Antique Tool Box

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Project by artsyfartsy posted 02-09-2016 09:26 PM 1910 views 3 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Before anyone gets too judgmental, I know it’s a simple build but, this is what a friend wanted. This is an Antique Tool Box, probably on the same levek that your grandfather or maybe his grandfather would have built for their tools. The measurements are 24” long by 10” wide and the side walls are 6” high. The end pieces are 12” tall with a 1” hole drilled in each end to receive the handle. Very simple butt joints.

However, the remarkable thing about this build is the wood is over 100 years old. My friend wanted something antique looking and you can’t get more antique than old itself. I have been working on tearing down a house near me that was built over 100 years ago and these are the materials it has given me. The handle was turned down to 1” from a raw 2”x4” piece of rough sawn wood that was a wall stud. I have to say, this is the first time I have turned anything since high school shop class. The sliding tray in the box is made from a door jam which was painted several coats of paint over the years. My friend wanted that as well. The only thing that is not old is the hardboard tray bottom. The wood in one of the pictures has some writing on it from when the house was built, although it’s hard to read. It has a coat of amber shellac on it as a finishing touch as per my friends desire. I wish I could say I put a lot of time into it, but I can’t. But, it was fun to build. I hope grandpa likes it.

-- DWelch. Michigan, The only dumb question is the one not asked!

11 comments so far

View Boxguy's profile


2756 posts in 2464 days

#1 posted 02-09-2016 10:07 PM

Artsy, this is a fine project. I love it when wood has a story to tell and a history to recall. Nice job of giving us both of those. I enjoyed reading your post.

My dad built one of these with hand tools. The only difference is that he put the side boards on the outside of the end boards and bottom instead of the inside of the end boards. I think he figured that the nails driven from the outside in would hold the ends and bottom better that way. The handle on his looks like it came from an old broom, and the tray has butt joints. His old tool tote is one of my prized possessions.

-- Big Al in IN

View Boxguy's profile


2756 posts in 2464 days

#2 posted 02-09-2016 10:15 PM


-- Big Al in IN

View jeffswildwood's profile


3589 posts in 2174 days

#3 posted 02-09-2016 10:32 PM

I agree that this is better where the wood has a story. A simple project that speaks volumes. My uncle was a carpenter and my Step Father a plumber, they both had one of these. Used every day. Thanks for sharing and great job!

-- We all make mistakes, the trick is to fix it in a way that says "I meant to do that".

View firefighterontheside's profile


19404 posts in 2053 days

#4 posted 02-09-2016 11:15 PM

Looks great. I think you hit the nail on the head for your friend. I can see your grandpa holding this box and wearing his nail apron.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View htl's profile


4228 posts in 1356 days

#5 posted 02-09-2016 11:31 PM

Way back when my grand pa was a builder this would hold every thing needed to build a house or just about any thing else needed.
Now a days we need a truck and trailer to carry every thing needed to get er done.

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18387 posts in 3873 days

#6 posted 02-10-2016 03:36 AM

Nice job, Don.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View blue77's profile


140 posts in 1105 days

#7 posted 02-10-2016 06:52 AM

I really like the addition of the tray on that tool box. It’s a thing of beauty.

-- I make bowls and spoons.

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

6292 posts in 3391 days

#8 posted 02-10-2016 03:29 PM


Stellar job on the tool box….I also have an antique tool box that my mother-in-law gave me…She picked it up in a yard sale in the town she lives in….She was told that it belonged to one of the old gents that help build the town when it was settled….It has many battle scars, and was used daily….It still has the original petina, and it’s old.

-- " At my age, happy hour is a crap and a nap".....!!

View helluvawreck's profile


32087 posts in 3063 days

#9 posted 02-10-2016 04:10 PM

You’ve done a very nice job on this.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View oltexasboy1's profile


250 posts in 1901 days

#10 posted 02-10-2016 05:35 PM

I agree people do get a little “judgie” at times. But I also think that there needs to be a little common sense building as well. If you need it , build it. I had a tool tote /box like that that I used for years until I finally wore it out lugging it around. I replaced it with 2 different plastic ones that are dead and gone way quicker than the wooden one. I wish I had taken better care of it. GOOD work.

-- "The pursuit of perfection often yields excellence"

View DonSol's profile


249 posts in 1439 days

#11 posted 02-10-2016 07:19 PM

I remember my grandpa having one and I made one foe myself about 45 yrs ago. Now my son has it and uses it when he works around the house.

I like that you used the old wood, now it has a new life. Good job.

-- Don Solomon, New Castle, IN; Quality is not an act, it is a habit. Aristotle

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