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Camping Chuck Box

Discussion in 'Woodworkers' Completed Projects' started by Sprung, Jun 28, 2018.

  1. Sprung

    Sprung Amateur Sawdust Maker Full Member Thread Starter

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    I had a relatively short amount of time to build this before we had left on the vacation we recently returned from. I've been able to get my wife interested in camping, which is something I grew up doing a lot of, but that she wasn't in to, so I hadn't been camping in a while. Knowing that my wife still likes at least some creature comforts, about two weeks before we left on our trip, I proposed the building of a Chuck Box to serve as camp kitchen and store all our cooking items. I designed this one myself, borrowing ideas mainly from one that someone else had built. It houses all of our camp kitchen items, save for a few larger items. Built from 1/4" and 1/2" ACX sanded ply. Fully loaded with gear, the chuck box weighs about 65ish lbs. It does have a handle on each side for moving it around.

    In progress.

    CB1.jpg

    Completed

    34750877_10160393374370463_5575902852074700800_n.jpg

    It's designed to fold up and nest in the base. I didn't like it nesting in the base - and had planned for the base to slide down over the top for transport - but I forgot to factor in the little bit of overhang from the piano hinges for the open up top. So before our next trip I will take an hour or so and redo the base a little so it can slide down over the unit and make it easier to set up. It was a pain to slide it out of the upside down base, so I'd rather just be able to slide the base off over the top.

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    Here it is in use. The long spot on the bottom, where some canned goods are stored while camp is set up, is where the camp stove goes when it's put away. There's plenty of space in here for everything my family of 4 needs to cook and eat while camping. One thing that also helps with keeping everything stored nicely and not having too much excess is the early Father's Day gift my wife got for me - a GSI cooking set designed for cooking for up to 4 people. 2 pots, a pan, two strainer lids, 4 plates, 4 bowls, and 4 cups with lids all nest together into one unit for storage. I knew early that I was going to be getting it so that I could plan measurements of compartments to fit it in nicely.

    35812701_10160442869680463_1962646376047181824_n.jpg

    Shot of our campsite where we spent 4 nights. Despite having to deal with a good amount of rain and wet, my wife is looking forward to going camping again. The two times I've gotten her to go camping it's been rainy, so I'm thankful she hasn't given up on camping yet. We did get a little bit of water in the tent, but nothing serious and we all slept dry. We didn't use the picnic table or area around it much since it was a mud put most of the time we were there.

    35841652_10160446864270463_4006606528936148992_n.jpg

    In addition to the chuck box, I built a secondary box to hold a lot of our other gear and random items for camping. It was conceived as a place to store the pie tins and the camp toaster and to, along with the chuck box, have almost all our loose gear in either of the two boxes and make it easier to get loaded up to go camping, since all the little and loose stuff you could spend a while tracking down is all contained. It also makes it very easy to find what you need while at the campsite.

    36316233_10160469651970463_8174010955487772672_n.jpg

    Mostly full. Now, those bear headlamps were a Christmas gift for our boys from a family member. Nothing like having your kid run up to you with the head of a bear strapped to his head, with the bear's eyes glowing...

    36343677_10160469652390463_2055012203253202944_n.jpg
     
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  2. woodtickgreg

    woodtickgreg scroll, flat, spin Staff Member Global Moderator Forum Moderator Founding Member Full Member

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    Very cool Matt, I dig it all!:cool:
     
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  3. kweinert

    kweinert Member Full Member

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    Seems like having the base on the top would make it easier to carry as well. But will you then need to add a bottom to the box? Seems like if you don't then you'll risk flaking the bottom plywood and having the drawer fall out (unless I'm missing something.)

    Looks very nice. My wife and I have given up on the tent aspects of camping and have a small lightweight trailer. Something like would still be useful as we do cook outside a lot.
     
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  4. Sprung

    Sprung Amateur Sawdust Maker Full Member Thread Starter

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    The box itself has a full bottom and could be used set on anything, really. I'm not concerned about it falling apart. Not pictured is the skids I installed on the bottom of both boxes to make it easier to slide around in the back of our van, plus allows it so that even if the box is set on the ground, the plywood isn't in direct contact with the ground.

    Eventually, probably a few years down the road, we hope to move up to a small pop-up camper but would still plan to use this chuck box. If I'm camping, I'd rather be cooking outside - especially since we often have at least one component of our meals being cooked by the campfire.
     
  5. kweinert

    kweinert Member Full Member

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    I see - I just misread the picture.

    We moved up from a tent to a small popup (Livin Lite) and then when it became a chore for my wife to head out to the restrooms at night we went to the small trailer we have now.
     
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  6. Eric Rorabaugh

    Eric Rorabaugh Member Full Member

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    Very cool. It's good to have the camping gear in one place. It's a PITA to go searching for everything when you need to get going on Friday evening after work.
     
