May 10, 2005

Arrr! There be treasure!


One of my favourite things, as regular readers may have noticed. I like the mystique and swagger of the pirate life, the lingo and the wildness.

All of it appeals.

So naturally when called upon to produce a present for a recent birthday, there was but one choice, and that be the pirate's booty of choice; the treasure chest!

Captain Deadeye's Guide to building your own treasure chest

Avast, ye scurvy dogs! If you want to be buildin' yer own pirate treasure chest then ya have to get the right weapons for tha' task.

This is me' beauty:

Cheaper than me parrot, it has all a first mate be needing to keep his planks nice and firm. Somethin' you'll be needing when you start sawing yer raw wood pieces into the right shapes fer yer chest.

Which'll look a little like this:

No good pirate leaves his cabin with out a fine blade by his side, ya never know when you'll need to slice a bilge rat from head to toe. Ha! This little number came from me favourite quartemasters over at the 'Earlsdon Toolbox'. When you've got yer pieces sliced nice and ship shape they'll be looking just so:

Thats yer basic shape of all the sides from the lid down to the base. The next task be slicing the pieces in ta fourty five degree angles so they'll stick together nicely. A nice angle measuring contraption can greatly facilitate the process and seperates ya Blackbeards from ya cabin boys. The tricksiest angles be on the lid. Observe:

Here ye want the sides of the lid to stick together at fourty five degrees but the top (and sloping edges) is t' be filled with slats and instead be needing a nice square piece taking out for the slats to fit in all smooth like.

Arr! That be the right way lad!

If ya cutting be not as smooth as ye be liking ye may need to fill in the gaps between the slats with some wood filler, something ye can pick up from the craven pigswine at ya local 'Homebase'.

When you have cut up all the pieces, including a nice bottom for the base of yer chest, ye be ready for gluing. Gluing requires a bit of patience as ye have to wait for it all to dry together, being pirates ye can speed things along a bit with some sturdy nails:

Awesome. When everything is dry ye be needing to sand it all down to be nice and smooth, like a lady be. For that special touch a nice bit of veneer can be ironed on t' the top edges of ya chest. If ye has been paying attention ye should have something like this on yer ship:

It be at this point that ye should have some fittings, ye need t' decide on ya method of locking the chest, ya hinges and ya handles. If any of these need holes making then now be the best time ta do it as the next part be the staining of the wood ta pirate colours! Yarrrr!

I be favouring the walnut stain, but ye nautical milage may vary. I went for a key lock as well which ye may be able to make out. Now if ye be impatient like me ye be moving straight on t' doing the fittings now, but ye should really be getting the wood nice and varnished at this point. Then ye be saving having to varnish around ye fittings. If everything be going right ye should be able to attach yer fittings t' ya varnished chest and get something a little like this:

Arrr! It be sight ta warm me black heart!

If ye be the right person, then ye be having a key like this:

Which be able to get the chest open. Ye be noticing the lid supported by the little chain:

Arr it be empty! A pirate be changing that fer the better!

Yarrr, that be far improved, lets be heading in fer a close up:

Ye can see the captain's log book, a bottle of pirate booze, the skull of me ex-worst enemy Captain Cutlass, a nice belt knife, a secret treasure map, assorted jewelery and lots of pieces of eight!

A right royal hoard!

I hope ye enjoyed me guide and I be wishing ye further fortune on ye travels.

* This guide ablely assisted by: Wayne of the Woods , Homebase , Skulls Direct , Dead Men Tell No Tales , Weapons Galore , Country Crafts , Hobbycraft , a few other local stores and eveyone else who helped me out with ideas, patience and secrecy.

- 21 comments by 2 or more people Not publicly viewable

[Skip to the latest comment]
  1. I really want to make one of those…

    10 May 2005, 00:26

  2. Argh, yonder chest be ripe for tha lutin and plunderin, me say!

    10 May 2005, 01:09

  3. rockin. much respect for all the effort

    10 May 2005, 01:34

  4. I was wondering where you'd gotten that from; it's so much more impressive that you made it yourself. Nice work :–)

    10 May 2005, 07:51

  5. Arrrr, ye'll be impressing all the scurvy wenches with ye designs and riches!

    10 May 2005, 07:53

  6. 'Tis a fine chest, lad, and fine booty to fill it. Any advice on the plunderin', though?

    10 May 2005, 11:23

  7. Avast! t'is the most piratey–chest I ever did see!

    10 May 2005, 19:11

  8. Sean Connolly

    Yarr! Pirate booty!

    12 May 2005, 02:01

  9. my village was destroyed by real live pirates!

