Results 1 to 4 of 4

Thread: style 42 without mirror?

  1. #1

    Question style 42 without mirror?

    I just acquired a Gerstner model 42 that does not have a mirror in the lid, and there do not appear to be any holes where a mirror had been attached. Are there other known examples of the style 42 without a mirror?

    I don't plan on restoring this one, it shows some history like holes from a padlock hasp and apparently the front panel came apart at some point and it got a metalworkers repair in the form of aluminum plates screwed to the front of it. Whoever did the repair glued the front panel before screwing the plates on, so it stayed solid when I removed the plates, but the holes are still there.

    I plan to just clean it and refelt the top and the till where the felt is pretty torn up. The finish is pretty grimy, especially on the top. What is a good cleaner that won't strip the existing finish and won't soak into the wood where the finish is compromised? I have read that naptha or mineral spirits work, I would expect any water based cleaner to swell the wood in spots the finish is damaged. Suggestions from people with experience?

    On the felt removal process, if the felt is attached with hide glue, which is indicated on the Gerstner site where they sell "Whew Glue" wouldn't an iron or a hair dryer work? I am afraid of using a heat gun, don't want to scorch the wood, and hot water on wood is a recipe for disaster.

    This chest will not be a display piece, it is in my shop and full of tools, but I would like to let the beauty of the wood show and preserve it for posterity.

    I also have realized how communicable a disease these chests are, and I already have the tool disease, and the gun disease, and the vintage computer disease, and am showing symptoms of the car disease, I understand none of these diseases are necessarily fatal, except to bank accounts.


  2. #2

    Welcome to the Forum.

    Yes, I have seen examples of style 42 chests with no mirrors in the top well. We install the mirrors after the chests are felted, so customers can order a chests without a mirror and they wouldn't have any of the nail holes.

    The felt is installed with hide glue. We haven't had any problems using the water technique, since the water only stays in the chest for 3-5 minutes. I will let others weigh in on using other methods.

  3. #3
    Water doesn't not hurt wood unless it is left there for extended periods of time, the wood will naturally dry out pretty quickly. As far as a cleaner Murphy's oil soap it by far (in my opinion) the best cleaner for wood products. It will clean the dirt and add much needed oils back into the wood without hurting any finish on it.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Melbourne, FL, and Broad Brook, CT
    As unnatural as it seems to use water on wood, it does not do any harm unless left there long enough to swell and delaminate the plywood till bottom. In cases where I am too timid to pour water ion the surface, I fill a spray bottle with hot tap water to which I have added several drops of dish detergent after filling the bottle. I spray the felt to soak it and then close the lid and walk away for a few minutes. When I come back, I loosen the felt at one corner with an awl and it usually peels right off. The remaining fuzz can be sprayed again and removed with a putty knife or scraper.

    You're asking for a miracle material when you ask for s solvent strong enough to remove the dirt and schmutz of a tired old finish without having an effect on places where that tired old finish has failed and is missing. I'm not a clean-up kind of guy. I go full bore and remove the old ineffective finish by stripping it off. I sand and bleach the wood and apply stain and multiple coats of polyurethane. Those old shellac, lacquer, or varnish finishes were inferior to what is available today, which is why they failed in the first place. They just didn't do their job of protecting the wood from the dirt, oil, and grime of a machine shop. It's time to let them go! In my humble opinion.


    Check out this post:

    Welcome to a new obsession!

Tags for this Thread


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts