Antique Tool Box Coffee Table

HH’s grandfather was a do-it-yourselfer from way back.  He not only made a few furniture pieces, but he made many of his tools and a tool box to house them.

Many times, you’ve seen Grandaddy H’s table under the French Country Plate Shelf in our kitchen.  He made it from cedar and hand carved the legs and short spindles running around the rim.

French Country Plate Shelf

He had no lathe or special tools…only his hand tools.  We wouldn’t trade it for anything!

HH only occasionally used one of Granddaddy H’s tools.  Naturally, he wanted to preserve them.  HH spent many hours as a child working beside Grandaddy H on his farm.  He loved that dear man!

Antique Hand-Made Tool Box - Before Reno

One cold day during January, I unloaded the box, thinking I would take it to the garage.  I wanted to surprise HH and fix it up for him while he was out of town.  Nope!  That thing weighs a ton, even without the tools inside!

Speaking of inside, Grandaddy H made two trays that slide on different levels inside.  I removed the top tray for easier cleaning, and you can see the upper track it slides on.  The lower tray, trapped between slide rails, isn’t removable at all.

Inside Antique Tool Box

Notice the various clips on the side walls that hold saws and other specific tools.  Later, as I clean the tools and re-load the box, I’ll share more about that.

Under the lid is pretty neat, too.  This upholstery webbing holds things like screw drivers and chisels.

Upholstery Webbing Under Lid

It’s actually in pretty good shape and still holding strong.

More details will be in a future post about the box renovation.  For today, I mostly wanted to show you its new home in the family room.

Antique Tool Box Coffee Table

HH added some feet I found at Lowe’s because I wanted it a little taller.  It hits right at couch-seat-height.

Tool Box End View

See the black around the bottom piece?  That’s oil stains from Grandaddy H’s day.

We wanted to keep the paint spatters, too.  Character.

Paint Splattered Tool Box

The swath  of paint along the side makes you wonder when, how and why.  The upper part of the latch is missing, too.  History.

Tool Box Character

I removed and sanded the corner brass brackets to give them some shine.  They still have loads of old crud.

The carrying handles were completely covered with paint, so I sanded them a little.  I love old, chippy paint!

Back Side of Tool Box

You’ve gotta appreciate the character, the craftsmanship, the memories.

Antique Hand-Made Tool Box

I enjoy the rough and rugged combined with silver.

Silver and Accessories

Come on in and have a seat.  Plop your dirty boots on there!

Boots Welcome on Tool Box Coffee Table

You’re welcome…can’t hurt a thing.  Really!

The tool box coffee table has been part of my plan for this room for years.  It’s good to finally have it inside where HH can enjoy the memories every day.  (See the nitty-gritty reno details here.)

Do you love using family pieces, things that bring warm fuzzies to mind every time you see them?


125 px Signature

I’m sharing our “new” coffee table at Metamorphosis Monday.  Join the fun, won’t you?


  1. Ginger Giles says

    What a priceless treasure! I love it in your family room. It looks wonderful.

    • says

      Thank you, G! HH loves it and enjoyed sharing the memories with family this weekend. Happy Mother’s Day!

    • says

      Thank you! HH was bragging about it already over the weekend when Fun Son and Sweet One were here. Using Grandaddy H’s old tool box truly makes him so happy!