dochoovie
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[REF] Chest, Field, Modified

Tue Jan 09, 2007 21:16

I'm working on recreating MD Chest No. 1- Chest, Field, Modified. (see picture link)

Image

I started with a footlocker I got at a good price and went from there. Not as deep as it should be, but it's what I had to work with. Can someone send me or post a picture of what the markings on the lid may have looked like?

I never would have undertaken something like this had I not seen this website and all the great information here. The inspiration came from studying the 'medical chest' section and just deciding it's something I really wanted to do. Thanks to all for the work you do to keep this running and often updated, and to all who contribute. This site is truely an asset to the medical reenacting community.

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Ben
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Tue Jan 09, 2007 22:27

Doc,

That sure is a great idea, and I had never thought of attempting to modify a chest to represent MD 1. I may be very tempted to have a stab at this, now I have seen he results that you have obtained. Just a quick question for you, how have you managed to secure the support legs within the lid of the chest?

As for the markings on the chest, I really am not sure on this one, although I would be tempted to say that like other Medical Chests, the MD 1 featured only markings on either end (i.e. as shown in the article). I am sure that Roger may be able to offer up some further information on this subject, as has a great deal of knowledge about the Medical Chest and its markings.

Many thanks for your encouraging comments about the site, and I hope that the asnwer has been of use,
Ben
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docdean64
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Wed Jan 10, 2007 06:27

THe quick answer is some were labeled on top, some not. Photographic study tends to suggest the earlier war configuration, had NO top marks. The later war versions did appear to be stenciled, 2", white, on top centered in the middle of the top, as follows:

First Line: " 9757000 "
Second Line: "Chest, MD No. 1 "

Obviously yours will feature different nomenclature.

Now, your chest looks GREAT!!! How about sharing some detailed info and pics about how to do it? I have wanted to do this for years but have no good photos, live references or good clues! PLEASE help us out!
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dochoovie
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Wed Jan 10, 2007 20:57

Thanks for the kind words and support!
First off, let me say that I did this by the seat of my pants. I don’t do drawings or things like that well. It was a lot of ‘do this part, fit it to that part, figure out how to make it work with the other part…’ and some of this shows. I’m the kind of guy who buys the $1 cigar box of nuts bolts and junk at yard sales- just in case you ever need an odd item, and a few things I used came from these boxes. All I had to work with was the 1 picture here on the webpage. I had to take some artistic license with things like the table hinge because I have no clue what the configuration is. But, all in all I wanted to have something that looked fairly close to the actual chest.

Below is the picture of the footlocker I started with. It’s not as deep as the chest should be, coming in at around 8” internally not counting the headspace in the lid.

Chest

Lid

These pictures are the table top. It is made of 2 pieces of ¾” thick wood side by side for a total width of 15”. It is 23 ¼” long. On the underside of the table is a strip going the whole way around another ¾” thick. The strips hold the 2 table top pieces together nailed from the bottom- no nails are present on the writing/work surface.

Top Side

Underside

The way to hinge the tabletop was a bugger. I didn’t want all kinds of hardware protruding from the lid (bolt heads, nuts, etc.). My solution was to cut a piece of ½” dowel rod the exact width of the lid inside. I drilled a pilot hole on each end of the rod. Using the wood strips on the underside of the table top, I created a channel for the dowel to run through. I placed the rod inside then secured it in the channel by placing another strip over top of it. This strip in no way binds the rod- this enables the table top to swing into position and back on the rod. A simple hinge. I took the rod and table assembly and fastened it inside the lid by screwing through the lid from outside into the pilot holes in the rod. The table assembly is now mounted to the lid.

Below 1

Below 2

Dowel Close-Up

Lid Side

Next I tried to figure out the length of the support legs from about mid-table to back inside the lid, taking into account the support inside the lid that the legs would engage. I cut 2 thin strips of plywood for the legs. Then put holes under the table to connect the legs. The 2 extra holes in the table shows I didn’t figure too well where they should fall. First the table was sloped down, 2nd it was canted up. So I put a 3rd hole between them. Hey, it worked.

Support

The legs are connected to the table via screws up top, and have another length of dowel between them at bottom for support and to catch the latch. The latch looks like an old window pull I found, and it fit the dowel perfectly. I attached the latch to wood and mounted it inside the lid with bolts.

Catch

Setup

A small piece of “L” shaped metal holds the table top in place in the lid. It is fastened through the back wall. The width of the table top is about 2” shorter then the inside of the lid, so it easily slips over the metal clip to swing out.

Inside Lid

Metal Clip

Clip Screws

All that's left is to redo the outside of the chest. Sorry Helen Estock of Yonkers, NY- it can't stay that way forever!
In a nutshell, that's how I did it. Someone with more skill who can think it through first can no doubt inprove on this. Hope this sparks some ideas!

dochoovie
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Wed Jan 10, 2007 21:08

I've assembled the above post into a document I can also email to anyone interested.

