Projectile Storage Box US Life Saving Station - USLSS Delaware State Parks

  • Advertise with us
Project by Karson posted 06-08-2007 07:08 PM 3089 views 1 time favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A couple of weeks ago an administrator for the Delaware State Parks, came to our Mason Dixon Woodworking Club meeting to ask if anyone could assist in making some items for the Life Saving museum.
My son David and I went over to visit them a week ago, and to see what they would like to have made. There are 4 or 5 items and I’ll post them as projects if I decide to make any of them.
I did make one item this week it’s a Projectile Storage Box. You can see the only picture that we’ve found. The storage box is on the left about half way up

When the United States started the Life Saving Service (USLSS) approx 1845, with the intent of having Life Saving Station along the coasts and on the shore of the Great Lakes. There was about a 90% loss of life on ship wrecks, so the intention was to save peoples life in case of a ship wreck.

A Motto of the crews was ”You have to go out, but you don’t have to come back.”

Crews of 12-15 men were stationed along the coast, during the winter months. If a ship wreck was found the life crew would head to the available shore position and would fire a canon that had a projectile with a rope tied to the end. Hopefully it would go over the boat and the fine rope was used to pull a heavier rope. It was tied to the mast of the boat or something sturdy if the mast was gone and ancored to the shore and then they pulled a sling to the boat and got people off, one at a time. Many people were saved because of their efforts. Some of the history of the service is here
The Life Saving Service was the beginning of the US Coast Gaurd.

The projectiles that they had at the station in Delaware were just laying on the floor. So I made a box.

Dave sanding

The box was made to store 8 projectiles. I took it over to the museum to check it out.
Problem. I measured the bore at 2 3/8” it was 2 5/8” The holes were too small. I took it home to recut the holes bigger. No luck. The space between the holes would not have allowed any strength to the wood.
So I remade the pieces that had the holes and I drilled them to 2 ¾”. I delivered it again today. Here it is sitting on the porch of the museum,
II only got 6 holes of the larger size.
While we were there they had a practice run of the life saving drill. They were assisted by the US Coast Guard Station just down the road from the museum. I will upload the pictures to Flickr here

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

11 comments so far

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4674 days

#1 posted 06-08-2007 07:40 PM

what a wonderful project to do. So much history in this. Fascinating.

Your assistant (or is he the boss, now) has done a fine job!! Well done you two

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1809 posts in 4599 days

#2 posted 06-08-2007 08:11 PM

Nice Karson…great project and a fascinating history lesson for your son….Great Dad!

-- Bob

View mot's profile


4926 posts in 4549 days

#3 posted 06-09-2007 01:08 AM

That’s great Karson!

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View WayneC's profile


14358 posts in 4610 days

#4 posted 06-09-2007 01:50 AM

Looks like a fun project. David has a big smile on his face.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4760 days

#5 posted 06-09-2007 03:35 PM

Karson, they have a station such as this up north west of Traverse City. It also is a museum. But they have much of the same sort of devices for saving lives. Some very brave souls worked on that penensula. I’ts in the, whats called “Sleeping Bear Graveyard”. I guess there were hundreds of ships that went down as they were going around the Northwest corner of Michigan, what it is is a strait between the mainland and the North and South Manitou Islands. With a very tricky bottom, and very strange winds that are at times quite high. Very facinating history. Nice project for you and your son. Jockmike

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View Karson's profile


35202 posts in 4914 days

#6 posted 06-09-2007 04:08 PM

Mike I went to the Sleeping Bear Graveyard that you talked about. They also give demo’s of shooting the Lyle Gun with the projectiles. It’s very interesting.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4827 days

#7 posted 06-09-2007 08:48 PM

Thanks for the history, Karson. And thanks for helping to keep this history alive for the next generation. I was listening to a young man talk about how much he hated history and all I could think was what kind of teacher could make history boring…o the ones that just teach out of the text book. That hands on experience adds a lot to helping understand history.

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4760 days

#8 posted 06-09-2007 09:28 PM

Your are so right Dennis, it was’nt until I got in college and or prof. started talking about the names of the kings that lived back in the day. the had names like our modern day wrestlers, Striker the Great, Lukus the Lame and on and on and he would explain how they got their names, he made history fun and easy to learn. jockmike

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View oscorner's profile


4563 posts in 4824 days

#9 posted 06-11-2007 01:45 AM

Nice work.

-- Jesus is Lord!

View Lip's profile


158 posts in 4563 days

#10 posted 06-14-2007 02:53 PM

Pretty interesting stuff Karson … sounds like you have an early version of a “shot line” ... or what the Navy uses to link up with other ships during underway replenishments. These days it’s a hard core rubber ball attached (or a big steel nut wrapped in a monkey’s fist if you gunner sucks and loses all the rubber balls) to a line and shot from the end of a rifle (think it’s an M-14 if I’m not mistaken). Once there is an end on both sides, you can start sending larger lines across and eventually work your way up to sending fuel hoses, supplies, and even people between the two ships … but it still starts with the shot line.

The modern version of what those guys were doing involves running a steel cable from one ship to the other then attaching a basket to it and pulling it over by a second line … still one man at a time … and I’ve actually been that man once. Let me tell ya, it can get pretty hairy when your hanging by a cable (steel or not) about 50 or 60 feet above the ocean between two moving ships! I have some pictures of one of our “UnReps” around here somewhere … might even be the one I got sent across … when I run across them I’ll send them over so you can show your kid!

-- Lip's Dysfuncational Firewood Farm, South Bend, IN

View Karson's profile


35202 posts in 4914 days

#11 posted 06-14-2007 04:21 PM

Yes the guy who rode in the sling, Even though a Coast Gaurd member wasn’t sure about getting off the platform.


-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

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