And Now For Something Completely Different

Something I have been tinkering with for awhile now. My grandpa Wilen’s old tool box. Another thing that has been hauled around for years without much love, lol. There really isn’t anything special about this box, I just thought it would be neat to clean it up a bit. Years on the farm and in various garages had it looking pretty rough. It was surface rusted pretty badly, but for the most part was still fairly solid.

I’m not even sure who made this box, there are no markings on it anywhere, maybe it came from some place like Sears Roebuck back in the day. It was kind of one of those things you would normally just throw in the junk pile, especially in the age of nice toolboxes with ball bearing drawers, etc. Toolboxes have come along way, now days a professional toolbox can easily cost more than a nice sedan, of course, the options are a little nicer too. I started by disassembling the box. The slide rails were a royal PITA to get the clips to release. I’m not sure how old this box is, but the drawers have probably never been removed before. The hinges were welded to the box, so I drilled out the welds on the lid hinge, and the front lid. I removed the front lid that covers the doors completely, that was one option I didn’t really want to have in the way. The lid was there so you could lock the drawers and box by covering it with a front plate. Now days it is all done with a key, and the locking mechanism is a sliding rail inside the toolbox which locks the drawers and lid. So this will continue to be a functional box and not something of any value, so keeping it original wasn’t a concern of mine.

This is how most of the box looked. The paint was long gone and rust had set in.

Here I removed the front drawer lid from the top lid. There was actually good paint covering the hinge, so I had to grind that away so I could find the welds to drill off.

Once it was all disassembled, I put it in the bead blaster and spent I don’t know how long taking the entire box down to bare metal. It did clean up nicely, as shown here by the socket tray that sits in the top of the box.

A big difference!

Since I was removing the front lid, that left me with holds in the top lid where the old hinge was.

So I welded those shut

And ground them flat.

Once it was 100% bare metal, off to my powdercoater it went. Since it had rust issues in the past, I wanted to nip that in the bud, and paint wouldn’t quite cut it. Powder coated will seal it up for good and look much better. It came back like this.

And reassembled. Should provide a lot more years of good use 🙂

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Cheryl Burney

January 21, 2013 at 2:02 PM

Love that!!!

David Lessmann

January 21, 2013 at 4:46 PM

Nicely done!

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