A traditional Scandinavian form, the round-top traveler’s trunk (22 inches long, 16 inches deep and 15 inches tall) is a smaller version of the immigrant’s trunk. Think of it as their weekend bag. These were almost always made of pine to keep them light. The carcass construction will provide lessons in dovetails, tongue and groove, rabbet and groove, and ship lap. You will learn to use nineteenth-century-type tools for sawing, chiseling, and planing. Plus, you will learn the trade secret of the six-sided enclosed box. (It’s a biggie!) There is no experience necessary, but students need to be able to perform physical labor. There is a $30 fee for wood, and $30 more will purchase optional hinges and handles. Both fees are payable to the instructor. Bring a notebook and be dressed to work.
Robby Pedersen of the shop RVP 1875 is the world’s leading historical furniture maker. Now in his 25th full-time year in the trade, he builds over 70 pieces of 1870s furniture every year using only the tools, techniques, and finishes from the era. His working shop is also an accredited museum, giving tours to thousands every year. RVP 1875 was named the outstanding tourist attraction for the state of Iowa in 2016. With history and education degrees, Robby also gives hands-on programs, weekend classes and two-year apprenticeships.