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  • #27647

    A friend gave me an old chest in very rough condition. Although it’s rough, it’s functional, except that the front lid wood is broken.

    I’ve attached a few pictures (it measures 20″x11.5″x9.5″). As far as I can tell, it’s a model 55 from before WWII.

    I plan to just clean it, wrap some leather on the handle & glue down the loose leatherette (would rubber/contact cement be OK?).

    I’d like to remove the lid and glue the broken wood back together. I looked on the forum for instructions on how to remove the front lid but didn’t find it (I probably missed it somehow). Can anyone share instructions on how to remove the front lid on this box? Thanks!

    #35336
    user459
    Member

    If you are convinced it is a Model 55, then there should be no problem. most front panels just slipped into place under the bottom drawer. They were not on tracks with pins and stops like Gerstners and just pulled straight out and the bottom of the panel fit into a groove in the bottom of the case.

    What you have is a case, not a chest. Chests have opening lids and top tills; tool cases have only drawers.

    Who do you think was the maker of this tool case?

    I would suggest using contact cement to glue down the loose leatherette.

    https://gerstnertoolchest.shutterfly.com/restorationdetails

    Scroll down to Refreshing Leatherette Coverings.

    You may fiind other helpful hints on my web site also. (I have restored over 250 of these boxes.)

    #35337
    user459
    Member

    Sorry, I just looked up the Gerstner Style 55 and realized that the front panel is on runners and is held in by stops on each side. Still, they are relatively easy to get out. Pull the panel all the way out and allow the left pin to settle into the lowest position. Raise the panel up toward the locked position while sliding the right side pin up and out of its groove.

    I hope that works for you, but I think there is a post on the forum that goes into greater detail. There may also be a video on Gerstner’s YouTube channel.

    #35338
    user459
    Member
    #35339

    Thank you Terry for taking the time to reply and for the links. Now that I’ve read the thread you referenced and watched Scott Campbell’s video, it makes perfect sense as to how to get the front lid out (wish I was smart enough to think of it myself…).

    Sorry for the wrong terminology for the case. I didn’t know that they were described differently. I’ll reference the information you pointed me to for the gluing of the loose leatherette, when I’m ready for that part of the process.

    I’m pretty slow with getting to stuff and the one thing I want to do pretty much right away is to glue the front lid back together. Again based on how slow I am, it will take me quite a long time to clean the case (will probably do it in small chunks of time).

    I’m a bit of a “collector” of a wide variety of things (mostly automotive & bicycle related but also certain tools; one of which is a brand called Plomb…) and have several Gerstener chests (about 7 I think). This is the first case I’ve acquired. Here’s a picture of couple of the chests. As you can probably tell, these two are not that old.

    #35718
    carchaeology
    Participant

    I had posted pictures of getting the front lid off in the previous forum.
    I glued the wood back together and glued the loose leatherette back down as best I could.
    Then, I reinstalled the front lid to the case.
    I’ve also cleaned the drawer fronts and knobs and applied cherry danish oil to the drawer fronts.
    A few pictures of the process and results so far…

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    #35722
    carchaeology
    Participant

    More pictures…

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    #35727
    carchaeology
    Participant

    More pics…

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    #35732
    carchaeology
    Participant

    Cleaning the leatherette on the top of the case…

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    #35737
    carchaeology
    Participant

    JMR was born in 1900 and died in 1979, according to my friend who gave me the case.
    This may have been something he acquired when he was a young man…
    He apparently spent his career working for Gilmore oil then Mobile Oil.

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    #35742
    carchaeology
    Participant

    Cleaning the drawers, then applied Danish oil.

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    #35747
    carchaeology
    Participant

    My friend sent me some keys he found in the garage with the case.
    Only one even goes into the lock but the lock doesn’t turn.
    I’ll have to take the lock off the lid and see if it’s frozen inside, or I have the wrong key…

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