Need Advice on What to Use to Clean the Wood on a Old Gerstner Tool Box

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Forum topic by Fired_Yo_Momma posted 05-07-2015 03:12 AM 4734 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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80 posts in 2472 days

05-07-2015 03:12 AM

Hi All,

I am a newbie and I would like to pick you minds on what do you recommend to clean up the muck and dirt on old wooden tool boxes. I recently came into an old Gerstner tool box and I wanted to clean the wood before if it is determined that I would need to do a complete sanding strip.

Need your advice on what to do or what cleaning materials that I should pick up. Thanks!!


7 replies so far

View Dark_Lightning's profile


4524 posts in 4168 days

#1 posted 05-07-2015 03:27 AM

I got hold of an old Gerstner chest several months ago. I cleaned it up with mineral spirits, so as to not dissolve the finish. Maybe someone else will come up with a different solution. After having seen the workmanship, I was not particularly impressed- I had thought that they were the ultimate in tool chests. I sold that chest, and am building my own, for my wood carving tools.

-- Steven.......Random Orbital Nailer

View Don Broussard's profile

Don Broussard

4015 posts in 3311 days

#2 posted 05-07-2015 03:47 AM

I’ve had good success with Bar Keeper’s Friend. I might try mineral spirits on my next cleaning.

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

View Woodknack's profile


13552 posts in 3440 days

#3 posted 05-07-2015 04:03 AM

Yeah I would start with mineral spirits and a toothbrush. Or a diluted citrus degreaser but don’t let it set too long.

I’m an oddball I guess, but I never had any desire for a Gerstner.

-- Rick M,

View bc4393's profile


104 posts in 2202 days

#4 posted 05-07-2015 05:44 PM

I’d suggest either Weiman or Guardsman Furniture cleaner/polish and some 0000 steel wool (probably Guardsman over Weiman for cleaning grime) I’d stick with the cream instead of spray if it were me. Both are available from Ace Hardware and other places.

View remdds's profile


40 posts in 3685 days

#5 posted 05-07-2015 06:21 PM

I have restored several of them. Gerstner sells a product that works real well. If you look around on their website
I believe there is a video showing how they do it.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5349 posts in 5020 days

#6 posted 05-07-2015 07:03 PM

I’ve used GoJo hand cleaner with good results. Not abrasive, gets the dirt and grease off, doesn’t harm the finish, and it gets your hands clean at the same time. What else do ya want? Finish off with a wipe of DNA (if it is compatible with the finish). Get on with the new finish.

-- [email protected]

View bonesbr549's profile


1588 posts in 4126 days

#7 posted 05-08-2015 12:49 AM

I’d not muck with the patina of that finish. I’d get any hard dirt off with a brush. I use renaissance wax. It was recommended by someone who worked with antiques. It is not cheap, but one can will last forever. It will clean and polish all in one wack and not damage the finish patina. Brings stuff to life do a before and after picture and you will see the diff.

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

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