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    Hello, first post here. I have what I think is an old model 52. Overall very good shape, so I’m only going to brighten up the hardware and replace the felt. My problem is I can’t get the front lid off. I could replace the felt while the lid is attached, but would rather not do it that way. I have seen the video at the Gerstner website, but I believe my chest is older/different than the one in this video. Mine does not have the “stop track” (?) system, so there is no screw to remove on the right side. Tried manipulating the lid as shown in video, and many other ways, but there is no getting the pin out of the track. Any suggestions appreciated, thanks.


    I have encountered the same problem, more often than not. Sometimes, the felt pads on the bottom can get in the way and have to be removed. Barring any other solution, I take off the bottom corner hardware and separate the sides just enough to get the pins to clear. Usually, the finger joints are dried out enough to allow some movement with the persuasion of a light hammer or a spreading type clamp. The pins can then be adjusted for reassembly by tapping them in a little. Re-glue the joints as necessary and re-install the corners.


    Thanks, will try removing the small felt pads, but not going so far as messing with the joinery of the box. Its just in such nice shape as it is. A little Murphy’s oil soap and a stiff tooth brush is really doing wonders for exterior, much brighter than in pic I attached.

    Thanks much!


    I’m used to working with old, nasty, sweaty boxes. If your joinery is still in good, solid shape, then don’t mess with it. Good Luck!


    I had one stubborn front panel and I took a chance and shaved the end of the bottom drawer rail (left side or if you wish the right side facing the box) I started about an inch back and shaved in, narrowing towards the front at an angle. It took about and 1/16 of an inch before I was able to remove the front panel. I actually got the idea when working on a newer chest. I noticed that the bottom rail had been shaved at the factory. I tried the same thing and it worked. Just take off a little at a time and stop every once in awhile. Try the front panel each time until you get the results, but don’t shave too much off so as not to affect the drawer sliding in and out. I used the newer chest as a guide. If you go too far, just remove the rail and replace it with some square stock. The photo is from the newer chest that I used as an example. Good luck.


    Laying the chest on its back seemed to help me… I know it shouldn’t matter, but it did.


    I have had general success with the below method:

    1) lay down the front door, extended and NOT stowed.

    2) remove the bottom drawer or two.

    3) Put the left hinge pin in the most
    forward position in the slot

    4) While raising the outboard edge of the door,
    move the right hinge pin toward the rear
    of the box an inch or more.

    5) This should move the pin OUT of it’s groove.

    6) Lift that side door area upwards to increase the
    distance between the sides of the box and the door.
    (Remember your trigonometry).

    6) Wiggle the door around to extract the door

    7) Assembly is the reverse of disassembly.


    Followed your instructions and worked great!



    We also have a video on our YouTube Channel that demonstrates taking out the front lid, which will go well with Scott Guthrie’s description above.

    You can get to all of the Gerstner YouTube Videos from the link at the top of the page.

    Here is a link to the video on removing the front lid.


    I saw Scott Campbell’s video before I read this thread. Scott Guthrie’s written explanation and the video match so very well. This has worked well for me. Thank you gentlemen!


    On my old 41B from I’m guessing 1918 or 1919 the little ramp is cut into the bottom right drawer rail as well. I was wondering how that worked since I am missing the front lid and have to build one. I will need to get the clearance just right I guess in order to make it remove correctly.


    I followed all the videos and suggestions I could find on the forum and could not get the front lid out of my 40’s to 50’s O52.
    I finally shaved about 1/16 to 3/32 of inch off the right side bottom drawer guide and I came right out.

    I hated to ‘alter’ the chest but felt this little amount wouldn’t be to painful.

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