Antique Sea Chest Shadow Box

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Project by Tim_CPWD posted 06-17-2016 07:00 AM 807 views 1 time favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I was recently commissioned by a customer to build a shadowbox inside an antique trunk. This trunk or Sea chest was restored by a company called “The Pirates Lair” and shipped to my shop. I was asked to design a storage compartment that provided areas for 3 different sets of uniforms under a shadowbox. I was also asked to design the shadowbox to hold a saber and scabbard that could be easily accessed by the owner at any time. In the design that you see both the saber and scabbard are sitting on custom wood mounts that I designed. Embedded in each mount are earth magnets. The magnets hold both pieces in place. I was confident that this design would work well with the saber but pleasantly surprised when I found that the scabbard was made with enough metal for the magnets to hold well also. The solution for easy access to the saber lies in the removal of the glass on top. I designed this so that after lifting the shadow box out of the sea chest like a big tray you can simply slide the glass out the back. No tools required. This was a fun project with a number of design challenges. The chest itself was far from square so I had to adjust the overall size of the shadowbox a couple times to account for this. It also had some old metal strap mounts riveted to the back top edge of the inside. This made it a bit difficult to work around. However after some trial and error I was able to achieve a snug fit that still allowed the shadow box to be lifted out easily. The chest itself was made from pine but the insert I made for the uniforms and the shadowbox itself were made out of cherry.

-- Tim Haenisch, San Diego Ca.

10 comments so far

View majuvla's profile


8739 posts in 2291 days

#1 posted 06-17-2016 07:01 AM

I like it’s rustic design and lot of metal parts look realy great.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 1716 days

#2 posted 06-17-2016 12:17 PM

Very attractive.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View jeffswildwood's profile


1287 posts in 1401 days

#3 posted 06-17-2016 12:18 PM

excellent job on this. I bet it really was a challenge.

-- We all make mistakes, the trick is to fix it in a way thats says "I meant to do that".

View Charles Maxwell's profile

Charles Maxwell

1080 posts in 3231 days

#4 posted 06-17-2016 01:44 PM

BZ! In Navy signal parlance that means: Well Done!

-- Max the "night janitor" at

View Richard W. Hyman Jr's profile

Richard W. Hyman Jr

716 posts in 1096 days

#5 posted 06-17-2016 04:28 PM

Fantastic look and it blends well with the rest of the chest. Nicely done!

-- VR, Richard "Fear is nothing more than a feeling. You feel hot. You feel hungry. You feel angry. You feel afraid. Fear can never kill you"--Remo Williams

View BurlyBob's profile


3494 posts in 1689 days

#6 posted 06-17-2016 04:33 PM

That’s really awesome.

View Grumpy's profile


21459 posts in 3275 days

#7 posted 06-17-2016 10:07 PM

A great combination Tim, well done.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View Ken90712's profile


16864 posts in 2612 days

#8 posted 06-18-2016 02:33 AM

Bravo Zulu….. Great gift for a true warrior! To make Chief in the teams mean he’s a very special person thru and thru…. Great job on this project.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View DonB's profile


485 posts in 2116 days

#9 posted 06-18-2016 11:32 AM

Ditto for all the above comments. Unique presentation. Well crafted. This gent obviously earned this presentation. Thank him for his service. Smooth winds and following seas.

-- DonB

View Roger's profile


19714 posts in 2228 days

#10 posted 06-18-2016 11:29 PM

I really like it.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

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