I found this old carpenter’ s box lying on a tarp in the middle of a vast flea market. There were a few hand tools still in it, possibly original, maybe not. The box is plainly made and humble. I imagine it was built for the simple purpose of holding its owner’s tools. I wonder who made it, and how their story went.
I didn’t think I’d ever use for anything too practical, but I still liked it. I decided to find some way to preserve and honor this as an artifact of someone else’s life.
I estimate the carpenter’s chest that forms the top of this table to be about 70 years old. What began a humble working man’s box has taken on a patina that can only come with the passage of time. This resulting patina, although visually pleasing, is suitable only for a museum piece that doesn’t get touched or used. Using a finishing technique related to French Polish, I have preserved the patina, creating a durable finish that will be provide years of trouble free service. This technique employs materials and methods congruent with the time period of the original piece, and can easily be renewed should it ever become necessary.
In an effort to preserve the historical integrity of the piece, while still allowing it to be enjoyed as a practical item, the base supports the tool chest without significantly altering it. The result combines the feel of an antique upon its presentation stand with the practicality of a small, interesting table.
Inside, the box has received the same hand rubbed finish. The original accessory tray is still in place, and the bottom of the box, as well as the tray, have been fitted a lining of blue felt, again, removable to maintain the historical integrity of this antique.