Viking Boozebox

Last weekend, our good friend, Vyncent atte Wodegate, graciously helped Karius and I make this amazingly cool box he designed. He calls it a Viking cocktail chest; we call it our Viking boozebox. 🙂  Ever since we saw his, we knew that we had to have one. Vyncent is such a nice guy that he shared his plans with us and even guided us in making one in his garage! Our other good friend, Denis of New Forest, joined us and made one for himself.

Ready to do some serious work!
Ready to do some serious work!

Vyncent has been working on writing the instructions for others to make their own boxes, and we got to be the guinea pigs. First, we traced out the patterns based on his diagrams. Then, we made all of our cuts. This is my second carpentry project, so while I have some familiarity with cutting wood, I’m still not that great at it. We used a jigsaw for most of the cuts. I much prefer it to the circular saw that I used when I built bunk beds for my son and stepson. The jigsaw gives you a lot more control in my opinion.

Me cutting with a jigsaw Karius cutting with jigsaw

We did a pretty good job with our cuts for a couple of noobs, although there were a couple of mistakes that gave us trouble later on.

After all of our cutting was done, we started assembling the pieces. Since we were using old style, large nails, we pre-drilled our holes to keep the wood from splitting. For the top of the seat part of the box, we had to chisel out a small channel so that when it folded up with the other pieces of the top, it would all lay flat and fit nicely together. It was my first time using a chisel, and it was pretty cool. We used a thin bladed pull saw to cut down to the depth we wanted the channel to be, then used a chisel to chip away the wood. Afterwards, we sanded it down to smooth it out and ensure that it fit properly the with other pieces. We had to do the same with those bits, too.

Chiseling away at the top part of the box where it comes together with the other pieces of the top.
Chiseling away at the top part of the box where it comes together with the other pieces of the top.
Detail of the chiseled channel. That knot in the middle gave us some trouble.
Detail of the chiseled channel. That knot in the middle gave us some trouble.

Then, we nailed the top onto the rest of the seat assembly.

Seat part of the box assembled
Seat part of the box assembled

After that, we assembled the other components of the box and put them together to see how they fit.

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For whatever reason (probably a combo of our lack of cutting skills and using some sub-par, warped wood), our box was really off on some parts and we had to do some major adjustments to get it to look (mostly) right. Vyncent was a champ and did most of the tweaking. It mostly entailed grinding down pieces to make them lay properly. But we also ended up adding a small block and notch to make the top part lay correctly.

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Small wood block held on with epoxy and two small nails to keep the lid in place
Small wood block held on with epoxy and two small nails to keep the lid in place

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After we were satisfied with the fit, we attached the hardware which we ordered from here. These are some hardcore hinges, and they really make the box look cool. To cover the modern Phillips head screws, we used some black screw covers and glued them on with superglue. Then, we stained the outside with Danish Oil in Golden Oak.

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Doesn’t it look like an emoji!? 😀
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Complete with an Anti-Bellatrix Device (aka lock)! 😉 J/k, love you, Brion! 😀

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Pretty fabulous, right? I still need to make a small cutting board and some smaller boxes to go inside like the ones on Vyncent’s (you can see them in his blog post about the box here). Here it is with all our booze inside:

With just the right top open
With just the right top open
Fully open. It even fits really tall bottles and our vintage cocktail tool box!
Fully open. It even fits really tall bottles and our vintage cocktail tool box!

Another wonderful thing about this box is that while it is very useful, it also looks great, so I have no problem leaving it in my living room as decorative extra seating when we’re not using it at an event.

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Making this thing was a lot of work and we sweated our butts off for the better part of two days, but it was definitely worth it! I not only ended up with a super cool, useful piece of furniture but I also learned a lot and got to spend quality time with my husband and friends. Win, win, win!


About Apollonia

Apollonia lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, and plays in the SCA in the Kingdom of the West. She loves learning about and making stuff.

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