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Fri Jan 12, 2007 05:43

Great stuff!! Thanks for putting that together for u!! I have two chests that I have been wanting to modify to this type chest, but didn't have any good photos/references to work with.

I'll post some of what I end up with when I get done!
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dochoovie
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Sat Jan 13, 2007 15:10

There is something on this chest I did want to expound on. One problem I ran into and have to live with unless I redesign it concerns the support legs. The legs are meant to fold up under the table for storage. The length of the legs are too big to fit (they want to push into the lid when folded up). The only option I'm left with is to use wingnuts on the screws holding the legs on, taking them off to store. Not a big deal, but it's not right. Perhaps shorter legs fastened not past the midpoint of the table, and running down to the support at a steeper angle would work. If someone figures out a way to overcome this, let me know how you did it. I may try on my own as well.

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Sat Jan 13, 2007 15:39

Doc,

Looking at the illustrations, I would say that the support legs actually fold to the front of the table top. I have added an arrow to the illustration below to illustrate the point:

Image

The supports, by folding this way should be rotated approximately 275 degrees, as apposed to the 45 degrees. It may be necessary for you to calculate the necessary lengths and measurements for the folding supports using Pythagoras' Theorum.

I hope that I posted that clearly enough, let me know if its a bit unclear,

Many thanks,
Ben

dochoovie
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Sat Jan 13, 2007 16:01

Hey Ben-

I must have missed the day we talked about the Pythagoras' Theorum in math class! I used Hoovie's Theorum and it just didn't work out! Anyway, I see that I most likely have my support inside the lid too low, causing the legs to be too long. At that point I became frustrated with it and needed to walk away from it for a few days. I will revisit this item again and see if I can come up with a better solution. Thanks for the insight!

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Tue Feb 20, 2007 03:18

Well I finally got around to tackling the MD1 project today. Much like Doc Hoovies MD1 I just assembled mine from spare bits and parts that were around the garage. I think it ended up looking acceptable until I can find a real one (eyes rolling). I started with a foot locker and added a section of 2x2 lumber across the top of the lids inside, to that I attached the table top section with "T" hinges. I like Doc Hoovie was absent the day they taught Pythagoras' Theorum, so I just winged it on the braces!!.I made mine from 1/2" flat metal. I added an "L" bracket to the underside of the table section and drilled a hole in the top of the metal brace that will accept a pin to keep it secure. The tail end of the brace runs down to the lid interior and to another 1x2 board that acts as a ledge. The legs have to be removedwhen storing the unit. I suspect like Ben says these swung up and around the opposite direction and were probably one continuous assembly shaped like an elongated "U". I did not add "side skirts" to the bottom side of the table, nor the divider to the central part of the chest as I did not have any suitable lumber, but may go back later and do this. I was careful to select a trunk that that I had two of as these were used as treatment tables in pairs if you look at period photos and diagrams. One thing I have not done yet was build a litter cradle. When turned on their sides and used as a litter stand the MD1 employs a section of flat metal as a litter holder that is curved 90 degrees upwards on each end. This holder / cradle then fits to the ends of the chest somehow and retains the litters as the litters are too wide for the chest. I have alternately seen 2x4 lumber used for this same purpose and set atop the chests edge. Regardless, I will try and make one pair of both versions of these retainers so the litters can be used on the chests. I'll post the results of that as well. Anyway, hope this may inspire others to do some mods to their flea market footlocker finds and end up with some nice MD Chests until you can luck into a real one!

Pics are located here:

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
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dochoovie
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Thu Feb 22, 2007 06:34

Wow- super job! Glad to see the idea take hold in someone else. These should work in lieu of the real McCoy. Doc Dean, any photos of them deployed as litter supports as you mention in your post? I currently use the wooden sawhorse-type that you sent me plans for, but at least would like to see the chest method. Thanks for sharing!

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Fri Feb 23, 2007 01:12

Thanks, it was so easy to do I wonder why I waited so long!! Thanks for the complement. As to them in use as stands, yes, Ben is using a pic right here on the site as them deployed in that manner.....view a pic at:

Image
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dochoovie
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Fri Feb 23, 2007 03:40

I'm not sure I even noticed that picture before. Thanks for the hint!

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Sun Mar 18, 2007 01:51

A big Thank You to everyone posting in this thread. This is a very informative thread. The photos are priceless to my researching the equipment used by the US Army Medical Personnel in WWII.

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Med 1 Chest content question

Mon Apr 02, 2007 18:52

Does anyone have any scans of the cartons that are shown in the pictures of the Med 1 Chest? If so, could they post them up for printing by chance?
Thanks!

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