Marine Corps Retirement Sea Chest

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Project by Hawken posted 05-25-2015 07:28 PM 1700 views 1 time favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This was done as a retirement gift to a Marine with 30 Years service.
It measures 22 in wide X 16 in deep X 16 3/4 in tall (external dimensions), and 20 1/2 in X 14 1/5 in X 15 1/4 in internally. There is a 19 in X 14 in X 3 in tray in the top of the chest.
It is North American Red Oak with a red oak stain and a tung oil varnish.
The carving on the top is a USMC Light Armored Vehicle (LAV) 25 with a favorite saying of the retiree above, and name and dates of service below. (note that the name in intentionally blurred in the photo as I do not yet have permission to post his name.) The carving on the front is the USMC Eagle, Globe and Anchor with “United States Marine Corps” above and “Semper Fidelis” (the Marine Corps motto) below. The hinge mortises are hand chiseled.
The corners on the lid and chest were hand-sanded to give a slightly less-than-symmetrical look. Some small scars and imperfections were left unattended to provide a slight antique-appearance.
The hinges and hasp are oil-blackened steel. (The hardware arrived rusted, so I soaked them in a white vinegar/salt mixture for 24 hours, scrubbed them, then heat treated them. This involved torching them until they were red hot then quenching them in motor oil to give them the black sheen. —Careful with this technique as the oil can flame: Nobody appreciates eyebrows until they are missing one…)).—
The padlock is a replica of an antique padlock with skeleton-style keys. The key-ring is a MUCH smaller carving of the LAV-25.
The screws and clavos nails are hand-forged iron. The lifters (handles) are cast iron (also oil-blackened).
I read somewhere that sailors, seamen, and Marines would toss a piece of cedar in the chest to ward off varmints. I opted to do the plaque inside the lid in cedar. Hopefully it will deter the rats and bugs.
Comments welcome and Thank You for looking.

-- Who is John Galt?

6 comments so far

View Matt's profile


137 posts in 1788 days

#1 posted 05-25-2015 11:10 PM

Very nice job; congrats and semper fi to the Marine.

View Nick Ferry's profile

Nick Ferry

166 posts in 2535 days

#2 posted 05-25-2015 11:29 PM

very well done!!

View cracknpop's profile


282 posts in 2254 days

#3 posted 05-26-2015 02:31 AM

Nicely done. I especially appreciate the extra efforts you put into the little details, such as incorporating the cedar.

-- Rick - I know I am not perfect, but I will keep pressing on toward the goal of becoming all I am called to be.

View CincyRW's profile


156 posts in 1556 days

#4 posted 05-26-2015 11:24 AM

Beautiful piece. Great idea / technique for the hardware.

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

7661 posts in 2234 days

#5 posted 05-26-2015 01:49 PM

This really turned out great…. As did your ammo box with the litho pane.

What are you using for the carving?

Very impressive work. I’m sure the retiring Marine will appreciate it.

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

View helluvawreck's profile


30147 posts in 2772 days

#6 posted 05-26-2015 07:10 PM

You did such a wonderful job on this.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

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