I was hoping someone might be able to help me. I have an old solid
oak tool box. It looks like it has been painted and has little dots
of paint from through out the years, as it is a tool box as well it is
extremely built up with dirt and inside and out. It also has a small
crack in the top. I was thinking about using a paint remover to get
the outside paint off and then sand the outside and inside to get the
dirt off, I was going to use plastic wood to fill the crack and a
couple other small holes as well. If anyone has any suggestions as to
if this is a good idea or if there is a better process or some
favourite products they use that would be great Thanks for the help.
Employ sanding as a last resort. Try Murphy's Oil Soap and a stiff nylon
brush to remove most of the crud (if only that technique worked in this ng).
As for removing the paint - a good quality stripper will do you. Try a
google search in this group of "paint stripper," for years of discussion on
the topic. I'm in agreement with Howard on using a filler to fix cracks.
Don't do it. If the cracks aren't affecting the structural integrity, just
leave 'em be. If they're not stable, a dutchman (dovetail key - looks like
a bow-tie) should suffice, or if that's not your druthers, simply pare away
any rough area, and splice in a somewhat matching patch.
Leave the nail/worm holes alone. It's not a new toolbox.
Post pictures when you're done. I dig old toolboxes.
There is no reason not to use paint remover. Just follow the instructions
and play safe. I have always had the best results with the regular old
stinky kind (methylene chloride based) but others may have different
As for the dirt, I would try a light rubbing with steel wool. That should
get the most of it yet leave any patina that may be there.
I would leave the crack. Just look at it and think to yourself that it
gives the box character. Unless you were to fit a dutchman or other patch,
trying to fill it would probably be problematic and detract from the look.
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