Pennsic Box

A medieval wooden cargo box

Wooden box
Wooden Pennsic Box
model credit: Topher Belknap

I participate in medieval recreation with the Society for Creative Anachronism. Every year there is a large gathering in Western Pensylvania, called The Pennsic War. For two weeks, like minded people get together to recreate what it might have been like to attend a medieval tournament. To a greater or lesser extent (depending on the individual) attempts are made to leave behind modern things, problems, and mindsets. With that in mind I felt I wanted to carry some of the vast amount of stuff that accumulates in connection with such a venture, in a recepticle in keeping with the spirit of the event.

Thus was born, this wooden box, it is constructed for the most part from a single board, and uses simple pegged construction. The pegs are put in at random angles to ensure that the joints can't be forced open.

Here is a plan for the box including a cut sheet for a the single 1"x 12", 12 foot long board. It should be noted that the plan assumes real dimensions on the lumber, not nominal planed lumber you would normally see nowadays. Some slight modifications would be needed if nominal lumber is used. It will also scale if you have a smaller board. People with shorter than average arms, may want to reduce the length of the box to make it easier to carry.

The rope handles, should be sized to come comfortably above the level of the top for ease of carrying. The rope should be 1/2" diameter, and hemp for strict authenticity. There is a 1/2" hole going through the handle and box end piece, and a larger 3/4" hole on the inside of the end piece to hide the knot (this only goes 5/8" into the board). An overhand knot is the simplest and most authentic knot for this application. A Matthew Walker knot would lend a little elegance at the expense of some authenticity. And the end of the rope should be served, as shown.

This box is very rugged, and can easily be filled with reasonably heavy items (say, full bottles). If desired, the box can be lined with foam insulation, and used as a cooler, either by using ice packs, or by water sealing the insulation.

The Google Sketch up plans can be downloaded here. or at the Google warehoouse.