    12 May 2005, 02:14

  10. Why not just scrounge around for genuine sea chest? I found one on the beach once. True – you don't get much that is authentic around Warwick.

    Anyway, on the subject of pirates, I recommend "The Pirate Wars" by Peter Earle: link, an interesting history of piracy including the under–reported white slave trade in the med executed by Muslim Africans.

    13 May 2005, 00:28

  11. /sigh. Why don't we just politicise everything and ban fun completely?

    13 May 2005, 02:03

  12. It was much more fun to make it me'self Adam.

    Also not particularly easy to carry a chest from the nearest beach given my location in the midlands and lack of a car. Plus the relative rarity of chests lying on beaches that I've noticed in my experience seemed to make it an almost non–starter of an idea.

    As to buying a chest; it would have been much harder to get the exact look I wanted and from the ones I saw, as if not more expensive.

    I don't have time to check out what I assume to be a fairly long link right now, but thankyou for it I will check it out later. I'm aware that in reality pirates were right bastards who would slaughter women and children for a few pieces of eight, but I like to live in a fun and imaginative world most of the time because thats the kind of crazy happy person I am.

    13 May 2005, 10:54

  13. Actually, of course I have no idea if this is correct, but on a recent episode of an american sitcom, one of the characters notes after going to Disneyworld, that for instance the Pirates of the Caribbean were in fact good family men with strong morals.

    My point. Pirates are still people.^^

    Disclaimer: I note now the specificity of the pirates and that I am in no way implying anything which pertains to the disillusionment of your image of who pirates were and how they behaved.

    15 May 2005, 11:29

  14. I'm assuming that the sitcom was being sarcastic, since that sounds like the exact opposite of a pirate. A pirate paradoy if you will. All pirates are essentially muggers, scaled up and on water, but muggers all the same. Hardly what I'd call stong morals, unless of course you see them as Robin Hood figures who just forgot the part about giving to the poor. However pirates have a romance and mystique about them which your average street mugger never managed, its all about the outfits, lingo and wild awesome attitude.

    See my blog entry on Blackbeard for an example of a true pirate. Note the many, many wives.

    I'm sure there were some lovely pirates, but they were probably crap at the job since a fair amount of slaughter and theft comes with the territory.

    15 May 2005, 14:07

  15. i expect the pirates in disneyworld are actually very nice people with good morals.

    15 May 2005, 20:11

  16. Will Oliphant

    Yeah, I'm not sure that pirates were real family–men. If their frequent use of the word booty is anything to go by they were probably more like Snoop Dogg.

    17 May 2005, 11:31

  17. Pirates, like most people, aren't the same thing at all times and all places. They vary according to their individual charateristics and histoirical and cultural context.

    The early European pirates weren't such a bad sort and did have a strong code overall. The really murderous pirates only came much later, in the 18the century, when law enforcement created a culture of "dead men tell no tales".

    The growth of the state, and the increasinly pervasive violence of the state, is intricately linked to the violence of those who would oppose it. "9/11" happened the way it did because it was a way that a non–state group could strike hard against the state in a situation of massive military a–symmetry. In another time they would have attacked a military target or at least given more play to the ethics of not harming civilians (true Bin Laden doesn't care for civilians at all but then he too is a product, not a cause, of the times).

    Pirates – the worse pirates in history are on the seas today. The prey on containers ships and yachts in places like the Malacca Straits and are often in collusion with corrupt agents of the local sh–*t hole states that block international policing by using the veil of "sovereignty".

    Entire crewes are murdered so that no one can tell anything to law enforcement, but as long as its only a handful of sailors being murdered (usually from poor countries) the West is content to play along with soverign fantasies of the third rate dumps that harbour modern pirates (just as, until recently, they tolerated such dumps that supported terrorism).

    Piracy is an interesting subject and one that cuts to the dark heart of the nature and history of the modern state.

    26 May 2005, 18:50

  18. Oh – and on making everything political?

    Everything IS political. I'd rather it wasn't but it simply is whether you can see that or not!

    26 May 2005, 18:51

  19. monkey typist

    hi, i found you through loz's blog, i only read one post so far, but i love the pirate stuff! its fantastic, have some treasure.


    30 May 2005, 17:36

  20. We all know the politicisation of everything, but we can quite happily ignore it and get on with our lives in the persuit of happiness rather than analysis.
    I be the governor's daughter who was whisked away by this scurvy sea dog, The joy of whom is being able to escaoe from the real world and into a dream where politics doesn't matter and hence I don't get pissed off every five minutes.

    30 May 2005, 17:58

  21. Mathew Mannion

    How to make a very political statement for absolutely no reason on a post that doesn't even reference it in any way – 5 points

    04 Jun 2005, 14:25

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