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Sportandmiah
08-25-2011, 12:32 PM
I bought this Kennedy machinists box at a garage sale for $5 today and am curious about how to properly restore it. There is a decent amount of rust that needs to be addressed.
Thanks

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t182/bigsport/2011-08-25112404.jpg

spongerich
08-25-2011, 12:51 PM
Depends on how severe the rust is.

My preference for rust removal is electrolysis, but sometimes bead blasting is more convenient. In either case, the 1st thing to do is to completely disassemble it and get a good assessment of that you're dealing with. I would think that you can probably get new slides and other parts from Kennedy if you need them, but they'll cost more than $5.00.

Those are nice boxes and definitely worth spending the time to restore.

portlandRon
08-25-2011, 02:29 PM
If you want to make it look like it did when it left the factory Kennedy sells spray paint and replacement hardware - check out their web site.

Alistair Hosie
08-25-2011, 04:00 PM
You can't really be worried about messing up such alow investment as this is not expensive at five bucks I would have it sanded or if you can blasted lightly then undercoated and repainted .Take your time and it could be made as new .If you've got the time and inclination, money will not be a big drain as it's mostly elbow grease and alittle paint.Have fun I wish it were mine. Alistair

Sportandmiah
08-25-2011, 05:01 PM
Just so happens a friend has a sand blaster. I will check out the Kennedy website for the paint and whatnot. I will post pictures on the.progress...don't hold your breath in anticipation as it might be awhile. :)

deltaenterprizes
08-25-2011, 07:12 PM
I think MSC sell the paint.

ammcoman2
08-25-2011, 07:28 PM
When I "restored" one I picked up, I didn't have a rust problem but an oil/grease one. The liners were toast and the paint didn't look too good.

Got the paint from KBC and the liner material from Lee Valley. It is still in service doing yeoman duty.

Well worth fixing up IMO since the bones are good.

Geoff

CCWKen
08-25-2011, 08:40 PM
I got the very same model chest at an auction a few years ago. No serious rust, just well used and full of tools. I just rubbed it down with paint thinner to clean it and there it still sits. It has that Master Machinist at work look to it. ;)

Sportandmiah
08-25-2011, 09:33 PM
Turns out the rust is merely on the surface. I took a piece of 600 grit sand paper, and with almost no pressure sanded the top and the rust and what is left of the paint fell off, leaving a nice bare metal clean surface. Hopefully the rest goes this smooth.

sasquatch
08-25-2011, 10:54 PM
If you google "Garage Journal old tool boxes" you will find lots of info on that site, plus lots of gorgeous old tool boxes, as found, and also restored.

Sportandmiah
08-27-2011, 11:20 AM
Excellent, thanks.


If you google "Garage Journal old tool boxes" you will find lots of info on that site, plus lots of gorgeous old tool boxes, as found, and also restored.

Bob D.
08-27-2011, 01:06 PM
My mother in law had a 3 drawer green Kennedy toolbox in her attic. It belonged to her late husband's brother who worked in an aircraft plant in Texas in WWII and died in an traffic accident in 1944. The box was locked and she had no idea what it contained. After a few years of gentle coaxing, she finally agreed to let me get it down and open it up. It contained a dial indicator, a caliper, a few wrenches, drill bits, and odds and ends. Absolutely nothing of use to her. I hinted that both the box and stuff inside were of interest to me, and she replied " just close it back up and put it back where you found it".

My wife spent the next few months convincing her that it would make a nice Xmas present for me and finally she agreed. Much nicer than the flimsy bathrobes and argyle socks I usually got from her!

This was about 10 years ago. Now she's 82 and extremely cantankerous. I think she's not welcome in Heaven and Hell is afraid she would take over and so I'm going to be stuck with her for many years to come...:)

moe1942
08-27-2011, 01:53 PM
Does it have the front cover panel??

Bob D.
08-27-2011, 02:18 PM
Does it have the front cover panel??

It did. but I have no idea where it is. Can't remember if it was there when I got it, but I just checked and it's not under the bottom drawer or anywhere else near the box, so I suspect I don't have have it.

Does your interest mean it was worth something?:eek:

Forrest Addy
08-27-2011, 02:40 PM
Most Kennedy boxes of my experiences were coated with wrinkle paint. Use abrasive rust removal methids and the wrinkle texture will suffer.

I hit on a soft brush and Ajax kitchen cleanser. Ajax is designed to remove rust. It has a mild abrasive and a detergent resulting in a powerful cleaning action for some kinds of kitchen dirt which icludes rust stains on paint and vitreous enamel. Yesterday, inspired by this thread I brought in the lightly rusted front panel of an Kennedy box I inheretd from an old machinist and scrubbed it up with Ajax. Looks pretty good. It restored the original olive color, removed most all the light rust and all of the greasy film oxidized on for 50 years.

