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To restore or not restore...that is the question

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AdrianUK

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Have had this old tool chest for years, bought it at auction full of carpentry tools, and then put it away out of sight, out of mind at the back of the garage. Clearing out today, and rather than throw it out, started taking a better look at it, and thinking, maybe a little restoration project. Is it worth it though, welcome opinions. It’s pine, approx 90cm in length, 40cm depth and 40cm height.
 

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AndyT

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In market value terms it's not worth much in that condition and probably won't be worth your time if you restore it.
But fortunately we're not all economic robots.

That looks a very manageable little project to make a useful tool chest for yourself.

Scrub off the dirt and dust, wire brush the rust off the handles and then stabilise the outside with some boiled linseed oil over the paint. Toolboxes don't belong in the sitting room and needn't look as if they do. Don't bother with new paint unless you also dye your hair and believe it makes you look young.

Fix the hinges. Make up a bit of trim to match what's still there.

Have fun making a dovetailed tray with a hinged lid to slide on the end bearers. Also a till at the bottom to hold saws.

There's plenty of info online to show you what's missing - or ask for specifics on here.
 

Bod

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You might be surprised, at just what the antiques market would offer in that untouched state!
Just sold one in that state, along with other stuff, so can't say the individual price, but he was very keen for it to be included.
But as Andy say's it's a nice project, that will be useful at the end.

Bod.
 

AdrianUK

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Ok, so here are the results of an initial brush up and wipe down with meths and oil solution. Interestingly, it’s possible this started life as a travel trunk, remains of a London & Southwestern railway luggage sticker on the side. Originally looks like it was black, the burgundy paint is on top and the luggage label on top of that. Just real quick clean up has revealed details I’d not noticed, has some nice joinery joints, secure lock and the colour underneath all the dust and grime sort of appeals now.
 

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AdrianUK

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Andy, Bod, thanks for your opinions, will definitely give it go. The top is absolutely awful, so will need stripping, but I agree with you Andy, it needs to stay sympathetic to its era. I have one of the missing mouldings so just a small top piece required, hopefully I’ll be able to age it to match, a stained wax ?
separately, I thought I’d posted an introduction some time back, but appears I didn’t post it correctly, so hello to all.
 

TheTiddles

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Depends what you like! I’d restore that in a fire, others might pay handsomely for it as a coffee table

Aidan
 

Cheshirechappie

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London and South Western Railway? That dates it to pre 1923, then - the LSWR was amalgamated with other companies in the south of England into the Southern Railway at that date.
 

bourbon

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London and South Western Railway? That dates it to pre 1923, then - the LSWR was amalgamated with other companies in the south of England into the Southern Railway at that date.
you see, It's details like that which add value to the piece. Personally, as has been said before, Quick clean up, then bung it on E-bay. I wish I could find all these people that have more money than sense
 

Jackbequick

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Definitely restore it but keep patina...get rid of those bodgie hinges and find some'used' of the era. You have good handles there too....The thing also is that to buy something similar could cost a motza...I don't know about UK but in Horstroylya it would bring over $100 as it is and I wouldn't worry about the currency conversion ...$1 in Australia is a quid in England in terms of say tradesman wages.

Some good advice came to you from a couple of commenters...but when you first start...if you do..on the shellac or whatever it is...use a lint free cloth packed with cotton wool, dipped in metho and wipe it in one direction...the longest see how it begins to look..no rip tear and bust. Best of 'British with it'
 

Jackbequick

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Have had this old tool chest for years, bought it at auction full of carpentry tools, and then put it away out of sight, out of mind at the back of the garage. Clearing out today, and rather than throw it out, started taking a better look at it, and thinking, maybe a little restoration project. Is it worth it though, welcome opinions. It’s pine, approx 90cm in length, 40cm depth and 40cm height.
It's a "keeper"
 

thetyreman

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this isn't a travel trunk, it's a joiners tool chest, I would probably leave it as is, they make useful storage chests, it is missing the original trays and has some damage to the skirt, which looks like it was nailed in place from the photos,
 

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