powder box


April 13, 2010, 12:39 PM
Being a reenactor, I was think its goofy when we make an "authentic" camp and yet we have totes and coolers under modern tarps and pretend thats how things were done. Anyways I found a guy that sells repro civil war boxes. On his website he listed dimensions so I borrowed them to make my own. I admit I tweaked them a bit but not too much to be noticable. I built a cooler and labeled it as a canister shot box but wont post that unless someone asks. For my powder stoage, oil, jags and the like I built a box close to specs for a .44 cal ammo crate. Now my stencels were a bit oversized so I had to tweak the lettering a bit but still looks good. anyways heres the pics Ive rambled enough.http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v395/gambit814/civil%20war/IMG00012-20100413-1217.jpg


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April 13, 2010, 12:56 PM
Nicely done. Certainly a whole lot better than a Rubbermaid tote box.

Now, ditch the WD-40, Pyrodex and APP....

April 13, 2010, 01:13 PM
looks nice, maybe some staining and weathering and it'll look like an original. It's been on my list awhile to do some dovetailed ammo boxes as well.
And yes...lose the fake powders....I swear if fed regulation didn't impose shipping and storage regulations on black powder in the 1970's, then the fakes would have never come about...I've given them a fair try, but too many misfires, moist powder, corrosive fouling....I'll stick with black powder anyday, plus you gotta love that smell :D

April 13, 2010, 02:02 PM
I plan on buying real powder soon I bought this stuff a year ago when I couldnt find real powder so i wanna use it before i get the real stuff. The wd 40 is just a quick fix so the guns dont rust in the morning dew. I have a powder supplier now.


April 13, 2010, 02:03 PM
Seriously nicely done. And what a great idea!

My only observation would be that I doubt they had spray bombs back in the CW era so your overspray isn't really period correct.

There's a couple of ways I can imagine them marking the boxes back then but I'm not sure which would have been used. The first would be a metal stencil and a semi dry brush of paint would be used to stipple the letters onto the box. The paint would have a slightly rough look to the coverage with perhaps the odd splotch or dribble where the brush would be too wet. Similarly some of the areas and edges of the letters would have a jagged look where the paint didn't take or didn't cover well to them because this was being done fast in a production manner and all that is needed is enough paint to be able to clearly read the letters. So it would pay to be a little quick and cavalier on this aspect.

The other method could be that a slightly curved "stamp" would be used to print the lettering with a bit of a rolling action similar to the curved blotters you see in some of the old B&W movies. The paint would be applied to the raised letters and the stamp rolled over the surface. Again, due to the wood grain and issues with the paint not fully covering the stamp the letters would be rough looking and have somewhat jagged edges. But neither method would include an overspray pattern.

If you want to have another go at it I'd suggest first sand off the present lettering. And then, since these boxes were made very roughly, I'd try wetting the wood to raise the grain. After it's dried use your stencil again but this time stipple the paint on using the tip of a stiff brush lightly wetted with paint and jabbed end on at the stencil letters. Be quick and don't try to make it look TOO nice. The kid or old grey hair too young or too old to join up doing the originals back then would not be too worried about making it look perfect.

But before you add the lettering a coat or two of boiled linseed would provide some subtle but appreciated protection for the wood. You'd want to do this after the water used to raise the grain is dried away but before the stencilling.

April 13, 2010, 10:18 PM
I can sand off the overspray but I already sprayed thompson water seal on it but I plan on leavin the empty box outside so the wind and rain can age it. When I get home ill post the cooler


April 14, 2010, 01:24 AM
Since you plan on redoing it, rather than paint,
why not burn the lettering into the wood using
a wood burning kit?
It would look like the maker used a branding iron.
Actually, the photos pretty much make it appear
that it was done using that method already.
And I kind of like it just the way it is.
The little bit of over spray makes it look like it
was burned in extra hot!
On second thought, just leave it the way it is!!!! :)




As low as $10:


April 14, 2010, 01:54 PM
Ive actually got a souldering iron/wood buring tool but it doesnt get used very often. Im not artistic enough to burn it in. I plan on building one more box, probably an enfield ammo crate, but that one is going to be built out of old cedar a fellow reenactors giving me from when he tore down a fence. I dont need the box to look too old yet as this is the 1860 year but I do plan on letting it sit outside(empty of course) between events so mother nature can do her thing. btw heres the cooler



The insulation is 3/4 inch sheet foam on the sides bottom and lid, with a garbage bag liner for easy clean up. Tomorrow its gonna be around 80 here so It will be a good test day.


April 14, 2010, 02:22 PM
That looks great!! Nice job! :)

April 14, 2010, 04:21 PM
Ooooo... I hadn't thought about the idea that they may have branded the labels onto the boxes. Given the technology of the time I would not be surprised if that's exactly what they did. A wood stove with a cast iron brand mounted to one side that the box is just pushed up against to sear the lettering into the wood sounds like it would have been a natural sort of thing for the time.

Gambit, although I seem to be jumping all over this the fact remains that you did a good job making these and they do look great. And I'm sure they will be the hit of the field when you show up with them.

April 14, 2010, 07:13 PM
Maybe ill try wood burning on my next box only problem is my stencils are paper. As for the army box my guess is you could fit 4 cans of goex standing up in one pluss the cleaning and shooting stuff with room to spare. If I didn't have the blocks in the lid you could probably fit six.


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