I started building trunks over 22 years ago. My wife needed a larger more sturdy constructed trunk
to replace her cheap foot locker. The first was a basic box trunk with a sliding drawer design from
some magazine. Since than I have redesigned the Basic Trunk with new design improvements.
I have built and sold a few on consignment for a tack store, and built Tack Cabinets
for my wife and her friends, to fulfill their equestrian needs.
Some were covered with a plastic Laminate (Formica), others painted, all stained and satin polyurethane inside. Each Cabinet or Trunk is slightly different than the other, and changed designs for rides preferences. Some of the cabinets and trunks pictures below were built by me, others have been made from my plans and purchasers have kindly shared their Trunk pictures with me.
A Place to Put Stuff
by Jennifer Williams, Ph.D.
Excerpt from September 2007
article on tack equipment.
If you have the skills to build your own lockers but aren’t sure how to create the
design, well you can purchase tack locker designs on-line. Elite Tack Design
(www.elitetackdesign.com) offers several different tack locker plans. Bill Tschorn
of Elite Tack Design started designing tack trunks and lockers over 20 years ago
when his wife needed a place to store her tack. They now offer different plans
that cost $42 each and include a list of needed materials and tools, plywood
layout sheets to help you cut the plywood, and illustrated step-by-step
instructions. Tschorn, who is a technical illustrator, drafter and graphics artist
by trade, says, “I have carefully designed and illustrated each manual for the
average home carpenter. This allows people to construct the cabinet with their
own personal touch.“
built this for my daughter Sarah Lipps and I put the
finish on. We used bigger wheels because we go to lots
of shows and sometimes have to walk quite a ways. I have
a brass tag on order with her and Redd's name for the
front. Your plans were right on the mark with exact
details that made building a breeze. Now we have 2 other
Go & Show Caddys, we are finishing for our younger
Thanks Henry Lipps.
Though you might like some photos of our Basic Tack Plus.
My boyfriend and Brother in law built it for me.
We asked how did they do the horse logo on the trunk ?
The logo is my logo for my photography business and I took the logo and got it made into a vinyl sticker, and that's how its done! Glad you like it, I think it looks fantastic!
Lauren & Elizabeth
thought I would send you some pictures of the box I just
finished for my daughter from one of your plans. I
modified it to have a pullout saddle rack. I also changed
the size of the lower compartments to allow for the lowest
shelf to hold a large water bucket. The top shelf on the
door was not cut out for polos but left to hold bell
- Nathan Onfrichuk
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
My daughter Kelsey and I built her tack box from your plans. We used birch plywood and painted it. The materials were a Christmas present (from me and her mom) and together we constructed it. We had a blast
and she loves it. It turned out great and is the envy of the barn.
- Peter VanderMeer
||Bill: I found the
handles; they were buried in a corner of the hardware
section at Lowes. Thought you might like these pictures.
The trunk is currently sitting on a small mover's dolly
tipped under it for ease of movement. I used Baltic birch
laminate for the box. The base is yellow poplar. I happen
to like the natural 'green' color of yellow poplar so you
will see it used throughout. I even trimmed the hatch door
edge with it to clean up the edge of the laminate. The
upper drawer rails are red oak, as is the trim on the
upper edges of the laminate for the box, and the corner
trim. The face piece inlay on the top is a
maple-walnut-alder-birch pattern. I stained it with a wipe
on Honey Maple stain from General Finishes, and used
General's Arm-R-Seal wipe-on spar urethane to finish it.
Both the trunk and the tack armoire came out to my wife's
liking. Cheer! - Don Hooper
||Hi Bill: Just wanted to
share with you some pictures of the tack cabinet we made
from your plans. My daughter has been asking for
something like this for a long time, and I wasn't able to
find anything (that I could afford) that would suit her
purposes, until I found your plans. It turned out
really nice and I wanted to share the pictures. My
husband made it and he is such a perfectionist! We
kept telling him it's going in a barn, but he went all out
anyway. We gave it to my daughter for her 25th
birthday and she really likes it, as do everyone else in
the barn. Of course they all ride western, so it
wouldn't work for them! Hope you enjoy the pictures!
- Judy Keener
I thought that I would send you some pictures of the Tack Cabinet I made for my girlfriend, Ransom Witt, for her birthday ... she had some modifications that she wanted, so I used your Total Tack Cabinet template and made the changes accordingly ...
