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MAC Tool Chest Restoration

I found this late model, 12-drawer MAC TOOLS mechanics-style tool chest pretty cheap on Craigslist. It had some wear on it, but I thought I could refurbish it without too much trouble. The top unit (Model #516) is 13"d x 26"w x 19"h. The bottom unit (Model #506) is 17"d x 26-1/2"w x 29"h. It has 4" casters that raise the cabinet 5" off the floor. Two casters swivel and lock.

The drawers come off the slides by gently prying off the spring clips. Its easy - pull out, then forward. Use a flat head screwdriver.

Tools for the job: Drill driver, 1/4" socket, flathead screwdriver, chisel/scraper, razor blade, blue tape, diesel & brush, brake cleaner (optional), dish soap & scrubby pad, liquid degreaser (optional), paper towels. Rustoleum "Sunrise Red" Gloss Enamel is a pretty close match to the original MAC paint color. I used 6-8 cans (can't remember).

Years of grime accumulated in the corners of the lower unit. No dead mice, though.

Cleaning Step #1: Brake cleaner on the drawer slides and the really greasy corners. It peels off paint, so be careful. I used it sparingly.

Cleaning Step #2: Diesel and a scrub brush. I like these Libman brushes. Find them in the bathroom cleaning isle at Fred Meyer/Kroger.

Cleaning Step #3: Hosed it off. Degreased with a scrubby pad and Mr. Clean Degreaser. Then hosed it off again. I could have skipped this step. Mr. Clean is a wimp.

Cleaning Step #4: Dish soap in a bucket with a scrubby. Hose it off when done. Next time, I'll just start with this step and skip the solvents unless I really need them. After the soapy scrub down, the tool chest seems almost usable as-is, but I resisted temptation. The dorky stickers still needed to come off and new paint will make everything look much better.

Don't be shy - just hose it out. You won't hurt anything.

Removed the drawer pulls with a 1/4" socket. Parts and screws go in a sandwich baggie.

Nice and shiny. SandFlex blocks are perfect for cleaning up grimy chrome drawer pulls. These little blocks are among the most useful tools ever invented.

Scraped off the stray epoxy, tape residue, and paint spatter.

Randy was a naughty boy. Sanded all outer surfaces and drawer fronts with 100g, then 150 grit and a cushioned block.

Yoga mats from Walmart make great drawer liners. They are 68" x 24" x 3mm and can be had for $8.50 a piece on sale. I needed 3 to complete this project. Rest assured, this is my only connection to Yoga.

Drawer Liner Cut List

(3) 22-1/2" x 12-1/4" - Top unit, full drawers

(9) 12-3/8" x 7-1/2" - Top unit, divided drawers

(1) 25-3/8" x 4-1/4" - Top unit, under lid

(1) 19-7/8" x 7-3/4" - Top unit under lid

(1) 7-3/4" x 5-1/2" - Top unit, under lid

(9) 5-3/4" x 2-1/2" - Top unit, sliding tray

(5) 22-1/8" x 16-3/8" - Bottom unit, full drawers

(3) 16-3/8" x 7-1/2" - Bottom unit, divided drawers

Just about done. Need to repaint the casters, clear coat everything, and add new locks. I have a big MAC Tools sticker on the way - it'll go inside the lid of the upper box.

Drawer liners installed and slides greased up. All in all, not perfect, but a lot better than it was.

Your comments are always welcome -

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