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Thread: How to remove the front lid?

  1. #1

    How to remove the front lid?

    A friend gave me an old chest in very rough condition. Although it's rough, it's functional, except that the front lid wood is broken.

    I've attached a few pictures (it measures 20"x11.5"x9.5"). As far as I can tell, it's a model 55 from before WWII.
    mod IMG_4873.jpg mod IMG_4896.jpg

    I plan to just clean it, wrap some leather on the handle & glue down the loose leatherette (would rubber/contact cement be OK?).

    I'd like to remove the lid and glue the broken wood back together. I looked on the forum for instructions on how to remove the front lid but didn't find it (I probably missed it somehow). Can anyone share instructions on how to remove the front lid on this box? Thanks!

    mod IMG_4868.jpg mod IMG_4890.jpg mod IMG_4870.jpg

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    If you are convinced it is a Model 55, then there should be no problem. most front panels just slipped into place under the bottom drawer. They were not on tracks with pins and stops like Gerstners and just pulled straight out and the bottom of the panel fit into a groove in the bottom of the case.

    What you have is a case, not a chest. Chests have opening lids and top tills; tool cases have only drawers.

    Who do you think was the maker of this tool case?

    I would suggest using contact cement to glue down the loose leatherette.

    https://gerstnertoolchest.shutterfly...orationdetails

    Scroll down to Refreshing Leatherette Coverings.

    You may fiind other helpful hints on my web site also. (I have restored over 250 of these boxes.)
    Terry Rushbrook, Melbourne, FL and Broad Brook, CT.

    www.gerstnertoolchest.shutterfly.com

    www.terrystoolboxes.com

  3. #3
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    Spoke too soon

    Sorry, I just looked up the Gerstner Style 55 and realized that the front panel is on runners and is held in by stops on each side. Still, they are relatively easy to get out. Pull the panel all the way out and allow the left pin to settle into the lowest position. Raise the panel up toward the locked position while sliding the right side pin up and out of its groove.

    I hope that works for you, but I think there is a post on the forum that goes into greater detail. There may also be a video on Gerstner's YouTube channel.
    Terry Rushbrook, Melbourne, FL and Broad Brook, CT.

    www.gerstnertoolchest.shutterfly.com

    www.terrystoolboxes.com

  4. #4

  5. #5
    Thank you Terry for taking the time to reply and for the links. Now that I've read the thread you referenced and watched Scott Campbell's video, it makes perfect sense as to how to get the front lid out (wish I was smart enough to think of it myself...).

    Sorry for the wrong terminology for the case. I didn't know that they were described differently. I'll reference the information you pointed me to for the gluing of the loose leatherette, when I'm ready for that part of the process.

    I'm pretty slow with getting to stuff and the one thing I want to do pretty much right away is to glue the front lid back together. Again based on how slow I am, it will take me quite a long time to clean the case (will probably do it in small chunks of time).

    I'm a bit of a "collector" of a wide variety of things (mostly automotive & bicycle related but also certain tools; one of which is a brand called Plomb...) and have several Gerstener chests (about 7 I think). This is the first case I've acquired. Here's a picture of couple of the chests. As you can probably tell, these two are not that old.
    mod IMG_4901.jpg

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    People often ask me, especially at shows, "How long does it take you to complete one of these boxes?"

    I answer, "Five minutes."

    Thy say, incredulously, "Five minutes?

    I explain, "Five minutes here, five minutes there..."

    Years ago restored an old wood and brass level for my father, a retired carpenter. One of the vials was broken, so I called the Stanley Company in Connecticut. I was told I needed to speak to someone in the level department and was transferred to Mr. Plumb. It was only fitting that Mr. Plumb should work in the level department.

    Keep us posted on your progress.
    Terry Rushbrook, Melbourne, FL and Broad Brook, CT.

    www.gerstnertoolchest.shutterfly.com

    www.terrystoolboxes.com

  7. #7
    Good story. I'll try to upload pictures of my crappy work as I make progress, to this thread. Here's a few pictures of what an old Plomb tool looks like... (most Plomb tools were made in the 1950s or earlier)
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  8. #8

    Got the lid off

    Using the trick of removing the lower drawers and tipping the lid up while sliding one side back. I tried both sides and it didn't want to just slide out. I was tempted to shave the end of one of the bottom drawer guides to make more room but I could see that the pin was pretty close to releasing (maybe within 1 mm of clearing). So, instead, I use a little bit of persuasion to pull the LH side pin out. It interfered with the wood above the pin channel and gouged it slightly on the way out. But, the pin didn't get damaged so all is well for now. Next will be gluing the lid back together into one piece. I'll avoid getting any glue on the floating center panel. Here's a few pictures.

    mod IMG_4926.jpg mod IMG_4927.jpg
    mod IMG_4932.jpg

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    We have all gouged a few side panels, at least I know I have. I have also been known to trim a little off the bottom drawer guide to facilitate the front panel removal.

    Good job! Keep us posted.
    Terry Rushbrook, Melbourne, FL and Broad Brook, CT.

    www.gerstnertoolchest.shutterfly.com

    www.terrystoolboxes.com

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