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Vintage tool box repurposed for living room furniture

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egreeley1976's loves61 of 2565Pedal carBlair Tourist Hawkeye Camera.  1898 - 1904
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    Posted 3 months ago

    (75 items)

    This wooden box was built by my grandfather for his tools, probably in the 1950s but maybe before. It eventually was given to my dad; it stayed in his tool shed until I found it in 2015. (So it’s about 65+ years old.)

    From being on the bottom shelf of the work bench, it was black with oil, gritty with sawdust and metal filings, dust, dirt and had splashes of paint.

    Bring like I am, I saw potential in this nasty old box that everyone else had passed up when they were invited to come and take what they wanted from the shed after my dad passed away.

    I pressure washed it inside and out, then gave it a few coats of paste wax.

    A local welder built the iron stand for it and formed the swirls and “stems” for the metal leaves and blue glass tulips I wanted to use to “gussy it up” (I hope that’s still in people’s vocabulary).
    Even being heavy wood and iron, I still wanted it to have a “girly” look to fit my taste in decor.

    It’s now a living room table and repository for all kinds of small old stuff- bottles, tools, keys, etc.
    It’s a reminder of my father and grandfather who were so good at making do with what they had.
    Grandaddy probably didn’t have screws so he put it together with nails and bent the tips over so they can’t come out…..that technique has held it just fine all these years; it’s solid and as sturdy as can be.

    The box measures 34.5” long, 11” wide and 9” tall.
    With the stand, it measures 25” tall to make it just right to be a side table next to my sofa.

    I hope you enjoy! Comments welcome.

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    1. Dawnlady1 Dawnlady1, 3 months ago
      Wow, what a treasure! I love how you repurposed it too! Stunning.
    2. Watchsearcher Watchsearcher, 3 months ago
      Dawnlady1, thank you very much!
    3. officialfuel officialfuel, 3 months ago
      Nice job!! :-)

    4. Watchsearcher Watchsearcher, 3 months ago
      Thank you, Michael!

    5. PhilDMorris PhilDMorris, 3 months ago
      Hi Pat, this is something I would have treasured for my first apartment which had all sorts of treasures, but nothing as wonderful sat beside my treasured couch. I love wrought iron work from the 20's but love your example just as much since he seems a wrought iron genius. One of the best restorations and those iron flowers are killer !~
    6. Watchsearcher Watchsearcher, 3 months ago
      Phil, I very much enjoyed reading your comment….the man does very nice work. He especially likes to be allowed to put his own creative touches on projects…so it’s good to just give him the general idea of what you want and leave the rest to him. I must tell you though, those flowers are made of glass.
    7. Watchsearcher Watchsearcher, 3 months ago
      Wow! 22 Loves for the old tool box! Thank you everyone, I’m honored!
    8. PhilDMorris PhilDMorris, 3 months ago
      I should have thought they are too perfect for iron. Glass makes the piece seem even sweeter, very jealous on this coup !~
    9. AnythingObscure AnythingObscure, 3 months ago
      <CHEERS><APPLAUSE> [how did I miss the <love it> for this??]
      WOW, Watchsearcher (Pat). I myself might have passed on that box too (given the context you put it in, thanks for that as well!) but you've sure shown us an outstanding example of how to turn it into a "family heirloom" instead, which it already kinda was one of anyway?!! GREAT SHOW!! All best, Tim
    10. Watchsearcher Watchsearcher, 3 months ago
      Thank you again, Phil!
      I’ve been very happy with that welder’s work….he made some other things for me and likes to make the unusual……he’s extremely slow though…I think too many fun projects get in the way of his money-making projects.
    11. Watchsearcher Watchsearcher, 3 months ago
      Tim, Thank you, thank you, thank you! You would have probably spotted that old nasty box right away….I’m pretty sure other people must have opened it, looking for good stuff. I’ll never know, sadly, but it must have held my grandfather’s old tools, unless my dad had pilfered those out as his own needs arose over the decades the box was likely there (based on when my grandparents downsized and moved into a small mobile home my dad bought for them so they could live within shouting distance).
      I don’t recall Grandaddy ever using electric tools…the manual ones were just fine to him. :-)
    12. Watchsearcher Watchsearcher, 3 months ago
      Tim, it was sure ugly when I first got my hands on it, but I really think all the oil, grease and grime protected for powderpost beetles. I pulled lots of clean, good looking wood handled tools and extra never-used wood wheelbarrow handles, shovel handles, ax handles, etc that were just riddled with those pinhole sized holes of powderpost beetles…..but none on the old tool box. :-)
    13. AnythingObscure AnythingObscure, 3 months ago
      Oh *certainly* Patricia, it would have no doubt have been a "what's in here?" moment -- but if I didn't find anything fun at a glance I might have just dropped its lid again and left it lay, never seeing the 'potential' in the box itself like you did?!!
    14. Watchsearcher Watchsearcher, 3 months ago
      Tim, I’m touched! Thank you again. :-)
    15. AnythingObscure AnythingObscure, 3 months ago
      There's an abject lesson here somewhere about how we all should be proud of our continuing collections of junk -- no, I mean 'stuff' -- no, I mean 'beautiful, valuable objects'... (that mebbe look a little worse for the wear but who cares, why don't the rest of y'all *see* that?)

      OH, *SOMETHING LIKE THAT*, anyways...??? <ROTFLMAO>
    16. Watchsearcher Watchsearcher, 3 months ago
      I know exactly what you mean….to me, anything made by someone’s own hands, that they planned/figured out dimensions- especially in the days of only hand saws when you couldn’t just recut another board without breaking a sweat— those items are one of a kind.
      I’m happy to know I can pass it on down the line.

    17. Watchsearcher Watchsearcher, 3 months ago
      33 Loves for the old tool box!! Wow!
      I wish my grandfather could know that his utilitarian tool box has not only survived, but has graduated to the living room and is being admired by folks from all over the place. He was a very humble man but I know he would be very pleased.
    18. Ms.CrystalShip Ms.CrystalShip, 3 months ago
      Make that 35. Better late than never. No excuses, just busy.
      I adore what you have done with this old tool box. Men back then were hard workers, and used what they had since there most likely was no Home depot down the road, Ha!
      This is a treasure, as Dawnlady remarked. Superb workmanship on the wrought iron and glass flowers, but it’s the “ old wooden box” that makes this so special.
      Dad and Granddad would be very proud. You’ve done good Patricia!
    19. Watchsearcher Watchsearcher, 3 months ago
      Eileen, thank you so much for that touching response. Sometimes I feel like I’m on a mission to preserve pieces of family history and make the younger generations aware of the meaningfulness of those items….and time might be short in this uncertain world.
      I always did want my dad, especially, to be proud of me, so thank you for that sweet validation.

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