Woodworking

Camp Furniture for Pennsic War

5 June 2011

We’re going to our very first Pennsic War in just 58 days … and I am beyond excited. I’ve wanted to go to Pennsic since the mid ’90s when I first discovered the SCA. My friend Tracy (Duchess AnneMarie de Garmeaulx) raved about it to me, and it’s been on my “bucket list” ever since. And this year I’m going with my son and Gregor. Tracy is lending me her pavilion (thank you, Tracy!), but everything else I need to make or buy. It’s going to be a busy summer!

Beyond needing loads of garb, we need camp furniture. The metal-and-polyester camp chairs and air mattress we use for mundane camping are not going to cut it for us. If we’re doing Pennsic, we’re doing it right. So here’s my list of furniture I need to construct:

  • Table — for eating on, doing crafts on
  • Benches – for sitting on at the table, or wherever
  • Chairs (with backs) for sitting
  • Beds – for sleeping (of course!)
  • Wardrobe – for hanging clothes
  • Chest – for storing food

Yikes, that’s a lot of stuff to make! Two I can cross off the list already — I bought a simple metal-and-canvas wardrobe from Wal-Mart for $15. It will be inside the pavilion and no one will see it, so no worries there. And the benches I’ve already made — they are simple plywood benches that come apart for flat transport. Nothing fancy, but with a coat or two of stain, they’ll look pretty good, I think. Here is the bench pattern I adapted for my own use (many thanks to Charles Fleming), and here’s what the benches look like, unstained:

Simple Camp Benches

So I think the next furniture project I will tackle is a table. I need something that packs flat in the van, is easy to assemble and dissemble, is sturdy, and is large enough for three people to use comfortably — yet is simple to make and not too costly. A tall order, probably. I am searching for table plans — here are my ideas:

A Trestle Table with Tusk Tenon Joints

A Portable Trestle Table

Mock Trestle Table Project <– I really like this one!

My thinking is that I can use this table as a sewing table when it’s not in use at camp, as I really need a nice, big table for all my sewing project.

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