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View Full Version : Could anybody help identify a machinist box?



Kirbot
04-11-2010, 03:23 PM
This is my second wooden machinist box, I just got it a few hours ago at a fleamarket.
It's a bit of a mess but it was practically free because of all the stuff in it.
It was only $20.00!

Now my question is, before I start sanding and stripping or whatever all I decide to do is, what kind is it?

Does anybody recognise it?

Any advise on restoring it?

I'm not sure just how far I plan to go with it, probably just get it looking decent, but I will make a new cover a drawer for it.


Thanks
-Mike

Oops I hit submit before I added the pictures!

http://img709.imageshack.us/img709/5641/p1080619.jpg (http://img709.imageshack.us/i/p1080619.jpg/)
http://img18.imageshack.us/img18/3830/p1080621.jpg (http://img18.imageshack.us/i/p1080621.jpg/)
http://img404.imageshack.us/img404/5454/p1080626.jpg (http://img404.imageshack.us/i/p1080626.jpg/)

DENedbalek
04-11-2010, 03:38 PM
It looks like an old Gerstner to me. http://www.gerstnerusa.com/

Dwayne

KiddZimaHater
04-11-2010, 04:33 PM
It looks kinda like this old Gerstner:
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3122/2787361094_42f3114b33.jpg
I wouldn't sand and strip it.
I would just replace or repair any broken hardware, fix any loose wood, and clean-up the original finish.
But that's just my 2 cents.

Carld
04-11-2010, 05:50 PM
Hmm, I'm thinking it's not home done because of the rivets on the corner protectors and latches. Did you pull the drawers and look on the bottoms and inside the cabinet and on the bottom of the cabinet?

J Tiers
04-11-2010, 05:56 PM
What do the drawer runners inside the box casing look like?

Also, the handles look a little odd. are they by chance a rivet with a tubular part around the rivet shank?

DFMiller
04-11-2010, 06:05 PM
Whatever you do don't sand and refinish it.
That looks real nice> :-)
As KiddZimaHater said just make it functional. Or if you really wanted something new you could send to me and I could buy you one of those NEW knock off units and send it to you.
;-)

Dave

SGW
04-11-2010, 06:33 PM
Probably a Gerstner, but it might not be. I have a small antique wooden chest that looks for all the world as though it ought to be a Gerstner, but it has a "Union Tool Co." brand label on it.

You might try washing with mild soap and water to get the dirt off, then wiping it down with denatured alcohol. The finish may be shellac, and if it is the alcohol will dissolve and reconstitute the finish. I certainly would not sand it.

Kirbot
04-11-2010, 06:54 PM
Well, I guess I should have kept my pants on and waited a bit.
I already used citristrip on one drawer.
Now I'm having second thoughts on the rest of it.
I'll have to match the finish pretty close anyway if I don't strip it because one drawer and the cover is missing.
So hopefully stripping one wasn't to big of a whoops.

The felt is also pretty bad, so I'm planing to replace all of it.

I looked all through it, in and under the drawers, in the bottem of the case, everywhare.
But I can't find a name.


"Also, the handles look a little odd. are they by chance a rivet with a tubular part around the rivet shank?"

They are!
Is that significant, or just a curiosity?

http://img210.imageshack.us/img210/3876/p1080636.jpg (http://img210.imageshack.us/i/p1080636.jpg/)
http://img695.imageshack.us/img695/8278/p1080632h.jpg (http://img695.imageshack.us/i/p1080632h.jpg/)

This mummy didn't look to good after the unwraping.
Are replacement parts just wishfull thinking?
I expect I'll have to make something to replace it.
http://img19.imageshack.us/img19/4208/p1080634z.jpg (http://img19.imageshack.us/i/p1080634z.jpg/)http://img20.imageshack.us/img20/4276/p1080637.jpg (http://img20.imageshack.us/i/p1080637.jpg/)

Kirbot
04-11-2010, 07:15 PM
I was just looking through some of the papers that came in it.
The only date I found was 1942!

Also I see there are some parts available on Gerstner's website, but PRICEY!

JCHannum
04-11-2010, 09:03 PM
While it resembles a Gerstner, it doubt that it is. On a Gerstner, the top latches to a header above the drawers and pins through the header hold the front panel in place when the lid is closed like this one;

http://i320.photobucket.com/albums/nn351/jchannum/P1070644.jpg

The Gerstner drawer pulls have the head attached to a wood screw and the top handle hardware is different also. It could be a home made or another manufacturer such as Union, there were quite a few.

BTW, I see no harm in refinishing and refurbishing it. It could turn out to be a very nice chest when done.

lane
04-11-2010, 09:24 PM
Starrett, Lufkin, and other makers sold wooden tool boxes in the old days.

ietech
04-11-2010, 09:35 PM
This is my second wooden machinist box, I just got it a few hours ago at a fleamarket.
It's a bit of a mess but it was practically free because of all the stuff in it.
It was only $20.00!

Now my question is, before I start sanding and stripping or whatever all I decide to do is, what kind is it?

Does anybody recognise it?

