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Thread: KP's Toolbox

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    DSM, IA
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    KP's Toolbox

    A few months ago I was helping my dad rearrange the chaos in his garage that we had just placed, shoved, and stacked his entire shop into after moving it from KS to Des Moines and rediscovered a heavy wooden box with hand cut dovetail joinery. I remembered it from loading the Uhaul back in KS too. I played strong man and lifted my grandfather's carpentry tool box by myself into the moving van. It was heavy, stout and showed signs of once being beautiful. I commented to my dad that it should be refinished and used as a show piece in his new shop. He was to tired and sore to hear me I think.

    Fast forward to a few weeks ago. I'm helping my dad put up a wall in his new shop and we need to move the tool box. My dad says, "If you are interested, KP's toolbox is yours." So, I get the pleasure to inherit this great piece of history. My dad told me that my grandpa worked on a crew of 5-7 carpenters that went to work each day on the back of a flat bed pickup. They'd work all day and then had to spend most of the night sharpening their tools. If they weren't sharp in the morning, they got fired on the spot. Below are some pictures of how it looks now. The top half is spilt and folds down to reveal three small drawers and a storage space to the right. The box that folds down contains the 5 hand saws. The lower half is made up of 2 deep drawers that house the plans and brace bits among other things.

    Possibly the best part of recieving the tool box are it's contents. Swedish chisels given to grandpa by his mentor, who name escapes me now, a Stanley No 7, another Stanley for inside curves, Miller Falls No. 9, 2 braces, bits, scoring knives, awls, 5 Disstons saws, saw tooth set, 2 more manual drills and 2 wooden planes, plus much more. I have the tool box on a shelf in my shop now. Eventually I will do a little refinish on the box, but I also hope to learn how to use and maintain the tools as well. I'll post some more picks of the contents soon...I will be making some new chisel handles for sure!

    (sorry for the long winded post, but I'm pretty excited about this,)
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 100_0755.JPG   100_0754.JPG   100_0756.JPG   100_0758.JPG   100_0760.JPG  

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    A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone. -Henry David Thoreau
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    North West Indiana
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    6,097
    No need for apologies! What is not to be excited about? Bet Grandpa is excited in heaven also that his tools are being appreciated. That is cool! Don't know if I would do a full on "refinish". Each knick and scratch is a story.
    Jon

    God and family, the rest is icing on the cake. I'm so far behind, I think I'm in first place!

    Host of the 2015 FAMILY WOODWORKING GATHERING

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
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    Definitely a treasure worth preserving.
    As for refinishing, I have mixed feelings on that. I understand what Johnathon is saying. But, on the other hand, the full beauty of what it was originally cannot be shown unless it is refinished.
    I think I would go for it without too-too much sanding.
    I have seen those curvy, adjustable planes. Wat are they used for?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Lakeport NY and/or the nearest hotel
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Bower View Post
    Eventually I will do a little refinish on the box, but I also hope to learn how to use and maintain the tools as well. I'll post some more picks of the contents soon...I will be making some new chisel handles for sure!

    (sorry for the long winded post, but I'm pretty excited about this,)
    Jeff,
    that's a real treasure chest! Go easy on the restoration, just enough so that it doesnt deteriorate, it looks great as it is to my eyes. Antiques collectors term that look 'patina' and removing it beyond basic maintenance is generally a 'bad thing'. Nice score, and enjoy using the tools when you get around to that!
    -Ned

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Plainwell, Michigan
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    4,855
    Another one on leaving it as is, it tells its history.I would be hard pressed to alter it. Wow that is for sure the treasure box of treasure boxes, I bet you feel a closeness with your granddad every time you hold and use one of them

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Delton, Michigan
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    17,470
    the curvy plane is called a compass plane, i think its a 112 or 113 this one is the second generation of them but still i keeper.. that no. 7 stanley is also a keeper.. not that any of the others arent but those two are sought after jeff.. i wouldnt change the box. i am williun to wager that it looked pretty similar a few years after it was used by your grandfather. i have a couple from my great uncle and granfather and neither of them are in as good of shape as yours is the stories are there nw but if you refinish it they will disappear. if yu can get some pics of the guy with it on the truck or in use grab them it will make the value even more so jeff...keep it in the family.. to many times these things get taken form the family by wheeler dealers and then its gone and so is the history..
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    DSM, IA
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    Thanks for the hints about not doing to much to the tool box. I'm not going to do to much to it. Just a few fixes so it will stay together.

    This weekend I will take everything out and get a good look at what is all in there and share some more pics. The chisels have been used/sharpened so much there isn't a whole lot of metal left, but I will be sharpening them, with some help of someone who knows how to properly do it.
    A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone. -Henry David Thoreau
    My Website


  8. #8
    Join Date
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    ABQ NM
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    That's a true treasure chest. I'll bet KP's smiling somewhere.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Amherst, New Hampshire
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    Back then (before plastic tool boxes) a real craftsmans reputation was made by his tool box as well as his work. By the looks of it Grandpa was a real pro.
    I'm sure Grandpa is looking down right now with a big smile on his face.
    Faith, Hope & Charity

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Bucks County PA
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    149

    That is just too cool!!

    Man, that is a great story! And now you have a piece of family history right in your shop.

    Like others have said, I think your Grandpop would be mighty satisfied to see those tools in your hands! Carry on the tradition and use them well.
    See ya around,
    Dominic

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