After a lot of various obstacles such as a course north of the Polar circle, a heavy storm and 80 cubic meter of sea shells - today seemed like the right day to end the project.
The traditional way of attaching the beckets to the cleats is by means of an axle made out of rope. In order to make a nice diamond knot, you need at least some 4 stranded rope (or a higher number).
I don't have any rope of that kind lying about, and I don't want to purchase some just for making two small axles. So instead I decided to turn some axles instead.
I made the axles out of some old apple tree that I had once saved for turning purposes. Turning old fruit tree like apple, pear or plum etc. is a joy. The turning itself went conspicuously smooth, and that is rather strange since I don't do much turning. I turned two axles with a dome shaped end, and two loose domes that were drilled out afterwards - and then glued on to the axles (with the beckets installed)
I made the recesses of the cleats little deeper, to accommodate the domes, and then I simply screwed them onto the ends of the chest. I didn't use any glue in case someone will want to disassemble the arrangement in the future to renew the beckets when they are worn out.
For a finish I have thought about painting the chest, but I ended up deciding for a pure oil finish. I read on the can of Kamelia oil I have, that it can be used as a finish. Since the whole chest has been sort of an experiment, a new type of finish seemed just right. The oil penetrated the wood impressively easy, and I have now left the first coat to dry. I guess that I will add three coats in total.
What did I learn about this build:
The correct tools really do a difference. A scrub plane was probably the biggest difference from my previous sea chest build.
The nice looking Crown of Sheffield chisels that I had brought with me are nice looking and comfortable to use, but they can't hold the edge. They are so soft that I had to resharpen them way too often considering that the wood is soft pine. So I don't recommend anyone to buy that model of chisels. It is actually a shame since the tapers of the sides are nice and thin, and the name Sheffield used to be synonymous with high quality steel years ago.
Peer pressure got me into making beckets and cleats. Looking at the finished chest, I have decided that I think they look a little too extravagant. I have to admit that I am more into Shaker simplicity than fancy rope work. But I guess that I would never have found out if I hadn't tried.
All in all a nice little project that is possible to make even without a proper workbench.
Sea chest with beckets
Small sea chest with beckets
A blown out hole in the barn made by the heavy weather.