Give an old chest a new life


I am a tool hound… I don’t buy everything I see but I’m always scanning craigslist and other Channels of the internets to see what kind of stuff people are unloading.  I frequent flea markets, antique stores, yard sales and any establishment of second hand goods. During my habitual craigslist search a few days ago I came across an add for some old tool chests. The seller had three to chose from and so I came across this beauty.

Now I had to make an 80 mile round trip drive to Greeley,CO of all places to pick it up.  Greeley is the town often featured in South Park and also the actual place where the book Fast Food Nation is based.While it sometimes gets a bad rap this place is nostalgic to me. This is the town that I first moved to when I came to Colorado. I grew up in Annapilis,MD and moved to Greeley to go to college when I was 18. It brings back a lot of great memories of college, friendships and drinking a lot. Sorry no cow tipping. Any ways the wife and I headed to Greeley. It was located at an indoor flea market and we purchased the chest for $70 which included an old disston saw, a small coping saw, and a heavily worn but still cool pair of calipers.

I honestly was not looking to buy a chest. I really want to make a chest of my own. I made my own workbench and enjoyed every moment of it. Building your own shop furniture is an invaluable opportunity to develop, practice, hone, and maybe most importantly display your craft skills. I have been wanting to build an ATC inspired chest since I read the book a few years ago and I just received my copy of the Letterpress Anarchist Tool Chest Poster. The poster looks phenomenal and can’t wait to make a proper frame.

I knew some care had been put into this chest, I figured since I didn’t have one right now for my growing hand tool needs that I couldn’t pass it up at such a decent price. Plus I couldn’t allow myself to let this go to waste and be turned into some shabby chic make up case.

It’s clear that time and careful planning was put into the construction of this tool chest, and I thought the sliding top lid is a cool concept if you wish to keep a lid mechanism basic and free of stays. You never have to worry about the lid slamming. The chest carcase is dovetailed and nailed. All original lifts and lock. The lock is broken and unsure if it can be repaired… Looks to be in good shape. If anyone knows about repairing of chest locks let me know. Slight tapering and shaping of dust skirt is cool.Nicely dovetailed fitted tool trays and large saw till outfit the interior… I like how they did it proper and made the roto hinges for the lid easily replaceable. All and all the chest is in great shape and doesn’t need to much repair. I’m happy to store my tools in here and get used to working out of a chest. It will give me a great insight into what it is that I want in a chest of my own.


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