Any advise on restoring it?

I'm not sure just how far I plan to go with it, probably just get it looking decent, but I will make a new cover a drawer for it.


Thanks
-Mike

Oops I hit submit before I added the pictures!



It appears to be a very early model Gerstner -- Mine, a model 41A -- Orville Wright, is from the early1900S I can only confirm 1954 based on a material receipt I found under the bottom drawer. Definately restore. I rubbed gently with 0000 steel wool to clean and prepare the surfaace for matching stain. Used Mild bleach solution to kill mildew, rinsed with damp rags and blow dried IMMEDIATLY to prevent damage to the wood. Blasted the hardware with very fine Alum Oxide media and cleaned thorougly. The rest is easy, coat with wood restorer, stained. then used a light coat of water based poly urethane to protect my work in the future. Great find GOOD LUCK:)

I tried to post a pic of mine but can't figure out how to do it on this web site any suggestions would be appreciated.

Kirbot
04-11-2010, 10:06 PM
Posting pictures here is a little different than some forums, but you can just copy and paste the Url between these

I'd love to see the pictures, I'm still not quite sure what I'll do with mine.

What kind of wood restorer did you use?

Somewhere (maybe even here) I read that wooden drawer bottoms were used before 1940. (mine are sheet metal) And that only the early chests used a chain on the lid like mine.

Anyboy else know about that?

All that assuming it's a Gerstner of course.


Also if anybody has a picture of what the front cover is supposed to look like, I would appreciate seeing it.

JCHannum
04-11-2010, 10:13 PM
You can send Gerstner photos of the box, and they will verify if it is theirs. They have sent me e-mails confirming boxes I have had on eBay as being authentic. They are quite active in this respect.

J Tiers
04-11-2010, 10:22 PM
The large rivet and tubular part handle are exactly like SIPCO.

Schartow Iron Products Co of Racine Wis.

Here is a picture of a rivet and tube on mine... the only one I didn't refinish, because it still has a decal (well part of one). I don't know what color mine was, it was Uncle Walter's, and in storage it got severe smoke and water damage, so I had to take it apart and re-build it (using hide glue, of course). When I got it, it was very dark, and covered in a gooey smoke gunk.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/0803/jstanley/sipcopull.jpg

coldformer
04-11-2010, 11:20 PM
it looks like an old union box that i gave to a friend

Kirbot
04-12-2010, 08:11 PM
Well, I decided what to do with it.
I'm not going to strip it, but I did clean it up with 0000 steel wool and I went over it with some stain.

I think it's working real nice, it keeps the age and character of the box, but it really made it look better.

Next I'll give it some sort of clear finish.
Most of it doesn't really need it, but the drawer I striped, and the new parts I'll make for it will need some sort of finish.

I sent pictures of my other box, (a National by Gerstner) to gerstner to identify it, thanks for reminding me.
I'll send the email right after I post this.

http://img192.imageshack.us/img192/7493/p1080642.jpg (http://img192.imageshack.us/i/p1080642.jpg/)
http://img36.imageshack.us/img36/3446/p1080654n.jpg (http://img36.imageshack.us/i/p1080654n.jpg/)

J Tiers
04-12-2010, 08:36 PM
Looking at your newer pictures, Sipco is probably not what it is......

Sipco has a construction more like Gerstner, with the header in front and latch to that. On the Sipco, there are 4 latches plus a lock, with two latches on front and one at each end. Pins operated by the top lock in the front panel.

I don't quite see how the front stays on the one you have other than the two end latches...... The lock means is a little puzzling, as it seems if the lock was locked to the front, one could just un-snap the end latches, and the whole works would tilt up......

The drawer slides are also different, look like bent wire, which is cheapie enough for Sipco, but they used a stamped metal part on mine.

Charles Lessig
04-12-2010, 08:48 PM
My Schartow looks like that.

It has a round mirror set in a square metal frame mounted
diamond style and has cigar burns on the top.

Mine was used by Edward W Patirra of Pittsburgh and came
from a flea market near washington DC with his tools in it and
a Stevenson campaign button hooked to the mirror.

J Tiers
04-12-2010, 09:05 PM
OK, pics of your Sipco? Could help identify his, of course..... ;) ;) ;)

Paul Alciatore
04-13-2010, 01:23 AM
.......

I tried to post a pic of mine but can't figure out how to do it on this web site any suggestions would be appreciated.

If you checkout the sticky post at the top of each board here, you will see instructions for using Photobucket to post pictures. Please do read and heed the part about proper sizing of the pictures.

Kirbot
04-13-2010, 10:23 PM
I picked up some more stain and a spray can of "Semi-gloss polyurethane" today.

I dont know If I will get to it tomarrow but I'm looking forward to seeing how it looks.

The stain I was using didn't really have enough red in it.


Also Gerstner answered and it isn't one.

So I'm still scratching my head, I would like to know what the cover is supposed to look like.

The drawer guides are actually more like flat peices of metal pressed into the sides of the chest.

I'll look up a couple of the names mentioned in this topic and see what I can find.