Try a few non-injurious cleaning methods before you bead blast, wet sand etc old but sound paint. Sometimes gentler methods work and can save you paint removal to bare metal and a complete repaint.

OTH bead blast is great but erosive to the base metal when the paint ti tough. In the past I've used solvent based paint remover with great success. The thing to remember is that the solvent will eventually get the paint. You just have to keep the solvent in contact with the paint long enough to do the deed. Prepared paint removers have a "retarder" gel as part of the formulation. This inhibits solvent evaporation but it doesn't prevent it. You got about a half hour.

My approach to resistant paint is to slobber on paint remover and wrap the work in aluminum foil. The foil is impervious to the solvent and if the work is tightly wrapped in foil (lapped over closures) the solvent will last for a day.

Whan you unwrap the work, remove the goop quickly. If the solvent evaporates the paint can reconstitute itself to a degree making removal difficult.

Chris S.
08-27-2011, 02:50 PM
I have the identical Kennedy that I purchased new in the late 60s or early 70's. It pretty much looks the same as the day I bought it... almost. :D It's brown krinkle and I'm sure that if I searched for a month or two I'll find the key too! :rolleyes:

Chris

Sportandmiah
08-29-2011, 05:16 PM
Here is a picture of a small sanded spot. The.rust comes right off. How do you remove rivets? I want to remove the handles and the rest of.the.hardware to either replace or.restore. And how would i reinstall new rivets?

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t182/bigsport/2011-08-26223944.jpg

Tony
08-29-2011, 05:42 PM
Drill them out.
Hammer in some new ones when the time comes.
Probably aluminum rivets.
i bet it'll clean up real nice.
-Tony

bobbyjim
08-29-2011, 05:50 PM
I have picked up 3 of those Kennedy boxes for $5-$10.00 ea. loaded with tools. I have no interest in doing a restoration so I just clean them up and coat them in black Dupli Color Bed Liner. Works good enough for me and gives a sorth of wrinkle coat if applied right.

That bed liner is tuff and hinds a multitude of sins.

Chris S.
08-29-2011, 06:02 PM
The handle rivets on the Kennedy are hollow for a short distance on the inside of the lid. Drill from the inside using a drill bit larger than the rivet head. Only drill to the point where the head is thin enough to use a punch to knock it out from the inside. When the head is thin enough it's easy. Choose a drill speed and pressure that will avoid a grab. If this happens it becomes a PITA because the rivet starts to spin with the bit.

Chris

MotorradMike
08-29-2011, 06:08 PM
I have picked up 3 of those Kennedy boxes for $5-$10.00 ea. loaded with tools. I have no interest in doing a restoration so I just clean them up and coat them in black Dupli Color Bed Liner. Works good enough for me and gives a sorth of wrinkle coat if applied right.

That bed liner is tuff and hinds a multitude of sins.

I'm with Jim on this but I understand if you want to restore it.
I have a well cared for one(from new) just like yours, most of them seem to be bigger with the Machinery's handbook drawer in the middle.

Why isn't this a tool gloat?

Sportandmiah
08-29-2011, 07:25 PM
I've sanded the entire box minus the drawers with 150 grit orbital sander. I will sand it down a few more times with 600 and then 1000. Need to finish the.drawers.

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t182/bigsport/2011-08-29174524.jpg

Chris S.
08-29-2011, 07:52 PM
I've sanded the entire box minus the drawers with 150 grit orbital sander. I will sand it down a few more times with 600 and then 1000. Need to finish the.drawers.



Are you a young Buck?

Sportandmiah
08-29-2011, 08:35 PM
Are you a young Buck?

38 years old..some consider that young I suppose. :)
After all sanding is done I plan to use a few coats of self etching primer, sand smooth, correct imperfections, and use my Paasche H to spray many coats of paint and clear (undecided color so far).

Chris S.
08-29-2011, 08:52 PM
38 years old..some consider that young I suppose. :)


I asked because you're depressing me. I remember when I had that much piss and vinegar..... At least I think I do! :D

Anyway, why not stay with close to the original color?

RobbieKnobbie
08-29-2011, 10:16 PM
In similar situations I treat the bare metal with a phosphatizing compound like Naval Jelly before painting. Rust never returns.

As for the paint... you have to follow the directions VERY carefully to get the krinkle texture. It doesn't work if you put it on like regular spray paint... it just ends up plain brown. I would buy two or three cans and practice a whole lot before hitting the kennedy box.

