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Thread: Is this a Gerstner??

  1. #1

    Is this a Gerstner??

    Hi. I bought this box today. I can't tell if it's a Gerstner or not but it looks like a number 41. My guess is that it's a 41 made under contract for another brand. Note the unusual door pulls and ball ends of the top handle. Thanks in advance for any expertise you can lend.
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  2. #2
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    Looks like an early Gerstner 41, 1921-1923, to me. I have had several of these. Are the drawer fronts oak or mahogany?

    https://sites.google.com/site/theguideforwoodmachinistchests/pg-10---gerstner-info/style-10-11-12

  3. #3
    Thanks for the response, Terry. It does look like an early number 41 and the drawers are mahogany. However after doing some research on this site, I have determined that it is a Wedell and Boers chest pre 1920. The nameplate is missing. Would have been above the lock and I can see the nail holes. The mirror is also missing. I suppose I can still restore it without those pieces but would be nice to find them somewhere. Luckily, all other hardware is accounted for, including the original key.

  4. #4
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    I can see the resemblance to other Wedell & Boers chests I have had. They are well built. Another clue is the distinctive pattern of debossing on the leatherette of the front panel. The material used by W&B for the covering is a little different from Gerstner's also. It seems to be a composite material and is thicker and more brittle than Gerstner leatherette which is vinyl over fabric.

    Good luck on your quest for missing parts.

    Other clues that point to Wedell & Boers: The corner hardware is riveted on, W&B had a steel rim around the lid, and the clasps had a distinctive square shape.

    https://gerstnertoolchest.shutterfly.com/otherchests/2008

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/1916-1918-Wedell-Boers-Makers-Machinist-chest-made-in-Detroit/133133957599?hash=item1eff66f9df:g:LHoAAOSwgjddRzl W


    Last edited by user459; 09-09-2019 at 09:31 PM.

  5. #5
    Terry, thanks for the info. I checked out your Shutterfly site. You are quite the expert! I may take some time to develop the necessary skills to restore this box correctly. I've done some woodworking but I haven't tried working with vinyl or leatherette. I might get some to practice with. May cover an old crate. I already love this box. It's overbuilt for it's size and while it needs some repair, it could be used as is after 100 years. Thanks again for the info.

  6. #6
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    Since the Wedell & Boers material is so different from Gerstner's, What I have done in the past is to take material from the bottom of the box to cut patches for the missing material. I use contact cement to glue the patches in place, and then re-cover the bottom with Gerstner leatherette. The difference is not noticeable on the bottom.

    I shy away from leatherette rewraps, generally, due to a lack of skill in that area. I even had lessons from Gerstner's restoration expert, Paul Martin, but I just couldn't get the hang of it. I patch and refresh as needed.

    (See the "Refreshing Leatherette Coverings" documant on my site's Home page)

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