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Making a Tool Chest out of Cast-Off Furniture

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Forum topic by poopiekat posted 07-20-2020 09:34 PM 564 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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poopiekat

4800 posts in 4588 days


07-20-2020 09:34 PM

Topic tags/keywords: retro-fit salvage repurposed oak veneer furniture

Most of us have suffered through the ’Cube’ furniture craze of the ‘80s.
In the backlane behind my house, a neighbor tossed a coffee/end table of this era, and after a few rainy days, it caught my eye. I brought it home…with an idea in mind.

So, I set about to cut in a cavity in one side that I could stuff with drawers, and slice off the top for a flip-top upper storage area.

So then, I added gas pistons for raising the lid, and some brass hardware to finish.

The entire cost was the pistons only, which I didn’t have.
Next, I’ll fit up the base which will be 1 1/4” oak ply rescued from a student desk. This was also a cast-off relic before I salvaged it. The top of the base is an awesome 24” X24” butcher-block worktop from a portable dishwasher that was deep-sixed. Even has a genuine chrome-plated full-length handle! The base unit will also become a drawer unit, but it’s hard to decide how many/how deep to make the drawers.

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!


16 replies so far

View Don W's profile

Don W

19698 posts in 3421 days


#1 posted 07-20-2020 09:44 PM

Nice save. What’s the plan now? The 80s have passed.

-- http://timetestedtools.net - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

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poopiekat

4800 posts in 4588 days


#2 posted 07-20-2020 09:46 PM

Well, DonW, here’s my plan:
I’m going to sort my tools by DECADE, and have a period-correct cabinet for each decade, say from 1850 to 2020.

Hey, wait a minute, that would be 170 cabinets! Maybe just one DRAWER for each decade!!

Just kidding, ‘bro!

ps I’ll line the 1970’s cabinet with that fine carpeting you see on the basement floor.

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

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theoldfart

12017 posts in 3305 days


#3 posted 07-20-2020 10:23 PM

Make sure the carpet still has period correct pet odors and spilled beer stains!

Awesome improvement PK.

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

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poopiekat

4800 posts in 4588 days


#4 posted 07-20-2020 10:54 PM

Thanks, Kevin, for the good words, even though I see you’re crazy busy these days!

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

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Smitty_Cabinetshop

16905 posts in 3472 days


#5 posted 07-20-2020 11:16 PM

That’s a fine save, a very useful shop cabinet!

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

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poopiekat

4800 posts in 4588 days


#6 posted 07-20-2020 11:22 PM

Thanks, Smitty! Cube furniture is such a waste of space, even in the best of times! So this one has a new lease on life….not necessarily in my shop, I may just donate it somewhere before I go out and find stuff to fill it up with.

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View Don Broussard's profile

Don Broussard

3939 posts in 3105 days


#7 posted 07-20-2020 11:27 PM

Nice save, PK. If you’d put a small mirror on the diagonal over green felt in the inside of the lid, I could mistake that tool chest for a Gerstner!

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

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poopiekat

4800 posts in 4588 days


#8 posted 07-21-2020 03:01 AM

Thanks, Don B., that’s really flattering!

Felt would be a great choice, but I have some yardage of a vinyl ‘pleather’ upholstery material in a shimmering nutmeg color. Got it from Habitat for Humanity Re-Store.

not quite sure how I want to deck out the drawer bottoms yet, but once I figure out how I want to configure the drawers, I’ll go from there. Not even sure what type of tools should go in there yet. The diamond mirror idea is a great one, I’ll have to hit a dollar store and try to find one. A Gerstner chest this will never be, though!

Thanks, everyone, for your kind replies!

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

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Lazyman

5821 posts in 2241 days


#9 posted 07-21-2020 03:21 AM

Recycling at its best. At least it had some nice looking veneer on it.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View sansoo22's profile

sansoo22

1125 posts in 508 days


#10 posted 07-21-2020 03:56 AM

While cube furniture is terrible I find cube shaped tool storage awesome!

Also I need that carpet to go with the wall paper in my 1965 hallway. It may induce vertigo but its a risk I’m willing to take.

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poopiekat

4800 posts in 4588 days


#11 posted 07-21-2020 04:15 AM

I was not expecting the lid to be so heavy, it was 16 lbs. Working on the drawer slides was a nightmare, there was only a 1”X 1” stick propping the open lid up. That’s why I went with the gas cylinders.

Plan is to renovate the basement and remove that carpet, sansoo! There’s probably a ton of foam backing that has turned into a dry black powder. Perfect for your renovation!

Nathan, this was one of the better pieces I’ve scrounged from the neighborhood. I’ve converted an old bookshelf into a carpenter’s chest, and lo and behold it’s solid chestnut, so instead of going with shabby chic, I stripped it and carefully refinished it. I snagged a maple drop-leaf dinette, mid-century, and it will become a plant stand.

I go shopping in the backlane often. Picked up 2 drums of old house wire from a reno, got $46 buckaroos for it!!

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

5821 posts in 2241 days


#12 posted 07-21-2020 12:39 PM

My wife’s hobby is back lane shopping as well. She just sold some rough, free dining room chairs rescued from the bulk trash pickup for $40. They look like they were stored in a leaky shed for 20 years but for the most part the bones were still good. I am just glad that she sold them as-is instead of sweet talking me into restoring them for her. I’ve refinished several MCM furniture pieces for her which she sold for big bucks but chairs are a PITA and a couple need a little structural work too.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View John Jardin's profile

John Jardin

82 posts in 494 days


#13 posted 07-21-2020 12:51 PM

Outstanding!
Well thought out including the graduated drawers and top shelf.
JohnJ

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

15072 posts in 1992 days


#14 posted 07-21-2020 02:39 PM

Great save PK :-)

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

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cmacnaughton

220 posts in 498 days


#15 posted 07-21-2020 08:10 PM

Excellent conversion!

-- –Chuck M. Nutmegger by choice

showing 1 through 15 of 16 replies

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