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Korean War U.S. Army tool chest

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  • Member since
    September 2009
Korean War U.S. Army tool chest
Posted by Cobra 427 on Thursday, September 2, 2010 9:16 AM

I don't know if this is allowed here since there's no catagory to actually fit this into, but I'll post in here any way -  I feel this is the right place for it. 


This is a U.S. government issue tool chest that my grandad got from somewhere - I don't know the whole story, he's been dead for fifteen years, so I can't ask him, but this is now owned by my uncle. I was commissioned to restore this to it's former glory, but after fifty years of being beaten on, and used along with sun-fading, being oil, and grease covered, the colour no longer matches all the way around. I tried my very best to match this to it, but it was long gone after exposure to the elements, and years of my families' abuse, it no longer has the correct olive drab green that it once had.

 The inside is different in colour than the outside. Why is a mystery, but I tried in vain to replicate it with over the counter acrylic enamel spray paint. The inside of the bottom was just painted straight out of the can. I mixed the outside bottom colour into my paint gun, and sprayed the primer over it, then the colour after it dried for a couple days. I didn't have a lot of time to do this, so what it came out to is what I had the wherewithall to do so. I had to machine all new wood parts after termites got into one end, and ate the spars that reinforce it along with the bottom of the chest. This split, so to counter that - I cut separate pieces to allow for expansion along the entire bottom surface. I used to be a professional furniture restorer back in the day before becoming a musical instrument maker(luthier).

 This was redone with the utmost care, and to keep everything in military spec as much as possible. I hope you'll all enjoy these pictures, as I didn't enjoy taking this apart albeit delicately - it wasn't easy! These photos were taken over the course of a few days in between construction stages, but the weather was a factor in delaying completion - that, and I had to re-route the spars on the ends once I dryfitted everything together. The rain stretched the work out to two, and half weeks, since I had to work outside because I have no garage for shelter. I'll let the pictures tell the rest of the story. If you have any questions, just ask, and I'll try to answer them in a timely manner.  Thanks for looking!

~ Cobra Chris



 I had to clamp the boards together because the wood that I got from a local supplier wasn't truly 1" thick, as the original boards were. I had to make up the difference between the two with 1/4" board - the pictures with the orange clamps were what I was doing in front of my dryer in the utility room. I didn't realise my shoes were in the frame until I posted these pictures. I didn't tie my shoes since they're the ones I usually work in. Below is the email my mom sent me last night - this is the reply from my uncle. I originally sent a link to this thread to her in an email, and she forwarded it to my uncle. I've copied, and pasted it here for all of you to read.  I copied this entire post from another forum, and pasted it here for everyone to see.

                                                                                     Thanks for looking!

~ Cobra Chris

Subject: RE: Tool box pictures
Date: Wed, 1 Sep 2010 02:10:45 -0400

Man, if I had realized just how horrible the condition of the tool chest was I would have been more inclined to have it sent to the landfill and have taps played over it. If I had not heard Chris explaining all of the things that were wrong with the chest I wouldn't have believed what i just saw, even with Chris's detailed reports I had never envisioned anything like what is in these pictures. I know Chris is good but I didn't really realize how good before this. I am glad that I trusted him to do a good job and I didn't throw in the towel when the costs went up beyond what I had expected.


Maybe a picture of a squirrel playing a harmonica will make you feel better?




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