Posted 7 months ago
It took sometime, but I have finished The Trunk. Many thanks go out to Jim Cardoza at HMS Antique Trunks. He was able to find a key for the lock and sell me some needed large old brass-headed nails. He thinks the U-shaped handles were rare, and combined with the leather hinges indicate the trunk is from the 1850s.
I made a pattern from the small handle pieces left and looked at old photos of similar handles. I had to teach myself a little about leather crafting, but I was pleased with how the handles and closure straps came out. The leather covering the truck was too far gone to save, so it was removed along with all the metal straps and large-headed brass nails. The brass nails were straightened and buffed clean. All metal straps were de-rusted, welding repairs made where needed, then primed and painted. The wooden bottom was removed and repaired, and then reattached. All wood was sanded smooth, and three coats of semi-gloss poly were applied, sanding between all coats. All metal straps were then installed and secured with the large-headed brass nails. The original tray had been lost, so a new tray was sourced and cut to fit the trunk. Nylon sliders were added to the bottom so the trunk wouldn’t scratch floors. New leather hinges were fabricated and nailed the same as the originals. The base wood didn’t look very appealing, so leather was glued to the inside bottom to give it a more finished appearance. A lid stay was installed along with a leather lid-lifter. Overall I have to say I’m pleased with how everything came out.