Toolbox Restoration

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Project by Tom posted 10-22-2018 02:22 PM 2250 views 3 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This carpenter or handyman toolbox was handed down to me. It belonged to my grandfather and he did a lot of handyman work in his later years. It is a very simple nailed together box, but it has some family history so I thought it would be nice for tool storage. I cleaned it up a bit, gave it a coat of coach black paint and added some new pine dividers and trays.

I actually had a fair number of 1960’s era, plastic handled tools that came along with the box, so I restocked it with similar era tools, mostly old Stanley stuff. It was a fun little project.

I also added a second lower box with wheels and fall front for a little extra storage. It raises the toolbox to a nice level to reduce stooping. When I built my new workbench, I left enough room to store the box under the bench. It is actually rather handy there and I am pleasantly surprised how often I pull a tool out for use.

It pretty much contains the tools a handyman carpenter would find useful; various saws, chisels, rasps, hammers, squares, jack and block plane. It holds a lot of tools and actually gets a bit heavy. The old box had a shoulder strap made from an old leather belt. I have been meaning to add a couple chest handles to replace that.

-- Tom

13 comments so far

View pottz's profile (online now)


18885 posts in 2149 days

#1 posted 10-22-2018 02:25 PM

nice save grandpa would be proud.welcome to lumber jocks.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View Phil32's profile


1500 posts in 1068 days

#2 posted 10-22-2018 04:03 PM

My grandfather left a similar toolbox – perhaps larger: about 2×2 x 4 feet. I can remember the thrill of going through the trays of chisels, Yankee drills, planes, saws – A place for everything and everything in its place. I especially remember a six level set of auger bits, and an elaborate rabbit & fillester plane.

-- Phil Allin - There are woodworkers and people who collect woodworking tools. The woodworkers have a chair to sit on that they made.

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

9939 posts in 3493 days

#3 posted 10-22-2018 06:15 PM

Nice save….

and now you’re an anarchist.


-- Matt -- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4499 days

#4 posted 10-22-2018 08:14 PM

Great to have something from your grandfather that you can relate to and even use. Nothing better than family continuity.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Bill Berklich's profile

Bill Berklich

1198 posts in 1553 days

#5 posted 10-22-2018 08:34 PM

Bet Gramps is somewhere smiling at such a great restoration job! Well done.

-- Bill - Rochester MI

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile (online now)


17441 posts in 3783 days

#6 posted 10-22-2018 08:41 PM

Congrats on a fine refurb! Having connections to the past is important to me as well, it makes the routine, extraordinary!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. - OldTools Archive -

View Peteybadboy's profile


3673 posts in 3115 days

#7 posted 10-22-2018 09:28 PM

Nice project, something to pass down when you are ready.

-- Petey

View Woodbutcher3's profile


463 posts in 4052 days

#8 posted 10-22-2018 10:05 PM

Love the tool box.
Nothing better than pulling out tools your dad or grandfather had in his hands in the past.
I have an anvil from my grandfather that is over 100 years old, chisels as well as wood handled spanners (wrenches) from the early 1900’s.

-- Rod ~ There's never enough time to finish a project, but there's always time to start another one.

View CL810's profile


4157 posts in 4153 days

#9 posted 10-23-2018 02:56 AM

Great homage to your grandfather!

-- "The only limits to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today." - FDR

View Ivan's profile


16904 posts in 4033 days

#10 posted 10-23-2018 05:03 AM

Great saving…looks fantastic…It would be real waste to throw it away.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View CincyRW's profile


165 posts in 2815 days

#11 posted 10-23-2018 02:55 PM

I really like how you did this. The paint color looks great, and is probably pretty similar to what your grandad would have painted it back then. The box was perfect – you just cleaned it up a little and made a couple tweaks. Nicely done!

View Tom's profile


289 posts in 1057 days

#12 posted 10-23-2018 06:32 PM

Thanks for all the great comments. It’s nice to hear that people still value the old woodworking traditions and tools. I really appreciate it.

-- Tom

View fivecodys's profile


1743 posts in 2801 days

#13 posted 10-24-2018 08:12 PM

I think your grandpa would be very pleased with what you did.
Maybe one day you can pass it along to one of your grandchildren?

-- A bad day woodworking is still better than a good day working.

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