Circa 1938 Craftsman Tool Box Restoration

Sun Oct 06, 2013 7:32 am

This toolbox was purchased by my Dad in 1938-39, when he graduated from High School. This is the box that I remember being too small to carry in my youth. We still have the wrenches and socket set that came with this toolbox. The Magic Barn revealed this to me when I was looking for the swivel hitch for Rex '48 yesterday. I've decided to do a full restoration of this toolbox for him. Thought I'd post some pix for ya'll as I make progress.

Using Kroil and with a great amount of TLC - I got the piano hinges out very carefully. The wire was actually stuck into the hinges. No the debate is on. Dad says the color shown was the original. I recall it being gray, my mother says it was gray - but I've found pictures online showing Craftsman toolboxes of that era being that teal color, but I've also seen them exactly as shown as gray. What do you think?

Ken

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Re: Circa 1938 Craftsman Tool Box Restoration

Sun Oct 06, 2013 8:11 am

Looks teal to me. If you're redoing it for your dad and he says teal, then it should be teal. If you are restoring it for you, then gray will match what you rememeber. Have fun.

Re: Circa 1938 Craftsman Tool Box Restoration

Sun Oct 06, 2013 8:54 am

Update: Well I had to know - so I removed the logo - figuring that the original paint would be behind the logo. Guess What? It was teal as Dad remembered....It shall be teal. :D

Re: Circa 1938 Craftsman Tool Box Restoration

Sun Oct 06, 2013 2:57 pm

Very cool project Ken. I would think your Dad is going to be pleased with that. And yes, I have a couple old Craftsman tools -- guess what? Base colour is yup -- teal :roll: See ya next week.

Re: Circa 1938 Craftsman Tool Box Restoration

Sun Oct 06, 2013 3:19 pm

Nice job Ken, giving me thoughts again of doing Dad's Montgomery Wards tool box from the fifties. Will need more work than yours.

Re: Circa 1938 Craftsman Tool Box Restoration

Sun Oct 06, 2013 6:29 pm

Dads are almost always right Ken :D When I was 16 I thought my Dad didn't know very much. When I was 26 I was really amazed at how much he had learned in 10yrs, :lol:
Bernard,
Donegal Cub.

Re: Circa 1938 Craftsman Tool Box Restoration

Mon Oct 07, 2013 8:16 am

Some of you know my parents have been married 70 years - You might also find this interesting. I called Dad this morning with a clue to the original color of the box. A repair had been done to the socket tray, whereby a machine screw was added to hold the handle in place. When I removed that screw, which could not have been original because the other side is spot welded - I found aqua/teal paint on the back side where the blaster could not get.

In speaking with my father today - my mother overheard the conversation and as she does - She said "Everett you didn't get that toolbox in 1938 you bought it in 1944, so you could do the engine job on the 1938 Ford that you had in the Dutch Barn". She went onto remark how proud he was of his new Craftsman tool set and she set the record straight saying "Everett, the tool box was hammered gray - it was certainly not green - I hate green". Not bad recall for a 90 year old. :D :D

Now here is how the box most likely got aqau/teal. In the early 1970's Dad was selling GMC trucks with Detroit Diesel engines. According to the Dupli Color website the Detroit Diesel ceramic engine paint matches VERY Closely to the color of the toolbox. I'm betting Dad got some paint from the garage and one of us Rau boys painted that box. Funny how we can't recall it - but my 90 year old Mom can recall the day my Father purchased it in 1944.

Hope you enjoy this little mystery - which appears to have been solved by my Mom.

Re: Circa 1938 Craftsman Tool Box Restoration

Mon Oct 07, 2013 8:44 am

PVF1799 wrote: I'm betting Dad got some paint from the garage and one of us Rau boys painted that box.

Including behind the tag? I'm beginning to think there were 2 tool boxes.

Re: Circa 1938 Craftsman Tool Box Restoration

Mon Oct 07, 2013 8:50 am

Jim Becker wrote:
PVF1799 wrote: I'm betting Dad got some paint from the garage and one of us Rau boys painted that box.

Including behind the tag? I'm beginning to think there were 2 tool boxes.


Jim - on further inspection the paint behind the label seemed to have gotten there by over spray and a bit of a run. The other clue I forgot to mention was there was a hint of that green on the craftsman tag. That clam shell tool box is the only one I've ever seen in my 57 years of going into that barn.

Re: Circa 1938 Craftsman Tool Box Restoration

Mon Oct 07, 2013 9:12 am

ricky racer wrote:Looks teal to me. If you're redoing it for your dad and he says teal, then it should be teal. If you are restoring it for you, then gray will match what you rememeber. Have fun.


I'm with Ricky on this one. If it looks like a duck and sounds like a duck, it's probably a duck. If the box is teal now and your dad remembers (and likes) teal, then it probably needs to be teal. Basic question to ask yourself: Am I doing this for me, for dad or for mom?

It does look like a fun project. :D Have fun!

Re: Circa 1938 Craftsman Tool Box Restoration

Mon Oct 07, 2013 9:52 pm

Teal??? Gray???? :D I'm starting to think the compromise choice is IH red. If you look I'll bet you can find a can or two laying around. :wink:

Re: Circa 1938 Craftsman Tool Box Restoration

Tue Oct 08, 2013 7:15 am

Scrivet wrote:Teal??? Gray???? :D I'm starting to think the compromise choice is IH red. If you look I'll bet you can find a can or two laying around. :wink:


Scrivet - you have NO Idea - How much I want it IH Red. As others have pointed out - who am I doing this for? I'd like to dedicate the box to tools specifically sized for the Farmall Tractors I have - then the restoration side of me kicks in. I'll leave it as primer till I decide.

Re: Circa 1938 Craftsman Tool Box Restoration

Tue Oct 08, 2013 8:17 am

As I understand this thread the debate is on "what color it used to be"................... have you asked Dad "what color he would LIKE it to be"? (I'm hoping he's a bit of a prankster and answers JOHN DEERE GREEN!) :shock: :lol:

Re: Circa 1938 Craftsman Tool Box Restoration

Tue Oct 08, 2013 8:24 am

Scrivet wrote:As I understand this thread the debate is on "what color it used to be"................... have you asked Dad "what color he would LIKE it to be"? (I'm hoping he's a bit of a prankster and answers JOHN DEERE GREEN!) :shock: :lol:


You are correct - the debate is what color it used to be. Dad doesn't really care what color it is....Yesterday I proved beyond any doubt it was NOT Teal. None of my brothers can recall painting it. Both agree it's the original tool box from our youth. Now since we do own a big green tractor also ....... perhaps - it could be JD Green - :lol: :lol: :lol: Nope can't bring myself to do that.....

Ken

Re: Circa 1938 Craftsman Tool Box Restoration

Wed Oct 09, 2013 7:40 am

I have a 1949 Sears catalog that has what looks like "your" tool box. I went to search online to find a copy of the page to show you instead of trying to copy or take a picture of it. I found out that Ancestry.com now has every year of Sears catalog available online. I don't know if you have to be a member, I am so they showed up when I clicked. I checked the 1938 and 1944 catalogs and didn't find the box. The page number in the actual catalog index doesn't match the scan number, sometimes off by 50-75 pages, so finding something requires math and extrapolation. So I went to the 1949 spring catalog I have and found it there. Here's a part of the page it's on.

From Ancestry.com
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