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1800's Tool Box

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Tool Boxes28 of 163C.E. Jennings Old-Style Machinist Tool Chests Here’s another Gerstner machinist Market Test Chest.
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    Posted 3 years ago

    (23 items)

    I was given this old tool box and was told it was from the 1800's. It's very large. No markings or labels.
    Not sure if I should restore or leave as is. Any suggestions?

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    1. UncleRon UncleRon, 3 years ago
      I'm not sure what you could do by way of "restoration" that would make it look any better or make it more valuable. It has a great "look" and aside from vacuuming out the debris and washing it gently with a cloth and turpentine, which may remove some of the paint spatters, I would leave it alone. Whatever you do, please do not paint or varnish it.
      You could make a "table" with legs and a top which just fits between the two bottom rails, and set it on that to make a wonderful storage piece.
    2. Mike78, 3 years ago
      Thanks UncleRon. I was thinking after some cleaning, maybe a light sanding and some tung oil to bring it back a bit.
    3. Mike78, 3 years ago
      Thanks blunderbuss2.
    4. Watchsearcher Watchsearcher, 3 years ago
      LOVE it! The way the maker bent the hinges to fit and fashioned the handle. I wonder if the small hole in the handle was for a rope or strap to go thru so the tool box would stay still in the wagon and not bounce around.
      I have my grandfather's home-made tool box which he probably made in early 1900s. I cleaned it and very lightly sanded it, being careful to leave every sign of use- I only wanted to get rid of splinters. Then I used several coats of paste wax. It looks great.
      I got a local welder to make a stand for it so it is same height as my living room end tables. I keep antique tools, bottles or other "finds" in it. It's beautiful and a nice reminder of my granddad.
      Yours is very special with the interior shelf!
    5. Watchsearcher Watchsearcher, 3 years ago
      Did he make the hasp out of one of the hinges?!
    6. Vynil33rpm Vynil33rpm, 3 years ago
      I think I’d wash it down with turpentine and
      put a little oil on it
      And get the spiderwebs out of it and that’s it
      Look KooL as is !
    7. UncleRon UncleRon, 3 years ago
      You can't fake 100+ years of natural weathering and aging, and once you sand it off or cover it with any kind of varnish, tung oil, etc., you can Never get it back.
    8. Mike78, 3 years ago
      Great advice guys. I will consider all before moving forward with this project. Thanks again!
    9. AnythingObscure AnythingObscure, 3 years ago
      ABSOLUTELY AGREE w/UncleRon. Clean it gently with vacuum/compressed air (carefully w/turpentine if there are greasy spots, and/or the paint spatter) then find someplace to display it *just like it is*. As Watchsearcher suggests, a simple, unobtrusive steel (or wooden) frame could easily be made to hold it up off of the floor, where it could become a wonderful 'showcase' for other interesting old tools or otherwise cool little things??!! :-) :-)
    10. Mike78, 3 years ago
      Thank you very much AnythingObscure. I've grown to love it even more since the original posting.
    11. Mike78, 3 years ago
      Thanks hunterqlee, ho2cultcha and frisco.
    12. fhrjr2 fhrjr2, 3 years ago
      Boiled linseed oil is the natural resin from trees and will give new life to old wood without damage. ONLY BOILED LINSEED OIL. Raw linseed oil will never dry and would remain sticky. Darn nice old box.
    13. Mike78, 3 years ago
      Thank you sir. I will absolutely try that. And thanks to all for all the tips.
    14. Mike78, 3 years ago
      Thanks yougottahavestuff!

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