Tool Picking #17: This Craftsman Followed Me Home

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Blog entry by TrBlu posted 06-07-2015 01:14 AM 1404 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 16: Valentine's Day - Planes etc. Part 17 of Tool Picking series no next part

We took advantage of a beautiful day to take a family outing and hit up a couple estate sales in our area.

I found this vintage Craftsman 10-drawer tool chest in an out building. Emptied the tools and household repair parts out. Found the key in the top section. And loaded this beaut into the trunk of my car.

Even empty this thing is heavy.

Decided to start cleaning. The original owner used Naugahyde for drawer liners and most were still in the drawers. The worst part about the cleanup was melted rubber bands. Yuuuukkkk!

I am not going to worry with working all the dinks and dents out. There are not really many dents, just paint scratches and scuffs. For the most part everything is in great shape. I am not sure I will repainted it. But the more I clean on it the more I think I might.

Some of you who have restored more of these than I have, please leave a comment with any suggestions you might have. Where can I find information about original paint colors, if I do decide to paint it its original shades? Any spray paint manufacturers have the vintage tool colors (color numbers, etc)? Thanks in advance for your advice.

Does anyone have an idea how old this thing is? I have not been able to find any references on the Internet.

By the way… This thing is built far better than the brand new chest I bout from Sears last November. Even without the roller bearing slides the drawers open smoothly. Thanks for looking.

-- The more I work with wood the more I recognize only God can make something as beautiful as a tree. I hope my humble attempts at this craft do justice by His masterpiece. -- Tim

7 comments so far

View C_PLUS_Woodworker's profile


601 posts in 2324 days

#1 posted 06-07-2015 01:47 AM

What a beut !

I am certain it is nice for that chest to be appreciated and cherished.

Aren’t tools great ?

View grizzman's profile


7780 posts in 2720 days

#2 posted 06-07-2015 12:41 PM

yes sir, this one is a great find, and im glad you found it tim, it will be interesting to see if you find the paint colors, i hope you do, post this again if you do…

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View TrBlu's profile


379 posts in 2043 days

#3 posted 06-07-2015 01:00 PM

UPDATE: From what I was able to find on the Internet, this tool chest is a 1960s model. That means it is about as old as I am.

I think I am going to take a couple weekends and restore this beauty. There is a little rust to deal with, but thankfully no pitting. There are some metal parts to reshape, but no creases or big dents. The most time consuming part will be painting. I will take some pictures of the progress and post a blog of the process, similar to my saw refurb project.

Thank you again for looking. Please post any guidance and suggestions you have.

-- The more I work with wood the more I recognize only God can make something as beautiful as a tree. I hope my humble attempts at this craft do justice by His masterpiece. -- Tim

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3125 posts in 3129 days

#4 posted 06-09-2015 04:54 AM


I emailed the link of this to my dad because I thought it was identical to his. He said it is. He bought his December 24, 1975 (Sears probably sold it for a number of years) and paid $325 for the chest plus the multi-drawer base cabinet. (Mom keeps incredible records.) At 97, he still has his loaded with tools and uses it frequently. After 40 years, it looks practically new, except for a little dirt! You got yourself a quality piece. Enjoy it. Look forward to the restoration blog.


-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View TrBlu's profile


379 posts in 2043 days

#5 posted 06-09-2015 11:38 AM

Thanks for the information.

Information I found on another forum said Sears sold this version from the late 60’s through mid-70’s.

The restoration on this is not going to be a major undertaking. This chest has been well taken care of. There are some scratches, a couple drawers have some light rust and some bent metal in the back. Most of the work will be cleaning grease off, painting and polishing aluminum trim.

I paid $75 for this chest at the estate sale. I estimate I will have $25 in paint. The rest is time, labor and PATIENCE.

-- The more I work with wood the more I recognize only God can make something as beautiful as a tree. I hope my humble attempts at this craft do justice by His masterpiece. -- Tim

View JoeinGa's profile


7356 posts in 1424 days

#6 posted 06-09-2015 01:16 PM

Rust-oleum makes a nice “hammered finish” paint that you can get in rattle cans. I think there’s one that is close to this gray that Sears used.

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View helluvawreck's profile


22669 posts in 2284 days

#7 posted 06-09-2015 01:27 PM

I have always liked Craftsman mechanics tools and boxes. I know very well that they are not the best but they surely are an economical alternative to the best. I have some older boxes that have taken a beating but they still have held up well. I also like the frequency that Sears has sales. What is real nice is when you run across a ‘professional’ set of tools and cabinet that an unfortunate mechanic is selling who is out of work for whatever reason. You feel sorry for the guy but he needs the money and it’s his call to keep or sell. You occasionally run across a sets of machinists tools for the same reason. That’s a nice tool box that you have scored on.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

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