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  7. Nature Man

    Nature Man Member Full Member

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    Nice setup! You really thought through your needs and customized well. Now enjoy it as much as possible. Chuck
     
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  8. gman2431

    gman2431 Member Full Member

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    Very cool dude!!

    Easiest part of getting the significant other to do new things outdoors is doing it comfortably!

    When wife and I first started dating I took her ice fishing... she lasted about 2 hours. Went again with her in real clothes and it was all day and she had a blast and always wants to go now.
     
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  9. CWS

    CWS Member Full Member

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    Get looking box.
     
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  10. ripjack13

    ripjack13 ɹǝʇɹɐqpooʍ Staff Member Global Moderator Forum Moderator Full Member

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    Nice job matt. Thats a great idea.
    Well done sir....
     
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  11. Tony

    Tony Hardwood Enthusiast Staff Member Global Moderator Full Member

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    Very cool Matt, well thought out and executed! Tony
     
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  12. drycreek

    drycreek Member Full Member

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    Very nice I camped a great deal in my earlier years and man that would have been nice to have. Great job!
     
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  13. rocky1

    rocky1 Creator of Shavings and Sawdust! Full Member

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    I'll have to get you pictures of my Propane Lantern box. Didn't like the plastic ones they offered, no room for spare bottle of gas. The one I built tucks everything away nice and tight, holds lantern, base, 2 bottles of gas, spare mantles fit neatly in pocket in the back corner molded out of Budweiser can. Rope handle so it stacks nicely if necessary. Has served me well for many years.
     
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  14. NYWoodturner

    NYWoodturner Wood Spinner Staff Member Administrator Global Moderator Full Member

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    That’s a hell of a set-up Matt! Nicely done
     
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  15. barry richardson

    barry richardson Moderator Staff Member Global Moderator Full Member

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    very ingenious design! your all set for glamping:wink:
     
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  16. Sprung

    Sprung Amateur Sawdust Maker Full Member Thread Starter

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    Ha! Unless we someday get a pop up camper, this will be as close to glamping as we get. But, I gotta give my wife some creature comforts - the more she enjoys the camping trips, the more often we'll get to go on them!

    I've long wanted to do a backpacking trip, but I'm not certain my wife would ever be up for that kind of trip and I wouldn't want to do it without her.
     
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  17. barry richardson

    barry richardson Moderator Staff Member Global Moderator Full Member

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    I'm pretty much at the glamping phase now, my back can't handle sleeping on the ground anymore. Wife and I have been looking at pop-up campers lately....
     
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  18. rocky1

    rocky1 Creator of Shavings and Sawdust! Full Member

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    :cowboy: :cowboy: :cowboy: :cowboy:The pop-up camper experience, is a step up from a tent, but you will learn to hate the damn thing, believe me!

    Because...

    Your wife will want you to set it up, so she can clean and pack everything before you go camping, then set it up when you go camping, and set it up again when you get home, so she can clean it up.

    So for every camping trip you go on, you will face having to set it up, at least 3 times!

    When the big ugly storms roll in while camping, you'll probably have to tear it down, sleep in the van, and set it back up the next morning, or try to put it all back together after the wind blows it apart and spread mattress pads, bed linens, sleeping bags, clothes, whatever, to dry the next day. Wherein, either way, you get to set it up at least 4 times that weekend. If storms roll in more than once, you might get to practice that 5 - 6 times in a weekend!

    Don't ask me how I know these things!

    They do beat sleeping on the ground, but they aren't nearly as much fun as they look like they might be.
     
  19. Patrude

    Patrude Member Full Member

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    I gotta say you did one heck of a super job right there. Got pretty much all the bases covered. Organized so well too. Impressive
     
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  20. rocky1

    rocky1 Creator of Shavings and Sawdust! Full Member

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    Here you go Matt... Not sure what model lantern you may have but, model number is on the base last picture if you have one of these. According to a number of listings on Flea Bay, it's "Vintage" but available. (I wonder what the hell that makes me if I was 40 years old when I bought it?)

    If not, you might want to check measurements before you build. This is constructed strictly out of 1/2" plywood.


    KIMG0947.jpg

    Inside dimensions, just in case you decide to use different materials... 8" deep x 13" wide x 9" high - INSIDE

    Handle on the lantern fits kinda snug just inside the lid, looks to wide in this picture, but it does go in there.

    KIMG0948.jpg

    Left side is 7 1/4" wide inside dimensions. 8" from outside left, to center of divider using 1/2" plywood.

    Hole for the base in the divider is 4" diameter.

    KIMG0949.jpg

    Don't know why I used a Bud Light can there, it was apparently left by an in-law or something. I drink Bud Heavy!! Were you a Baptist preacher, I'd tell you to use a Coke can, but you being a Lutheran minister you can get away with a bud light can in there. :wink:

    Chain has a small carabiner on both ends and is about a foot long. Works great for hanging it from most anything, better yet if you have a short rope to accompany that.

    KIMG0950.jpg

    Model number...

    KIMG0953.jpg
     
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