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Thread: Could anybody help identify a machinist box?

  1. #1

    Default Could anybody help identify a machinist box?

    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.


    Oops I hit submit before I added the pictures!

    If it aint broke, your not tryin'. -Red Green

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Houston Texas Area

    Default Gerstner?

    It looks like an old Gerstner to me.

    "When it comes to paradigms ... shifts happen" - Alain Rossman

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Live Oak, TEXAS


    It looks kinda like this old Gerstner:

    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.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Taylorsville Ky


    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?
    It's only ink and paper

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2004


    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?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Surrey BC Canada


    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.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2001


    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.
    Try to make a living, not a killing. -- Utah Phillips
    Don't believe everything you know. -- Bumper sticker
    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. -- Will Rogers
    There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
    Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.

  8. #8


    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?

    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.
    If it aint broke, your not tryin'. -Red Green

  9. #9


    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!
    If it aint broke, your not tryin'. -Red Green

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Toledo, Ohio


    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;

    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.
    Jim H.

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