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Thread: My wife says I am becoming obsessive...

  1. #16
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Winston-Salem, N. C. 27103
    I am beginning to understand how obsessive it can be with collecting these chest. Just started collecting in April of this year and just received my tenth chest. Eight Gerstner, one Union and an unknown. Very hard to resist a deal. Now I need to get it in gear and restore the chest I have.

  2. #17

    To restore or not to restore...

    ...that is the question. My answer is that I prefer my toolboxes restored. I set up at shows during the year and display and sell my restored machinist's tool chests and cases. I usually set up a before and after display of two identical O41C's, one as I got it, and one completely restored.

    I invariably get some doofus who, after binge-watching American Pickers, tells me he or she prefers the unrestored box. They seem to marvel at the dirty, sweaty appearance of the old box. Funny thing - no one ever buys the old unrestored box! They all go for the restored and pretty ones.

    I love to watch the faces of people as they approach my booth. I read their lips and see them say, "Wow!" and "Beautiful!" when they see the shiny knobs and all the little drawers and the perfectly refinished wood. Even before they realize what they are, they are spellbound by their beauty.

    I'm doing a show this weekend and will purposely bring several unrestored chests, just to test my theory. Let's see if the doofuses are willing to put their money where their mouths are!

    If you are near Historic Cocoa Village on the 21st and 22nd of October, stop by and see me.

  3. #18
    Yep.....I was a "doofus" once, along with a few other names I'm called periodically. A couple of decades ago I found my first Gerstner chest at an antique shop. Never heard of Gerstner before and it was a Model 42 that was "kinda" restored. I fell in love with it. Didn't realize that these things existed and absolutely fell for "all things Gerstner." I remember the owner of the shop telling me how rare these things were. Of course, that was before eBay and Craigslist became big. Now....not so rare. I keep saying to myself I need a break from purchasing these. I have a lock Terry sent me that I have to put on a 031 (which I will in the next week or two) once I take a deep breath from all the work I've done in my shop because I want to do this right. Once again...I need a break, but the chests keep on coming because I can't avoid finding them...even when I don't need another one. Yesterday I bought a Walnut XL ($249) because I made the mistake of looking at Craigslist while in Nashville. It was 20 minutes from my house and never had a tool in it. Had one key missing (ordered it) and one knob missing (that should be coming from Gerstner, too). Other than's very close to like new. Two weeks ago I found a XL that was never taken out of the box (given to retiree at the end of his career). It was so inexpensive I couldn't pass on it and picked it up on the way home from a trip to Lake Michigan. It's not that I'm's that I can't avoid these deals....and I usually end up giving some of them away. I know.....I'm a doofus.

  4. #19
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Winston-Salem, N. C. 27103
    I am much like Terry and Dennis, I like the restored chest. My wife on the other hand would rather have a chest or case as is. Example, she has an old wooden watchmakers case with paint splattered on top and a previous owner had scratched watch parts numbers on the front of the drawers and she refused to let me restore it. She also has a 42 in need of a serious restoration and she will not let me touch it. She absolutely loves the patina on the old chest and cases. Yes Terry if she were at your show she would purchase the old nasty dirty chest, take it home, wipe it off with a wet cloth and store her jewelry it. We are polar opposites and have had a great marriage for over fifty-three years.

  5. #20

    Yesterday's Pick-up

    I enjoyed restoring them...enjoy getting creative because I have nothing to lose and have so many. This is one I got yesterday at a Pawn Shop (not Las Vegas because I don't like dealing with people smarter than me when it comes to negotiations). $249 and I couldn't get back to Michigan fast enough. A drawer knob should be coming from Gerstner soon. the near future I want to paint another chest with the very old logo on front panel and a painting of the Gerstner building on one side and a painting of the founder on the other.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  6. #21

    Two more...


    I know what you mean! I just drove two hours to Okeechobee and back to meet a guy who drove from Port Charlotte. He had contacted me by letter about two Gerstners he had. I picked up an O41C and an O41B from him. Both in very good shape. I think I'm going to display them at the show this weekend just as I got them. That should satisfy the doofuses!


    My wife is the opposite; she wants new stuff! I don't know why she keeps an old man like me around! Forty-five years so far. She's starting to come around to the Gerstner point of view, though.
    Last edited by user459; 10-17-2017 at 01:48 PM. Reason: add photos

  7. #22
    Sometimes I feel like it’s all about the “hunt,” then once we finish them and step back, it’s a little both.

  8. #23
    Definitely both! Do I NEED another box? Probably not, but I chased it down and made the deal. Then, when it's finished, I get real satisfaction from it. When I display them at shows, or just do a "show and tell" with my wife, I enjoy the positive comments. My real enjoyment is that I saved a part of our history from going into the trash.


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