Repurposed Tool Trunk/Carpenter's Chest

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About This Project

Yellow Pine (it is quite old and very dense for pine)

This was an old handmade tool trunk/carpenter's chest my dad gave me many years ago. It had been painted over many times and was quite ugly. I decided to strip it and refinish it. It is made of yellow pine and has many dings and countless nails in it. I think it just adds to the charm. It is now a coffee table.

Required Skill Level: 
Starter Project
Estimated Time Investment: 
Week Long Project (20 Hours or More)
Finish Used: 
Minwax gunstock stain (2 coats) and Minwax fast drying stain 3 and 4 coats. I also applied Briwax for additional protection. I must admit the stripping was quite a task. I must have gone through 2 gallons of paint stripper using a putty knife, wire brushes, and a dremel tool. The hardware was impossible to remove so I had to leave it on. I also had to hand sand much of it due to the many dings in the wood. I painted the hardware using Rust Oleum spray primer (brown) and Rust Oleum spray paint (dark brown). The grooves on top were packed with wood putty. It was difficult to remove. I am thinking of maybe adding some cast iron pieces to fill these. I have also ordered some handles from and will add them when they come in. I will add photos of the changes as I make them.
Estimated Cost: 


I will have to draw something up. Or at least give the measurements. It really wasn't created to be a piece of furniture, though I use it as a coffee table. It really is heavy because it uses 2 layers of wood on the exterior and interior and then an abundance of nails were used and driven through both layers and then bent over. It made the refinish quite a challenge. Try sanding around all of those bent over nails w/o tearing your sandpaper. I also quit counting at 5 layers of paint. Much of it wasn't today's latex which removes quite easily. It was given to me by my deceased father so every minute I spent on it was sure worth it.

I have one more similar to it that I plan on refinishing in the near future. I am also on the hunt for an antique factory cart.