Good luck. Nothing says craftsman like a Kennedy box... cept maybe a classy old Gerstner.

Sportandmiah
08-29-2011, 10:40 PM
Not sure what color I want to use. Part of me wants to use OEM paint, but the other part says do something different. It will be some time before I get to painting.

sasquatch
08-29-2011, 11:10 PM
I just finished a clean up job again on a rusty kennedy box, hardly any paint left on it at all,, but it was mostly all intact other than a few small dents, so i just painted mine shop "Grey",, it has the old style brass handles.

(I paint everything shop "Grey"!!):D

justanengineer
08-30-2011, 12:21 AM
Ive had the exact same box for a few months sitting in a corner. I paid $15 for mine full of measuring tools, and have since been seriously considered tossing it into the dumpster several times but cant bring myself to do it as the sheetmetal is completely dent free. Unfortunately it also suffers from light rust and a bit of peeling paint. For some reason the felt in the drawers started to decompose as well, and it stunk to high heaven until I drowned them in vinegar to remove it all. I started to repaint with rustoleum after hardware removal but havent finished yet due to other projects that Im more interested in.

I have since seen these in perfect original condition for $20, so whether or not I finish this one remains to be seen.

doctor demo
08-30-2011, 12:48 AM
Good luck. Nothing says craftsman like a Kennedy box... cept maybe a classy old Gerstner.

Or a Craftsman box
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Craftsman_tool_chest.jpg

Steve:D

Sportandmiah
08-30-2011, 12:49 PM
No tool needs to be tossed IMO....I'm not too far from you...if you decide you can live without it, let me know. I enjoy making old new again.
[/SIZE]
I paid $15 for mine full of measuring tools, and have since been seriously considered tossing it into the dumpster several times but cant bring myself to do it as the sheetmetal is completely dent free.[/I]

Davo J
08-30-2011, 01:10 PM
Over here we can buy auto putty/primer which would be perfect for this job. It will fill any little holes left by th rust, but also prime at the same time so it's a one step process. It is thicker than primer to go one so you can sand it a bit with out rubbing through.

Dave

RobbieKnobbie
08-30-2011, 01:15 PM
Or a Craftsman box
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Craftsman_tool_chest.jpg

Steve:D


HA HA! That's why I was sure to use the lower case 'c'

If I saw someone strutting around a shop with that tool box I'd point at him and laugh obnoxiously... just to make sure he got my point.

Sportandmiah
08-30-2011, 05:25 PM
As promised an update: The rust is about 99% gone from the box itself. The inside is a little hard to reach in areas but my trusty HF little battery sander is really a nice tool. I've removed aplbthe hardware minus the slides and spring locks for the fold down face cover. I think a coat of duplicolor primer and then some bobdo/putty to fill anyhow spots will be needed.

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t182/bigsport/2011-08-30152404.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t182/bigsport/2011-08-30135142.jpg

Bob D.
08-30-2011, 07:38 PM
What about using a chemical rust remover in the remaining tough spots? My local HF stocks " evapo-rust" which has worked ok for me,,

sasquatch
08-30-2011, 07:44 PM
Sportandmiah,,,, really nice progress on the box,, good to see you have the front cover, both of mine were missing.

Are you replacing the rivets with new rivets?

justanengineer
08-30-2011, 11:25 PM
If I decide to get rid of it, I will keep you in mind Sportandmiah. Very nice work on your restoration thus far btw.

Sportandmiah
08-31-2011, 09:40 AM
Sportandmiah,,,, really nice progress on the box,, good to see you have the front cover, both of mine were missing.

Are you replacing the rivets with new rivets?

Not quite sure if I am going to use rivets or some type of hex screw. By the way i am not this bad of a speller but my autocorrect on my android tends to overcorrect sometimes.

Chris S.
08-31-2011, 12:36 PM
If they don't get in the way, stainless cap screws would make a statement. Brass would look nice too!

spitshine
06-11-2016, 06:50 PM
Hi everyone I see this is a old post but I found it in a Google search and want to see if anyone can advise me a little.

By the way this is my first post on the forum I hope it's a lucky one!

I'm about to buy one of these beat up Kennedy boxes from eBay. From the images, it's pretty beat up, I will be better able to see it once I have it in hand. What do you suggest or advise someone who is going to do this for the first time. It's going to need a full revival from what I can see already!

I'm making a step by step list before the item arrives so I can be prepared and anticipate any purchases and borrow tools from others. I thought since you all have been so helpful to each other here about this topic I would jump in and ask for thoughts, suggestions and two cents.