Your designs were very helpful and I know that she will love this ...
thanks again. Sincerely - Mickey Loftis
Hi Bill: Thanks for thecompliments of my work. I am a tenant in
Maureen's apartment building and she knows I'm a skilled cabinet maker. So any time she, needs one of a kind masterpiece she calls me. I have built some incredible things for her over the past 8 years that in the normal world would have paid very well. I am just a poor carpenter, who loves woodworking so much, that even if I had millions, I would be in my wood workshop everyday! Since I don't have any work space where I live, most of the trunk was built in my driveway, on saw horses, and concrete ground. Near the end we used Maureen mother's garage to stain, varnish, paint and final assembly. It was also a good place to hide the trunk from Rebecca till Christmas. I got the hardware from ROCKLER.com. Maureen did reimburse me for the hardware, paint, varnish, brushes, sandpaper etc. The wood was free, leftover from my real job projects. It was truly a labor of love, having built my first tack trunk! It wouldn't have been possible without you Bill. Thanks! - Marc Bonner
||Hi: I recently purchased
your plans for the Basic Trunk. We were building it for
our daughter who shows steers in area fairs, she is a
senior and we knew she would only use the box for 2 fairs
so we put a little extra work into so when she travels to
college she will take it and use it as a hope chest and
storage. The plans were very easy to follow even by those
with little carpentry skills. As you can see in the photos
we added a few details, trim around lid and bottom, wheels
and name plates for the animals Janna has shown. Thank you
and please display photos and web site for others to see.
- Sheryl Jo Legg
||Hello there: I just
wanted to write to thank you for your fantastic plans. My
dad and I built your armoire tack cabinet as a
father-daughter project, in honor of my first horse. We
are SO pleased with how it turned out. Your plans were
easy-to-follow and complete, and we couldn't believe how
well everything fit together and how nicely designed the
box was. Everyone is incredibly impressed and we are
getting many compliments. I'm directing lots of people to
your website! I've attached a couple of pictures of
the finished box. It would be wonderful to see them on
Thanks again for your fantastic design. We couldn't be happier.
Sincerely, Katie Taylor
||Hi! Wanted to share the
pictures of my new Western Tack Cabinet built by a friend
and co-worker from Lexington Fire Department (KY) Major
Darryl Osborne with the help of FF David Gumm, FF Rick
Faulkner and Darryl's son Darrin. The pictures do
not do this cabinet justice- it is absolutely beautiful. I
am using it to hold a saddle seat saddle and all my stuff
at a boarding facility. Your plans were great and my
friends did an incredible job-it is gorgeous and fits my
(It is too pretty to put in a barn!) - Carrie Bowling
||Hello there! So I
finally finished my tack box, I had ordered the plans from
you, and I thought I would send you the final pictures...
There's still some saw dust/little wood ships/dust in
there (I just finished staining this afternoon!) but I
absolutely love it! There a couple of modifications, or I
suppose I can call one a "mishap", but nevertheless,
it's awesome!!! My carpenter accidentally attached the
trunk lid on the wrong side! But the difference is
negligible, haha... Also we decided for the saddle house
roof, instead of putting it on a hinge, we have it
lifting out, because my bridle hook I guess was a little
long, so it would've hit the hook, and plus it's actually
pretty easy just to have it pulls out! I hope you like and
that we did your plan justice!
It was built here in Calgary by D. Parker
Thanks again for all your help! - Heather Love
||Dear Bill, I was
delighted to receive your Christmas card last month and I
have since then been meaning to drop you a line. In fact,
I have been meaning to drop you a line since I completed
the tack cabinet based on your plans almost a year ago. I
have no woodwork training but I found the instructions
very clear and easy to follow, and I had a lot of fun
making it. My daughter Heather is delighted with the tack
cabinet and it is the envy of all her friends. I cannot
tell you how many people have admired it since we put it
in the tack room at the stables where her pony lives.
Certainly it stands out from the other tack boxes in terms
of design and finish. In fact the admiration makes me feel
somewhat guilty because whatever about the finish, credit
for the design belongs to you.
I had intended to give it a better paint job and had envisioned all kinds of colors and stenciling, but Heather in her impatience to take possession barely allowed me time to lash on a few coats of varnish! Regards, Frank Henry - ( Ireland)
||Hello Elite Tack
Design: Your web site asks for finished photos of
your completed designs. I've attached a photo of a variant
of the "Armoire" that my husband built for me. I am an
eventer so I have 2 saddles, 3 different bridles and more
gear than most "one sport" participants. This version is
11" taller to accomodate the second saddle rack and the
doors have been switched. It is stained and then
poly-urethaned throughout. - thanks Judy Labovitz
|| Bill: We built
ours just like your plans call for and finished with a
coat of linseed oil. The oily linseed rag we used to apply
finish to the cabinet caught our trash can on fire in the
garage, but everyone is safe. The only thing we did
different from your plans was to add a 1/8" sheet of
plastic under the tack box area, the area the two milk
crates sit and under the bottom drawer. You will see
them in the photos. I thought that the plastic tack
box and plastic milk crates would slide in and out
smoother with plastic under them and it will also keep the
wood from getting soiled. We also put parafin on the
bottom of the two wooden drawers on the right side so the
drawers slide in and out easier. Enjoy, David
NOTE: Elite Tack Design replaced David's burned plans for FREE!
