Tin-clad vintage joiners tool chest

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Forum topic by JoelW posted 06-24-2017 02:11 PM 1317 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 2348 days

06-24-2017 02:11 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question tool box vintage molding planes planes

I ran across this old woodworking tool chest today and was intrigued for several reasons – First, the lid was fully clad in tin, held on by tons of brass nails, which I had never seen before. Second, there are a decent number of older wooden planes (mainly longer try/jointer and molding planes) that seemed to be in decent shape. And third, it has a pretty cool drop-down saw till built into the lid.

Have any of you guys ever seen a chest with the lid fully clad in metal like this? And what are your thoughts on that number of molding planes? It looked like most of the planes were Sandusky/Ohio Tool type planes, so probably not extremely collectable, but decent workers.

Thanks for your input!


-- Joel, Kansas

10 replies so far

View paratrooper34's profile


915 posts in 3730 days

#1 posted 06-24-2017 02:16 PM

Nice find! A treasure trove of antique tools.

My thoughts on the number of molding planes: You hit the jackpot, IMO.

-- Mike

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7625 posts in 3044 days

#2 posted 06-24-2017 02:16 PM

That is really cool. Wouldn’t you just love to learn the history of it and the man who owned it.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile (online now)


16719 posts in 3397 days

#3 posted 06-24-2017 02:19 PM


Did you take it home with you?

I’m guessing it was definitely a chest to take ‘on the road,’ and the tin made the thing uber-resiliant to bumps and bashes and even rain. Never seen one like it before.

Based on reading on tool chests, that rack is specifically for moulders / H&R planes and the numbers aren’t out of line at all.

Great find!

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

View Tim's profile


3859 posts in 2740 days

#4 posted 06-24-2017 04:31 PM

I have one where the lid is covered in sheet metal, but instead of being shaped like yours, the top on mine is flat. On mine the corners are also braced with thick braces and the 4 vertical edges have sheet metal on them as well. Here’s a thread I posted with pictures.

Yours is a great find, I’d love to find one with all those molding planes.

Also when I was researching the metal covering, I found this article from 1903 on Lost Arts Press about tool chests.
It had this tidbit on adding metal covering:
“Another thing I might suggest in connection with tool chests is not to put such panel tops on them, but cover with galvanized iron so far as to make the chest sun proof and water proof, and baggage smasher proof, if good comer irons of the same material are put on with clout nails and clinched.”

View JoelW's profile


2 posts in 2348 days

#5 posted 06-24-2017 04:59 PM

Wow, thanks for the info guys! I have not purchased it yet…They were asking $500 for it, which I can’t really spend as just “walking around” money. I was planning on building a hanging tool cabinet, so the tool chest option wasn’t what I first had in mind.

I also haven’t strictly needed very many molding planes yet, so it is a bit harder to justify when there are some other things i could use first. I’m really going back and forth on it currently. Does $500 seem like a reach to you guys?

-- Joel, Kansas

View Aj2's profile


3100 posts in 2576 days

#6 posted 06-24-2017 05:40 PM

That would too much for me.
The coolest tool I see is that panel marking gauge that thing is badass.

-- Aj

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13399 posts in 3158 days

#7 posted 06-24-2017 05:50 PM

That’s neat but it’s priced for collectors and I’m a user, too much.

-- Rick M,

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Don W

19622 posts in 3346 days

#8 posted 06-25-2017 09:11 PM

I get that $500 is a lot of money, but that’s no where’s near “collector” price. I count 25 molding planes in just one picture. $500/25 is only $20 a piece. That’s not even considering the chest could be priced around here at $700 empty.

Assuming you have to buy the material ( and I don’t know that you do) to build a wall mount, this is a good deal.

That is of course assuming you even want to use wooden planes.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View papadan's profile


3584 posts in 4147 days

#9 posted 06-25-2017 09:20 PM

That man worked in new construction a lot. The galvanized top cover was to keep out the rain.

View theoldfart's profile


11651 posts in 3229 days

#10 posted 06-25-2017 10:24 PM

I’ll second Don’s observations. That chest belonged to an accomplished joiner, the saw till is ingenious. The large panel gauges indicate he did all of his prep work, no borg white wood in his world. Even the sliding tills are well made.

It would be a worthwhile investment along with a great effort to keep his tools together and in working order.

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

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