So far I know I'll need to dismantle the whole box - do I need anything special for this part? I don't own power tools so if I need something I'll have to ask a friend for help. I'd like to be specific when I ask for help so the more you can tell me here the less I'll be laughed at in real life.

To clean rust, I hear vinegar bath for a few days will remove it. I'm going to shop for a plastic bin with a lid once it arrives so I can just dunk it in and leave it in there for a while.

How about flash rusting? Does anyone have a good process for this? I think there's some acid (?) that stops or cleans this but I don't own it. Please advise.

Then the paint stripping. Any suggestions? I don't have power tools so if I need to ask around for a power tool please be specific.

From what I've been looking up, at this point I think I'll be ready to paint it, correct?

For paint: I'm a muralist so I'm pretty comfortable with a spray paint can but I'd like to have the outer box have a thick layer of gloss what should I get for that? I've also see some sort of rubber spray that would be nice to have for the inner trays so things stay in place. Any recommendations there?

I'm also looking at the Kennedy site for replacement parts. Once I have the tool box I'll be better able to gauge what I'll need to replace.

Did I miss anything?

I've never restored anything but I'm pretty interested in bringing this tool box back to life.

Thank you for your support and suggestions!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

J Tiers
06-11-2016, 07:15 PM
Frankly, my best suggestion is not to buy one that is super beat up.

These things are not rare, at least not in any reasonable sized city, so there should be others around that didn't have the tractor let down on them.

Dismantling, past removing drawers and slides, is a no-go, as they are riveted and spotwelded.

Toolguy
06-11-2016, 08:33 PM
Welcome to the forum Spitshine! I have to agree with J Tiers... don't get a beat up one. It will be a tough go to make it usable again. No matter what you do, it will never be quite right. You will be far better off to get one that only needs paint or doesn't need anything. If it's all about price, a cheap good one will come along eventually.

BCRider
06-11-2016, 10:44 PM
Welcome aboard.

I went onto Ebay and had a look at the Kennedy boxes being offered. I was shocked at the shipping prices. Shipping alone is more than many of them are worth. If you want to do a nice custom airbrush mural paint job on a tool box for yourself be a little more patient and wait for one to show up locally so you're not looking at some crazy shipping cost.

As nice as Kennedy boxes are they are not all that magical. In the end rusty components and flaking paint means that they are just another crusty looking tool kit. If you want to do a custom paint job on a chest it's worth it to get one that only needs painting prep and not a lot of that other stuff.

If you just want a nice old wrinkle brown Kennedy chest then I'd suggest just paying the higher cost for one in good shape. But don't go for the ones with the unreasonable shipping costs.

Glug
06-12-2016, 11:59 AM
A got a decent Kennedy a few years back. The felt was mildewed, so I didn't see any alternative to removing it. The tapwater hot soaking to break it loose worked well, but I lost some paint down to bare metal on the inside of the drawers. I ended up doing a complete repaint, though I think I sould have just concentrated on the internal bits and called it good.

I did a very nice job of re-felting the drawers but that may have been a mistake. I would like to see some corrosion tests between natural felt vs. acrylic vs. recycled pop bottle felt, etc. Plus the vagaries of adhesive choice. And I don't think that is a simple test to do well. If you put tools away with skin oils, a bit of sweat, etc, then that gets into the felt, possibly creating a battery between the tool and the drawer bottom.

RancherBill
06-12-2016, 12:51 PM
Hi, welcome.
Your question is like 'how do you fix a car?" Nobody will write you a book.

When you have the box, start a thread 'need advice bla bla" with PICS. You'll get lots of replies.

When I was young and foolish, and I did art with spray paint I thought I was a vandal - I could have continued and become a muralist.:eek::D

Baz
06-12-2016, 01:12 PM
Why do people think they need to dunk things in gallons of acid to remove rust? Even if it is vinegar it is ridiculously wasteful. Get a small amount of phosphoric acid based rust treatment and paint on as required, leave half and hour with some working over every five minutes and then wash off. Not any version that is paste or jelly - you want liquid. Obviously this is after wirebrushing etc.
For metal look into primers. Your paint store can advise on the type that suits the paint you are using as you can't mix types willy-nilly.

BCRider
06-12-2016, 01:17 PM
Speaking of rust removal on small areas....

Get some kitchen cleaner called "Bar Keeper's Friend". It does a superb job when used with a slightly wet scouring sponge or a small wire "toothbrush" of removing rust from small parts.

J Tiers
06-12-2016, 04:32 PM
Why do people think they need to dunk things in gallons of acid to remove rust? Even if it is vinegar it is ridiculously wasteful. Get a small amount of phosphoric acid based rust treatment and paint on as required,.....