Hi there - thought I'd pass along the photos of my finally finished tack
armoire! I made the following slight modifications: built both doors with
the bridle hooks as opposed to polo wrap pockets, made the bottom two
cubby holes large enough to fit a water bucket, lined the four cubby holes
with a thin sheet of acrylic, and had a latch put on the outside bottom to
help keep it closed. The outside was stained and sealed. I love it!
- Lisa Schuetz
||Hi Bill: With patience and
double checking (and sometimes triple checking)
everything, my tack armoire is complete. I loved your easy to
follow directions and thank you for the email you provided on answers
to my questions. I did do a couple changes. I put handles on the drawers
and saddle house door. I also covered the saddle house with padding and
then black vinyl and attached with hammered brass upholstery tacks.
One of the drawers has a hasp lock on for medication, needles, syringes.
I hung a blanket rack on one side. I also put a latch on the inside of one
door to close and latch separately and a combination bolt on the front. Thank you again!!! - Sarah Dowling
Hi Bill: Though maybe you
would like to see a picture
of how your plans arrived.
This has never happened before and ETD sent Wes a new set of plans for FREE.
Hi Bill: I used your design with a few changes. I made it 3"
longer in the saddle area. I used u-bolts & pins for the side doors,
latches and chain to hold the lid up.
Thanks for the 2nd set of plans. - Wes Schmidt
This early Total Tack Cabinet
was built on consignment.
Made with our "Saddle House" design, with 2 draws and a
plastic crate for storage.
Laminated in green Formica.
This early Basic Tack Trunk
was built on consignment.
Made with a large sliding /
take out draw and personal lid compartment door.
Laminated in black Formica.
I built this Armoire Tack Cabinet for my wife, "Chris".
It's 20 years in use and still strong as the day it was built.
Painted black enamel and ¾" aluminum angle trim.
Armoire Tack Cabinet
by Bill Owen for his
Basic Tack Trunk
by Whit Prophet for
her daughter Rebecca..
Total Tack Trunk
by David Schircliff
for Paige Buckwalter.
Ken Smith built this Basic Tack Trunk
with few custom draws.
Thomas Lade and Tiffany Hart built this simplified version of the Armoire Tack Cabinet.
I recently finished the "Basic Tack Box and today my wife & I delivered it to our daughter. She was so happy that she cried with joy. The building experience was very enjoyable. I am happy with the way it turned out and I compliment you on your excellent instructions which made the build very rewarding. Best regards, Dennis
Basic Tack Trunk by Gerald J. Buchko
|This version of our Armoire Tack
Cabinet was built by grandpap Richard for his
young equestrain granddaughter.
I built this Basic Tack Trunk last month for my son's girl friend, Kayla. She is absolutely delighted with it. Your directions were
really great. I laid out the plywood pieces so I could cut across the sheet without stopping, and then trim pieces appropriately. You might suggest to your builders who have always wanted to
buy a nail gun system, that this is the project to act on that urge.
Thanks again for the great design. Cheers, Van Dittmer
|Hi: The trunk is all finished ready for my
We made a few changes to the original plans to make sure it was going to be 100% usable for me, but over all your plans were fantastically easy and simple to follow (even with
constant conversion calculations lol ). Many thanks again
for all your help. Best regards - Joely Walker
(Conversions need because of UK metric system)
|Hi Bill: I
finished the cabinet. The inside in done with
Polyshades Classic Oak and the outside is Polyshades
American Chestnut. Thanks much, my daughter loves it.
- Darwin Caverly
|Hi Bill: I
ordered plans from your site a few months ago and gave
them to my dad to build me the tack cabinet! He just
finished it for me as a birthday present, and I could
not be any happier!
I just wanted to share pictures of the finished product! My dad is a contractor and specializes in kitchens, crown molding, and cabinets. He thought your plans were great! I love the way the tack cabinet came out, and I cannot wait to start using it! I plan on ordering a monogrammed vinyl decal to put on the door. - Erica Ryan
|Hi Bill: I made this trunk for my 13 yr old daughter Cathryn. I thought the plans were excellent and it’s the first time I’ve even taken on a project like this and actually had to buy some of the tools needed to complete the project. All the hints/tips were excellent and really made for a great experience. - Aaron Schacht|
Bill: Thought you may like to see
some pics of the almost finished
Basic Tack Plus I am building as
per your plans. Took it "uptown" a
little by making it out of cherry
and using hand forged fittings.
Should be a great birthday gift for
Thanks for a great design.
Best regards - Don Rasmussen
I wanted to share the finished product My husband is not a carpenter,
but your plans made it easy to build this Deluxe Armoire Cabinet.
- Thanks Michelle Kelly
Bill: Here is the finished product. Hunter green
is the color. My granddaughter has a show jumping
competition tomorrow. She is at a new stable now.
As soon as they finish the tack room she can put it
there. For now it's in my shop. I may tackle the large
cabinet this year.
Thanks for your assistance and plans. - Jack Bouchez