Marine Corps Retirement Sea Chest

  • Advertise with us
Project by Hawken posted 05-25-2015 07:28 PM 2425 views 2 times 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 2801 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 3548 days

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

very well done!!

View cracknpop's profile


470 posts in 3267 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


165 posts in 2569 days

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

Beautiful piece. Great idea / technique for the hardware.

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

9728 posts in 3247 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.

-- Matt -- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3785 days

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

You did such a wonderful job on this.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics