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formariz

Antique Tool Chest

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oliver2-44

Very nice!  That inlay on the top speaks to the pride they had in their tools. 

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953 nut

:text-coolphotos:          That is the first I've seen with the double hinged lids for storage, most have a lift out tray. Very good design and obvious fine craftsmanship.      :handgestures-thumbupright: 

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JoeM
8 hours ago, oliver2-44 said:

That inlay on the top speaks to the pride they had in their tools.

And  the tools were to last a lifetime and not throw away.

 

Kind of joking but I told my brother I think dad had screw drivers that came over on the MayFlower. 

 

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Pullstart

Very awesome Cas!

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elcamino/wheelhorse

Wow , great find.

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D_Mac

Great find, I am a sucker for old tool boxes myself. 

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formariz
2 hours ago, 953 nut said:

:text-coolphotos:          That is the first I've seen with the double hinged lids for storage, most have a lift out tray. Very good design and obvious fine craftsmanship.      :handgestures-thumbupright: 

Yes it is very unusual. Under lid it has marked individual compartments for augers from number 3 to number 20. Also held full set of chisels. Locking chest with two lids was an accomplishment in itself using two locks. One still with it but broken the other one missing.

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stevasaurus

That is just outstanding Cas.  I'm noticing the wood in the bottom of that chest.  Guessing, a few boards were replaced at some point.  I have those same boards as the soffit on my house.  I would call that a Treasure Chest.  What a nice addition to your collection.  :orcs-cheers:

   If I may ask, what are the dimensions of that chest.  I'm wondering what tools would have been stored in there.  I guessed the chisels and the auger bits in the top, but it doesn't look big enough for a cross cut or rip saw.  So, what tools would have been stored in those compartments.  Reason I ask, I may be able to help.  

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formariz
Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, stevasaurus said:

That is just outstanding Cas.  I'm noticing the wood in the bottom of that chest.  Guessing, a few boards were replaced at some point.  I have those same boards as the soffit on my house.  I would call that a Treasure Chest.  What a nice addition to your collection.  :orcs-cheers:

I had to make a custom dolly so I would be able to move it around. It is really heavy and awkward due to its size. It is intact nothing was ever replaced on it. Usually it’s the bottom that needs replacing but this one is solid. It is also nailed with hand wrought nails making this one pretty old, probably older that my first estimate of mid 1800s. 


 Just realized you are talking about the bottom on the interior. He just placed that board upside down probably by mistake and did not want to remove it. Beads are on the other side.Board is however wider than the others . Perhaps he just used it so he would not have a very narrow piece. Hard to know. 

Edited by formariz
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formariz
Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, JoeM said:

And  the tools were to last a lifetime and not throw away.

 

Kind of joking but I told my brother I think dad had screw drivers that came over on the MayFlower. 

 

I don’t know about that far back but this one has been in family for at least 150 years. It would have been made By the local blacksmith. It will reside permanently in this box.

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Edited by formariz
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Jeff-C175
Posted (edited)

I bet that box smells really mantastic too ! 

 

 

Edited by Jeff-C175
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formariz
2 minutes ago, Jeff-C175 said:

I bet that box smells really mantastic too ! 

 

 

It’s got that unmistakable ancient smell . One can smell it coming into shop even without opening it. 

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stevasaurus

Not to take away from your thread Cas, but to share.  I have 2 of these, not sure of the age??

 

DSCF9288.JPG

 

 

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Would you clean these up??  I'm guessing they are from the 1950"s...not sure.  My other one has the tray in it.  Could we do some PM's??

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formariz

@stevasaurus that is actually a pretty nice one. Paint thinner and very fine steel wool or a scotch bright pad wiping frequently. Let dry and apply linseed oil thinned down with paint thinner. Two parts thinner to one oil. Only on the outside. Inside just scotch bright pad and vacuum. No finishes. We sure can do some PMs.

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formariz

An interesting little detail that most will not notice or pay attention about this chest, is the fact that under first lid it has a compartment for auger bits with a lid. Nothing unusual about that.  Each compartment is however marked starting at 3 though 20. That is for the size of each auger from 3/16”through 20/16”. 1/16” increments which is the standard for auger bits. Nothing unusual except for numbers 17 through 20. A standard set only goes to 1” or 16/16”. Anything over that is extremely rare and hard to find. Today those 4 augers bits if you are lucky to find them and happen to be a Jennings pattern will cost you well over $200.00. Not many craftsman ever had those extra large size augers or even knew they existed. Speaks volumes about the maker of the chest and makes one wonder how this chest originally looked with all of his tools in it. Chest is massive at 39”x 25”x25”. 

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Handy Don
11 hours ago, formariz said:

standard set only goes to 1” or 16/16”. Anything over that is extremely rare and hard to find.

Well, I'm going to go right down and check my stash of hand-me-down augers!

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formariz
On 5/19/2022 at 10:38 AM, Handy Don said:

Well, I'm going to go right down and check my stash of hand-me-down augers!

I am guessing those were not in the stash. 
After over 40 years I have not been able to find #s 17 and 18 within a price that I was willing to pay. I do have #s 19, 20, and the impossible #24. Of the whole lot the easiest is # 20. Seems that the “Bell System” was a frequent user of them so they show up more often than the others. 663E45ED-DBE4-4D27-98F3-769208D79512.jpeg.fa457e79c04dfb2f2706f9c0417a49e1.jpeg

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formariz
Posted (edited)

I cleaned the exterior of chest. The next thing to do with it will be to restore the locking mechanisms of the two lids.That is essential in order to be able to use it safely without damaging lids. The two lids create the problem that the top one must be locked to the second one prior to lifting that one. If not one runs the risk of top one going backwards too much unless chest is up against a wall . I can see by the new screws in top lid’s hinges that it has already happened. 
 Main lock for second lid is actually ok. Missing strike and key. Will have to make those. I wonder how brass on cover was melted?Good thing that lock is not missing since today no half mortise lock is made this large. Will have to find the proper size barrel key blank and file it to fit. Second lock for top lid is actually smaller and available still. 
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Like many others chest had originally some poster glued to bottom of lid remnants of which are still there. Wonder what it was.

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Edited by formariz
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formariz
Posted (edited)

As it always happens with these chests usually right after it leaves the original owners hands is that the key is lost and when that happens chest is locked. This one is no exception . Damage to interior was done opening it losing some of the important hardware. Attempts have been made over a few owners I guess to remediate that damage and attempt to lock it again, none of which have obviously been successful. The two lid system make for a complicated and delicate locking system.

  Fixing those issues now. The idea is to restore the ability to lock both lids individually and restore damaged parts while using period correct materials and fasteners without drawing attention to obvious repairs . Any modern materials necessary to establish structural  integrity of damaged areas such as the Baltic Ply used as a screw reinforcement for lock will be covered by proper materials.  6A0B7839-DDE1-43C7-BCDF-222A592073B1.jpeg.8a6741ac493e6f5a722257e805e18a5a.jpeg

 New top lock. Baltic birch used to provide secure anchoring for lock screws. Solid material would crack as it happened before.

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 Previous attempt at restoring damage from forcing bottom lid open. A mistake gluing wood with opposing grain direction to existing. Wood movement on the 15” wide board caused that joint to fail. Most glue surface there was end grain which does not hold glue well. In addition to it bottom lock strike screws cracked  repair piece in half.

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  Brass piece to reinforce previous mistakes only adding to them and looking terrible. 

Edited by formariz
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formariz
Posted (edited)

Top lid lock complete with lid guide installed. Modern materials hidden. Once stained and distressed to match old material it will be barely noticeable. Next will be strike on lid.

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Edited by formariz
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formariz
Posted (edited)

Before installing lock strike lid had to be realigned and hinge screws replaced . From the few acidental over-opening of lid screws on hinge were stripped and not holding properly.
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6489CA71-2C65-47C1-9AD5-7277AA617699.jpeg.e0ae222f97316776fa3e97efb2d38090.jpeg

 Pegs made to fill old stripped holes

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  Hinges were repositioned using VIX bit to pre drill.

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 New shiny screws were replaced by brass oxidized ones.

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 Damage on lid from previous unsuccessful attempts to make lock work.

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 Damage repaired 

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Lock strike now installed

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 Top lid now with working lock, locking onto second lid. Second lid next finally locking chest. 
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 Lid now safe from over opening . Used vintage coppered sash chain.
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Edited by formariz
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formariz

So as I work on this old chest to restore it to its original intent, it is talking to me. Seems that it also has experienced a little evolution through out its life . Originally it did not have two lids. It only had the outer one with the inlays and that one itself has had some changes. The tell tale sign became apparent as I replaced the top lock and repaired old damage. Strike for bottom lock still in box was originally mounted on top lid. That would only work if the second lid did not exist. As wether it was original maker that did it, I believe it was since dovetail style is identical and quite unusual to begin with. They also tell me that most likely it was made by an European trained cabinetmaker. 

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953 nut
On 5/28/2022 at 10:47 PM, formariz said:

Used vintage coppered sash chain.

Guess you've had that chain for a while, no zip code on the address, that makes it pre 1963,    :scared-eek:  sixty years old.   :handgestures-thumbupright:

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formariz
1 hour ago, 953 nut said:

Guess you've had that chain for a while, no zip code on the address, that makes it pre 1963,    :scared-eek:  sixty years old.   :handgestures-thumbupright:

About 15 years ago I inherited these cabinets totally full of several lifetimes worth of items and supplies like that. 

 

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