My new shop upgrade

My wife and I have lived in our new home for just about a year.  In that time, I've managed to do some really good work in my shop but I've always felt that a little more light was in order.  This weekend, I rectified that problem.

 My old bench wall. Functional, but drab.  Not a very inspiring place to work

I paid a visit to my local Habitat for Humanity Re-Store.  If you've never been, I highly encourage you to check it out.  They stock many recycled building supplies, hardware, lighting fixtures and other similar items.  Best of all, the profits go to support Habitat for Humanity.

I walked out of the store with two newer new construction windows.  They are double paned, steel frame and quite heavy.  Best of all, I paid $30 for the pair and I even scored a EC Atkins miter box saw there as well.

A new view of the world

They were easy to install, look great and add a ton of natural light to the shop.  They will make my shop a very pleasant place to spend the few moments I get out there each week.  Now, I just need some insulation, a few pieces of paneling and some trim and my shop will look great.


Gerstner and Jennings tool chests

I got out of work early on Friday and decided to hit one of my favorite hunting spots, the Livingston Antique Mall in Howell.  It's a good sized mall with a good selection of antiques, including a fair number of tools.  I walked around the corner and I saw this tool box.

Well, my blood started pumping faster.  Could this be a Gerstner, I thought.  Well, of course, it is a beautiful example from that famous Dayton, Ohio company.

The wood has a beautiful patina from the years of use.  There is a tiny bit of bubbling veneer on the top of the box, but that should be an easy fix.  This particular box is a seven drawer model, lined with green felt.  The felt has seen better days so I'm planning on replacing this with Gerstner brown felt.

Best of all, I paid about $80 for this box.  I've never seen one in such good condition for such little money.  All the nickle-plated hardware is present and in great shape.  What a steal!

On my way home, I get a call from my wife.  She mentions that a family friend has a tool chest that I might like.  This family friend happens to be an elderly woman who is moving from her beautiful 1900-built home and there is a fair amount of "stuff" in it.  Of course, I jumped at the chance to go look.  Here's what I found.

The box is definitely in rough shape, but its a Jennings.  I've never seen a Jennings tool box.  In fact, I didn't even know they made boxes until I found this one.

The Jennings Company label on the inside of the lid

Beautiful filigree handles on the Jennings box
Clearly, the box needs some deep cleaning.  The original mortise lock is long gone and clearly the drawer handles aren't original.  Does anyone have any pictures or catalog pages that show what they might have looked like?

I've had a great Easter Weekend so far.  Here's hoping you get some time in your shop and some time to shop for your latest treasures.