Vintage Ammunition Box Turned Furniture Find

October 24, 2014

When I recently scored this vintage ammunition box 
I immediately knew what I wanted to do with it:
Add legs and make a table.

I mean, how tough could that be?  I also thought
that casters would be cool so that it could be
 moved around the house more easily.
I mean, this thing is huge.
Mr. CBD found it on a Saturday afternoon shopping venture
 and he texted me this picture of it to see if I wanted
him to bring it home.

Heck yeah!
Initially I saw it as a coffee table, but now
I'm leaning toward more of a sofa table
that can be used either as a sofa table
or maybe a foyer table underneath our stairs.
Only problem is, I'm a real novice when it comes to:
1. Furniture making in general
2. Staining wood
3. Sealing anything
Initially I had it in our family room while I was considering
what to do with it. But the very first night my husband
seemed to have some kind of allergic reaction to it.
The only thing we could figure was that the box
is still coated and/or filled with whatever ammo
boxes are coated and/or filled with.
Ammo dust?
It definitely needs a good hosing down.
But either way, it also smells pretty musty.
So I ask you:
1. What do YOU think I should make out of it?
2. What's the best stain to use on something like this?
3. What kind of sealant would you recommend,
and do you think it would help get rid of the smell? 
4. What should I use to make the legs?
I can't wait to hear what you have to say about it!
On another note, what do you have planned
for this weekend? We'll be going to an annual 
family-friendly Halloween party.

Last year Mr. CBD made some ghoulishly
good food for it. The jury's still out on what
he'll be making for this year's party but there
have already been requests that he recreate
his masterpiece from last year!
Right now I'm working on the kids' costumes.
Hopefully I can share a bit of that with you later.
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Leave a Comment!

Unknown said...

I have one of these old ammo boxes, only mine is tall and square and held missile fuses for fighter planes. I kept it original, only sanding lightly by hand to smooth it out, adding one coat of natural stain and two coats of poly. Then I put on 3 inch feet and now its an end table in my living room. I've seen other people paint them, distress them, add short or tall legs, wheels, etc. I prefer the original look because of the history of the box, plus it was my Dad's and he wrote his name on it back in 1969. For the inside, I lightly sanded by hand and wiped down with mineral spirits, then left a cup of baking soda in it with the lid closed while I finished the outside. Took care of the musty smell, and I left the inside in its original unfinished state. Putting feet on it was super easy. Got the unfinished feet at Lowe's, drilled a hole on each corner, and twisted them on. No braces or extra pieces needed in this heavy wood. I get the most compliments on this piece than any other piece of furniture in my house! Enjoy yours!

Glenda/MidSouth said...

Oh My! Love the old ammo box, but don't have advice on how to stain, refurbish, etc.
I made a coffee table out of an old wooden tray years ago and it worked until my oldest Grand sat on one end when we were decorating the Christmas tree - It collapsed!
See - I am of no help. LOL
Weather is suppose to be beautiful here this weekend and hope it is in your area also.
Have a great weekend!

Diana said...

I LOVE the idea of a coffee table--can't wait to see your finished product, Kathleen.

Anonymous said...

Looks like a fun project! I would just play around with stain to see what works best. I have only used liquid stain, so I'm no expert! A coffee table would be cute. I have only built window tables and I used 2"X 4" for the legs. Home Depot and Lowes do have a great selection of table legs though. Good luck!

Betsy@My Salvaged Treasures said...

What a great find. I think Sheila gave you some great tips. First thing you'd need to do is get that nasty smell out of there. Have you ever tried kitty litter? It works pretty well, then you could seal it after that.

Debbie said...

Sofa table was my first thought, considering I'm looking for one! I don't know about the other stuff, but I'm sure whatever you do, it will look great!

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