What should I make with this old horse tack box?

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    I found this horse tack box in our horse barn – it’s made from single boards about 20-22 inches wide – pretty wide by today’s standards. Its probably about 100 years old and probably made from long leaf pine – heavy and hard wood. I thought I would try to make it into something for the house. Any ideas?


    Why not restore it and use it for storage?

    I can imagine it would be lovely cleaned up and refinished.

    Otherwise, how about a watch box or tea caddy (or both)?

    Colin Scowen

    On the assumption that you don’t live alone, does She Who Must Be Obeyed have any requests?
    If you have kids who grew up there, you could make keepsake boxes with picture frames.
    Or it could be cleaned up and used in the cloakroom / hall. Upholster the top so that you have somewhere to sit while pulling on your wellington boots, and keep the opposite seasons footwear in there.
    Failing that, you could clean it up, turn it on it’s side, convert the lid to doors and put legs on it to make a sideboard. You could stand it on end, use the lid for some shelves and make a wine rack (should you be a wine drinker) or a liquor cabinet, or display cabinet if you glazed the front.
    Or there could be a nice set of nested tables in there, or a pair of matched entry way tables.
    Or make a chair in a similar manner to the recent desk chair project (without the bending maybe).
    Or a nice patio table for summer barbecues.
    Or bedside cabinets.
    I’d try cleaning it up first, and then decide if the joinery is weak or strong (assuming it’s not just nailed together) before choosing to dismantle it for boards or not. Inspiration may strike whilst doing this.

    Colin, Czech Rep.


    Thank you. It is a big box though – I can’t lift it alone, for example. I will clean it up and get a better idea what kind of shape the wood is in. I’ll probably have to trim the ends and make dovetails, but even so it is the size of a Shaker blanket chest or even bigger.


    A bunch of good ideas Colin, thank you. It is in fact nailed together with miter joints. The trim is half gone too. I’ll get it cleaned up and have anothyer look then.


    If the voting is still open, I cast a vote for leaving it intact as much as possible and repurposing it: if you don’t need a blanket chest, I like Colin’s idea for an entry / mud room storage chest. If these aren’t options, I would choose a project that takes advantage of the size, esp. the width, of the boards. It would seem a shame to have 18″ wide boards and rip them into narrower boards. Your idea of rejoining the boards with dovetails would be fun and ensure the resulting piece would last on for generations. In any case, nice find! Post pics of what you end up with.

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