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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Since I have not seen a box restoration posting in a while, I thought this one may be of interest from the technique standpoint. The box came with an excellent condition 1938 Colt Officer's Target revolver in the original Burgandy-color box with the right serial number on the back in pencil. The gun was listed in an auction that said the box was in poor condition. Well, 'poor' condition didn't begin to cover the condition of this one, but it is what it is, and it was in three flat, water and insect-damaged, pieces. The sides were warped, all four corners were detached, etc. etc. I decided it would be worth a try to at least reassemble the pieces and see what I got.

I did not take per-work photos, but you will see the damage as I progress. The corners and other tears were glued with Elmer's white glue, using various instruments and small brushes to spread and shape the glue. Most important, the corners were held in place with small red framing 90-degree clamps (Amazon) used for small projects, not picture frames. Other various small size clamps were used for side sections of the box. I could not restore the hinge, so I left it off.

Granted, the finished product is not anywhere near perfect, but not bad for a pig with lipstick.

Wood Tool Gas Rectangle Metal

Clamping using smooth Oak wood to compress and straighten the cardboard which I wet first.
Corners: I would paint the glue into the outside of the corners after I aligned the two sections, Then I added glue to the inside corners after the outside dried and I removed the clamps. Elmers goes on white but dries clear after being absorbed by the paper. You can barely see it after it dries (30 min.)

Automotive tire Tire Gas Electric blue Rope

In sections of the box frame that still had factory glue on the sides, because I had to soak the cardboard, I wrapped the Oak boards with aluminum foil so they would release after drying. You can use wax paper too, but it's harder to adapt. Note the side of the box frame that has already been straightened at the bottom of the image.

Gas Office ruler Auto part Carmine Machine

When I re-inserted the straightened box frame into the bottom of the box, it had to be reglued to all sides and took a long time to spread the glue with a brush so I diluted the glue a little to increase working time. Once it dried, the sides of the box bottom adapted to the frame and straightened out.

Rectangle Font Commemorative plaque Metal Paper product

The finished top and bottom of the box.

Brown Rectangle Wood Tints and shades Font

The water-damaged top of the box, about which I could no nothing because the paper had detached from the underlying cardboard. If I wanted/needed to do it, I could have made two Oak pieces the same size as the bottom and inside of the box, wet the cardboard, and put it in a press...naw, too much work. But, it could be done.

Green Black Publication Material property Font

The most important part and my reason to save the box... the correct number, and the end-label. Insect bites and all.
Photograph White Black Air gun Trigger

Time: Off and on, two days, while the glue dried and water in the sides evaporated inside the clamps. Well worth the time to me.

· Registered
97 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah, just what I need, another 'hustle' to keep me entertained. Actually, I got into doing box restoration when I was collecting 1920-30's antique fishing lures and boxes during the 1990's. I know this is insane to even mention, but some of those early Heddon, Shakespeare, or miscellaneous maker empty boxes went for thousands of dollars, so it was worth it to restore a broken corner or glue a piece together.
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