NEVER had Naval Jelly etc work decently. It's a "pretend" product, like "eco paint removers"... shows you where to scrape and otherwise work like heck to remove the rust mechanically.

Dunking works, takes 15 to 30 min, and wastes nothing unless you dump it all right after use. I use it until it is used up.

spitshine
06-13-2016, 02:41 PM
Thanks everyone, for the very useful information and welcoming to a new place for me on the internet! This post is indeed turning out quite lucky I am learning so much already!

I apparently won the toolbox on eBay and I absolutely agree that shipping is ridiculous, I should have walked around a little and found garage sales or something.. Definitely one of those things you over look when you see a ~$15 toolbox with a little character on the images..

Either way its mine now and just like everything else I do I will try my best to kick-butt with this project. I will post pics as I go along and will post an update link to any new thread I open for posting, if I go that route for this project. But I may find this old post just as good and take over it if no one minds. I hope its not against any forum rules, I really like it here and am just getting started reading through this awesome forum.

OK - I should be receiving the tool box by next Thursday and I will hope to have my initial materials needed by then as well.

Which are:

1 - some vinegar I don't want to be wasteful and make a giant bath tub of vinegar so I will figure out how much I'll need to to use when I see the tool box.
2 - some sort of bin with lid to keep the whole thing sealed when I'm doing this sort of wash. ( I live in a building, with pets so I need to be able to wheel this out to of the way if needed. I wish I owned a garage or a dirty room of some sort... )
3 - a drill I have a very basic ryobi one that should help scrape the paint off.
4 - drill bit head to scrape the paint off need suggestions on what to buy here please
5 - something for the flash rusting I heard about need suggestions on what to buy here please
6 - sand paper
7 - primer paint
8 - main paint
9 - after coat of gloss
10 - some sort of rubber spray for the insides of the drawers need suggestions on what to buy here please
10 - tape, old rag towels, newspapers, goggles, respirator and throw away materials to clean up wherever I will be working on this.

I think with @J-Tiers suggestions I will stick to not breaking it down past the drawers (thanks) and will be focusing on removing the rust, old paint and sealing it with some good gloss paint. Since @RancherBill brought up cars I thought it would be nice to have that new car finish look on the tool box when I'm done with it. So from here on 'till I have the tool box in hand I will be googling about and trying to learn how to coat paint on automobiles. Anyone wanna chime in if they have painted a car or gotten the same results before?

How about flash rusting? Does anyone have a good suggestion for this?

As for the art I might do on it, I do graffiti murals so a lot of it will be based off my lettering hand style - I want to either put on some decals (I know how to make graffiti stickers) or take some spray paint to it and see if the box gives me enough surface area to wave the can around and draw some line work on it. Will have to wait and see as I work closer to this step..



Thanks again everyone, I'm off to stalk my mail delivery person now through next week!

J Tiers
06-13-2016, 03:20 PM
Usually with phosphoric, flash rust is not an issue. It changes the surface and discourages rust.

BTW I bet you will hate the gloss paint. I would. Semi gloss seems about right to me, ymmv.

flylo
06-13-2016, 03:21 PM
I didn't read all the other posts so it I'm repeating this sorry. They sell a gun cleaner looks like a wad of SS swarf for $8 so I bought one & it will take off rust & not sctrath the blue, then I found them 3 for $1 at Dollar General. Try one in a decreet place with water or oil & see if it works. I use them on guns, tools & machines.

spitshine
06-13-2016, 03:37 PM
...They sell a gun cleaner looks like a wad of SS swarf for $8 so I bought one & it will take off rust & not sctrath the blue, then I found them 3 for $1 at Dollar General. Try one in a decreet place with water or oil & see if it works. I use them on guns, tools & machines.

Sounds interesting, do you have a link for me to research? Not sure what a wad of SS swarf is. Thank you!

flylo
06-13-2016, 06:15 PM
This is the high $$ one for guns from Amazon. SS was for stainless steel, swarf if the metal shavings from a lathe.
Tipton Frankford Arsenal Gun Bright Stainless Steel Cleaning Pad
by Tipton
$7.99Prime
Get it by Wednesday, Jun 15

spitshine
06-20-2016, 06:36 PM
Hey all. I received the toolbox and sadly it is in much worse condition than advertised. It has sent and warped areas not worth investing my efforts into. On top of that there are a bunch more issues with the toolbox and honestly it's just a darn shame. I wasted my money and our time looking up all this info and right about now I'm starring at a pretty bad investment. I won't be pursuing this any further. I thank you kindly for all the information and hope it wasn't too much trouble. ...man what a bummer!!


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