Before the days of the slick Snap-On or behemoth Waterloo Industry tool chests, machinists stored their tools in wooden machinist chests. Gerstner’s been making ’em since 1906, and they remain the standard against which wooden machinist chests are measured.
In 1910 Gerstner designed the #41, a typical chest, to hold precision instruments for machinists. You can cover the #41’s seven lined drawers with a front lid, and you can lock the whole thing up — including the lined top tray — just like a contemporary machinist chest. Gerstner makes the chests with tongue and groove wood panels in your choice of golden oak, maple, cherry, or walnut. You can further customize the chest with hardware finishes and black or green felt. It also features a mirror mounted to the lid, one feature you don’t see too often in contemporary chests.
In today’s world the wooden chest has become more of a showpiece than an everyday necessity, and the prices reflect that — the #41 has a street price of $710 to $740 depending on what finish you decide on. Gerstner produces a “Gerstner International” line for those who want an economical option — the overseas manufacturers who make the International line hold themselves to less-strict standards. Either Gerstner USA or Gerstner International chests could become prize pieces to enjoy for a long time.