Precision tool case wood types
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    Default Precision tool case wood types

    I have a nice piece of Sapele that i was considering making a few tool cases out of. The cases will be for precision ground blocks and measuring equipment.

    Perhaps it was here i read that certain woods if used in a case would promote rusting. I do plan to isolate the ground tool from the wood with felt.

    Is Sapele safe to use in a tool case? Are there any other woods to stay away from?

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    I have my fathers Starrett 123 calipers and they've lived for 60 years in the factory Sapele case..... bare wood on the inside AFAIKT. No discoloration yet!

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    I believe that Sapele is safe. The one to be careful with is oak. That needs to be varnished or oiled to avoid rust on contacted steel.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rand View Post
    I believe that Sapele is safe. The one to be careful with is oak. That needs to be varnished or oiled to avoid rust on contacted steel.
    Tannic acid.

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    Only one I ever made was curly Koa... back when it was cheap..
    Houses a Mit indicator, stand, and arms. no rust there, I used it for aligning shafts on boats.

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    I have an Interapid indicator thatís been in a little mahogany case for a couple decades with no issues. I made it from two small pieces of scrap deck boards, routed out like Starrett used to do. A couple short pieces of 1/8Ē drill rod align and keep it together


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

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    Thanks for all of the quick responses!

    I do like to use Mahogany for a lot of projects. It is tough to justify for a tool case. The piece of Sapele i found is clear and has a nice straight grain with no run off. I didn't realize Starrett used Sapele.

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    Waxed wood protects tools as it doesnt hold moisture against the tool. The felt can hold moisture so if you are in a humid area you may want to just go without the felt.

    Charles

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    This one's for Stoneaxe,

    "how many toolboxes....."

    dsc_0003.jpg

    dsc_0006.jpg

    dsc_0007.jpg

    Curly Koa floor i did minor repairs to before Christmas.

    smt
    Last edited by stephen thomas; 01-15-2020 at 11:21 PM.

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    I try not to have direct contact between wood and the tools. Instead I make a foam insert.

    Iíve been using various types of cypress and mahogany for the cases. I suspect mitutoyo Ďmade in Brazilí cases are Spanish cedar (iirc this is a type of mahogany).

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    I might use a sticky back foam in place of the felt. Would the foam hold moisture as well?
    I wonder if there is a felt or foam that holds oil or that wouldn't hold moisture against a precision part.
    Perhaps a permawick type of material.

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    I use material that is commonly sold for use with tools. So far, so good. One of them is Kaizen foam.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MCritchley View Post
    I might use a sticky back foam in place of the felt. Would the foam hold moisture as well?
    I wonder if there is a felt or foam that holds oil or that wouldn't hold moisture against a precision part.
    Perhaps a permawick type of material.
    Quote Originally Posted by BHolcombe View Post
    I use material that is commonly sold for use with tools. So far, so good. One of them is Kaizen foam.
    We tested foams and molded goods for hearing aid use for years, temp cycled, "artificial sweat".

    End of the day, making mics and reproducers in bitch-to-work-with stainless housings was all there was to it. They ALL seem to absorb something or other and/or contribute their own degradation chemicals, so contact corrosion is simply unpredictable.

    Old Skewl felt blocks, "velvet", or moleskin textile at least "breath" even their own adhesive's away.

    Hard felt "points", bare wood elsewhere is easiest to do, easiest to renew, and easiest for gripping to git stuff in and out as well. Cheap, too. JFDI.

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    I put no lining in the Koa box- just step routed it to fit the tools. No rust.

    Stephen, nice floor!.

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    So itís looks like no lining is the right thing to do, good discussion.

    I took a look at a Herman Schmidt case....no lining. I have full confidence in ol Hermanís decision not to have padding in a case.

    How about some photos of some shop built cases?

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    Hereís a goofy Walnut scrap for an 18Ē B&S square. Pretty sure I threw a little oil on it. No rust to speak of. Iíve built 90% of all my tool storage out of a zillion kinds of left over wood. I donít recall any real issues with any of them. FWIW.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    I used the original liners from the plastic case, the previous owner painted the plastic case and it looked horrendous.

    usanmx69sl2i1zjoounvng.jpgvk5ry0z-s7egwkkc9x-qfa.jpgqwz-hzvqtuaqrqybvjlukq.jpg

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    I put some stainless clasps on it also. Not sure why I felt the need to write Mitutoyo on it, that was regrettable.

    Attached another case I made for an indicator.

    fullsizeoutput_130b.jpgfullsizeoutput_130a.jpge0mwwnceqrmaaslaiw-3dw.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by MCritchley View Post
    So it’s looks like no lining is the right thing to do, good discussion.

    I took a look at a Herman Schmidt case....no lining. I have full confidence in ol Herman’s decision not to have padding in a case.

    How about some photos of some shop built cases?
    We have always used mahogany without any lining, just direct on the wood. Tried cherry and birch in the past on a very limited basis wtihout much success.

    Pete Schmidt

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    Tried cherry and birch in the past on a very limited basis wtihout much success.
    Is this because the wood affects the metal, or because it is less stable than Mahogany?

    Neither sounds like ideal run of the mill wood for flat board type cases. Unless the cherry was spec'd as all QS.
    I'd think QS walnut would be good.
    Even run of the mill (true)mahogany seems less stable these days than it used to be.

    smt


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