Introduction: Kennedy Toolbox Drawer Liner

About: I retired from the local government and taught Electronics Technology at college both full-time and part-time for a few years. I am now fully retired now and love to tinker.

I have been restoring old tools for years with reasonable success. One of my latest restorations was a set of Kennedy Tool Boxes. These were bought at a garage sale one rainy Saturday. As one would expect they were rusty and a little beat up. Sanding and painting brought the boxes back to fairly good shape. While I'm not a restoration purest I did want them to resemble a Kennedy tool box when finished. Why else would you go through this much work. So when it came to re-felting the drawers I had problems. I could not find an example that worked for me. The methods I tried either left wrinkles, were poor fit, a gluey mess or just looked like poor workmanship. After a few tries I came up with a method that is fairly easy and makes lining or re-lining drawers almost foolproof


When you have pulled the old felt out of the drawers and/or have made the draw ready for new felt, carefully measure the length and width of the drawer bottom. Subtract 1/16" from these measurements because it needs to be a slip fit. Next measure the height of the drawer and subtract 1/8" to 3/16" from this measurement. This keeps the drawer from interfering with the drawer above or below it. Using a drafting table or good straight edge lay these measurements on a sheet of poster board. Subtract 1/16" on each corner where the side panel patterns will meet. This to allow some room when the corners are folded up. See my drawing for example.

Step 2: CUT and FIT

Next cut out the pattern. Some drawers are not perfectly
square. Take the drawer bottom pattern and test fit it in the drawer bottom. You may have to trim it if it is too tight.


Next reassemble the pattern using scotch tape. The tape acts as a hinge when folded together and makes for a sharper corner bend. Now is the time to do a test fit in the drawer and cut out for any locks or latches. You should end up with an almost snap in fit.


Cut your new felt a little larger than your pattern. Lay your felt on a piece of cardboard with a flat surface underneath like a table or workbench and finger press the felt to make sure it is smooth and straight. Lay your pattern taped side up next to the felt. Spray the felt first with adhesive. I used "Loctite 300 Heavy 079340652064" but any heavy duty spray adhesive should work . Allow the felt to become tacky (see can for instructions). Next give the felt a 2nd coat of adhesive and the pattern its only coat. Remember you spray the pattern on the taped side. Allow the adhesive to become tacky. Now carefully pick the pattern up, turn the pattern over so the sticky side of the pattern faces the taped sticky side of the felt, line it up and apply the pattern to the felt. You get one shot at this as once the pieces touch they don't come apart. Finger press the pattern back especially around the perimeter. I put a piece of plastic on top of this assembly to prevent sticking. Place something flat over the assembled drawer liner and weight it down. Wait for the pieces to cure. (5-10 minutes)

Step 5: FINISH

Remove the assembled drawer liner and cut the excess felt around the patterns perimeter. Put the new drawer liner in the drawer. If your sides fit too loose you can use a small piece of double sided tape to keep it in place. Your done

Step 6: ALL DONE

Here is a picture of my finished toolbox with the drawer liners.

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