Sitting on top of this wooden box is the plastic holders that I've had for some time to hold my Coleman lanterns in. I have always hated them. They are flimsy, cheaply made, and have on at least one occasion come loose from the bottom and broken the globe on one of my lanterns. I just never have taken the time to build something better.
Well, after going fishing a few weeks ago, and the latch mechanism completely failing on one of them and me almost breaking another globe, I was not putting it off any longer.
Here is a view of the top with it open. The lantern sitting on top is the newest lantern I have. My wife and kids bought me that one for Father's Day several years ago. Most of my lanterns are old ones. I prefer the old ones because they can be rebuilt. The new style, the ones that run on propane, are pretty much junk if they ever act up. On these old style ones, you can replace the globe, pumps, generators, and I also have a few extra lanterns around for the odd parts that you cannot buy in the stores, like lids and such.
I have several old lanterns that were made over thirty years ago. I pick them up at yard sales for a dollar or two a piece. Usually, you disassemble them, clean the dirt dobbers out of them, reassembly, put new mantles on them, and fire them up.
This is my small box. It holds three lanterns. I carry these three, my favorite ones, when I go night fishing. They are my go-to lanterns. The fourth compartment accessories like extra mantles, a lighter, funnel for adding fluid, and an extra pump (just in case).
Here is the small box with the lid shut. I added a hasp and pin clip just to make sure it stays closed until I am ready to open it.
Next I built a long box. This one holds the lanterns we carry when the whole family goes camping. These don't see much use, but I wanted a safe storage place for them as well. Since these only get used when we go as a family, I made one long box that holds them all. The lid opens in three sections so you can pull out just a couple at a time. The ends have hollowed out handles so one person can get at each end and carry the box.
The long box holds seven lanterns. When we camp, we'll load this box and the small one. This makes ten lanterns. Since I think that's enough to light up a small Army camp, I believe it'll be enough.
These boxes were made from cottonwood, using hardware that I've saved off of old junk (I'm a pack rat), and plywood lids. They aren't pretty, but that is the point of why I built them as I done. Every piece of wood in these projects is wood that I would have normally cut up for fire wood. So I wasted no good wood to make them. That makes them even better for the purpose they serve in my opinion. I do want to go back at a later date and add some kind of exterior wood protection on them.