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Thread: Please help ID this chest.

  1. #1

    Please help ID this chest.

    Hi All,

    I picked up a chest last night that has all the earmarks of a Gerstner but.......

    1. I have a known Model 52 that I have had since I was 20 (now 63). It was used when I bought it from the original owner when he retired and was going into the Tool & Die trade. I kept it all these years, even after I switched trades and wrote commercial software. I am comparing the new box to this one.

    Here are the differences.

    1. Dimension slightly different. The drawers do not interchange.
    2. No plunger pin holes were drilled.
    3. The cutout for the little brass pieces in the sides of the box at bottom opening for the front cover pins to go in are there, but not the brass pieces.
    4. No fillets in the corners in the top compartment.
    5. No handle on top or the sides.
    6. The machinist's manual drawer is built entirely of wood, as opposed to my original is part metal at the bottom.
    7. There are no screws coming in from the sides to the top piece that the lock is attached to.
    8. All latches and the lock are attached via Phillips screws.
    9. There are no latches on the sides, only in front

    The construction technique is the same as far as metal bottoms, the inletting technique at the drawer corners is exactly the same.


  2. #2
    There are some numbers stamped (in ink) inside the top, but there are no other maker identification marks anywhere.

    The drawers are all numbered as far as position in pencil on the bottom, but anyone could have done that.

    The measurements are:

    26 wide x 9 1/4 deep 15 1/2 tall (with the lid closed)

    Could this have been one built from a kit ? It is a very nice box.

  3. #3

    Thank you for posting your pictures.

    What are the outside (wood to wood) dimensions of the chest?

  4. #4
    As you can see, there are no inserts for the pins. The cutouts are there, as well as the inletting.

    I am going to have a front made and drill the plunger holes. I will take the box over to my friend's house and put it on his Bridgeport and drill the holes that way. I will know that they will be perpendicular and in the correct spot by using a machine tool.

    The drawer fronts are correct

    The slide rails are 7 3/4" long, protrude above the surface .150 and are .250 (1/4") in width.


  5. #5
    26 wide x 9 1/4 deep 15 1/2 tall (with the lid closed)

    10 7/8" x 25" inside the front cover opening.

    the small drawers are 10 5/8 wide by 8 1/8 deep

    all wood pieces are +- .010, 1/2" measures mostly .500 to .510, one of the 3/8" sides measured .365, actually very precise for wood.

    all this leads me to believe it is somehow a Gerstner. Yes/No ?

    whomever crafted the raw pieces of wood took extreme care to get the precision that it is milled to.

    most folks just call me Dave around the world and is fine to use that :-)

  6. #6
    After looking very carefully at the hardware on the lid, I am now all but 100 percent sure that this was a kit built case and the builder didn't have all the requisite tools. The corner metal are formed to fit on a lid that has had the edges routed. The edges are left square.

    It is still a quality build. And a quality case and a worthwhile companion to my factory built Gerstner.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Springboro, OH
    I think you made a good call. The fact that the latch lock is mounted with screws, rather than factory rivets, suggest a kit, especially if there’s not any evidence of rivets being used on the inside surfaces.……Ted

  8. #8
    I paid $150.00 for it. The money went to help feed the animals (horses,something else) of the owner who had passed away. She had 3 of them that were being sold to help feed them. One was already sold and there was a walnut 52. I couldn't afford to buy both.

    We called the factory and can have a front made. Which we are going to do. As I said above, I will drill the plunger holes on a Bridgeport mill so they will be straight and in the right location.

    I am debating on whether or not it would be wise to remove the corner metal, strip the finish off the top, and route the edges. I have experience plugging screw holes (from restoring old Ithaca 37 shotguns, Bubba the gunsmith does some real ugly work).

    However, it is fine the way it is. The wood is in excellent shape. I do want to put a handle on it, possibly the side carrying handles.

    I still have a lot of my tools from when I last worked in a shop 38 yrs ago.

    My original has my name painted on it. My dad (now gone) painted signs as well as wrote software. He painted my name in a real cool flowing script so it compliments the box, not takes away from it.

    We are currently relining the drawers. My wife wanted to do it in red felt, which is ok. It looks classy against the finish.

    Here is a tip for you all. My wife does quilting. She is using her rotary fabric cutter, cutting pad and quilting straight edge to do the cutting of the felt. Makes it very easy and precise.

    Once she finishes I will post more pictures.


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