneath (for more of a original "pirate" look when it opens), cut all to spec, Stained it Dark Walnut to match the frame, and wahla!! I didn't have to alter the frame of the chest in any way, not even the hinges. So basically, all I did, was make a flat top, matched to the chest, and now I have a coffee table that opens for storage. AND, I have original lid, that I can put on at anytime I choose, all by removing 3 screws on either side (of the new top I made) and put the rounded chest top back on. It worked out quite nicely with no damage to the top (either one) or the chest itself....Now, the only other thing I was contemplating is to possibly sand the frame of the chest down to whatever its original color it is/was. I looks to me as it was stained at some point in time, there are some small spots where its peeling, and its a lighter color underneath. But, once I start the sanding process, I cant stop, and I don't want to take away from the cool, older style look it has going for itself now...Any suggestion's??
    7. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 8 years ago
      A trick I learned when you have separation/peeling & don't want to remove it, is put some water base or resin glue in the edge of a piece of paper & slide it under the peeling & press down so the glue stays as you slide the paper out. Then use wax paper & a flat block clamped over it . Give the glue enough time to hold the peeling down & remove clamps & block so you can wipe the excess glue with a wet rag or sponge. Then reapply wax paper, block and clamps with the same pressure, or slightly less, as before until glue is dried. I've saved a number of pieces with this trick.

      In my experience, NEVER separate parts & pieces of antiques even for short periods as they tend to drift away & never get back together. I don't even like to do it overnight. Invariably, they never get back together & the dome top is the most beautiful part. My opinion , experience & observations. You asked.
    8. KFKelly, 8 years ago
      Well (its hard to see in the 3rd picture) those two small hinges, are the only thing that was holding the dome top on. Three screws on either side. And it had a small gap where the dome met the base. I don't think I will have any problem with separation due to the fact that they were already separated. I could be wrong, but I don't see anything shifting, swelling, shrinking, or moving around the small screw holes. I actually placed the dome top back on, once I measured up the new top, just to make sure everything was still aligned and it fit back on perfectly, well, as perfect as a top fits on a trunk that old, lol. Also, where the screw holes are, are on one solid piece of wood. No parts or wood was harmed during this slight alteration, haha.
    9. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 8 years ago
      Please poste a pic of the finished work.
    10. JonB, 8 years ago
      interested in the final product, please post.

    Want to post a comment?

    Create an account or login in order to post a comment.