Toolmaker's cabinets

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jayell
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Toolmaker's cabinets

Postby jayell » Sat Nov 01, 2014 10:22 am

Having got a copy of Machinery's Handbook I now need a toolmakers cabinet to put it in :)

Of course I don't need a cabinet for the book but for all the tools and other bits and bobs I am in the process of re-acquiring, most recent of which was a small clamp type knurling tool. Not something that will be very useful for P4 modelling I know but my lathe will get used for other engineering tasks beyond the needs of model loco making.

Toolmakers cabinets fetch quite high prices, a bit like unimat lathes, so I am hoping supply will outstrip demand before too long and I'll get one for an affordable amount. Years ago (1960s era) when I first acquired a small lathe and started to buy tools I had the woodworking machinists in the furniture company I worked for make up a 'kit' of parts for a toolmakers cabinet, they normally made these for themselves to a slightly different design to the engineering style, but what I wanted was nothing really unusual for them, typical woodworkers tool cabinets are often to be found on ebay, although there are none at the moment.

That cabinet was used for many years but disposed of with all the rest of my stuff 10-12 years ago. What prompted me to mention them at all is the fact that some US makers of toolmaker cabinets provided a deep drawer or slot specifically to take the machinists bible and occasionally this design of cabinet comes up for sale on ebay. Like these two:-

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/TWO-VINTAGE-E ... 3cea7690ee

John

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Flymo748
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Re: Repairing torn book pages

Postby Flymo748 » Sun Nov 02, 2014 9:23 pm

johnlewis wrote:Of course I don't need a cabinet for the book but for all the tools and other bits and bobs I am in the process of re-acquiring, most recent of which was a small clamp type knurling tool. Not something that will be very useful for P4 modelling I know but my lathe will get used for other engineering tasks beyond the needs of model loco making.

Toolmakers cabinets fetch quite high prices, a bit like unimat lathes, so I am hoping supply will outstrip demand before too long and I'll get one for an affordable amount. Years ago (1960s era) when I first acquired a small lathe and started to buy tools I had the woodworking machinists in the furniture company I worked for make up a 'kit' of parts for a toolmakers cabinet, they normally made these for themselves to a slightly different design to the engineering style, but what I wanted was nothing really unusual for them, typical woodworkers tool cabinets are often to be found on ebay, although there are none at the moment.

That cabinet was used for many years but disposed of with all the rest of my stuff 10-12 years ago. What prompted me to mention them at all is the fact that some US makers of toolmaker cabinets provided a deep drawer or slot specifically to take the machinists bible and occasionally this design of cabinet comes up for sale on ebay.


Hi John,

Mine came from the local "antiques emporium". That's Junk Shoppe to the rest of us...

It cost me twenty quid, a bit of new green baize from the Other John Lewis, and a couple of nights sitting on the sofa watching television with a tube of Autoglym chrome polish.

IMG_8345.JPG


It's now been carted to various Missendens, and apart from the "heavy stuff" like an RSU or a pillar drill, contains everything that I need to build a kit.

So don't despair, keep your eyes open, and see what turns up...

Cheers
Flymo
Beware of Trains - occasional modelling in progress!
www.5522models.co.uk

Terry Bendall
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Re: Repairing torn book pages

Postby Terry Bendall » Mon Nov 03, 2014 7:29 am

Flymo got a real bargain at £20.00. Normally these sort of things go for a lot more. I am fortunate to have two of different sizes, both inherited from my father. The smaller one used for model making tools can be seen on page 4 of Scalefour News 187 and that goes to exhibitions. It probably dates back to 1935 or so. I also have a larger one with drawers and a lift up lid which is used for larger engineering tools. A similar modern one is available from Chronos Tools see http://chronos.ltd.uk/acatalog/NEW-_TRA ... CHEST.html at £110.00 However having seen these in the flesh they are not nearly as good or as well made as the traditional type.

Auction houses that specialise in old tools may be a source of tool chests but they will often be expensive since collectors want them. A good one can be found at www.davidstanley.com

Terry Bendall

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Colin Parks
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Re: Repairing torn book pages

Postby Colin Parks » Mon Nov 03, 2014 12:38 pm

I'm green with envy at seeing Flymo's tool chest! Now that is a classy way of storing your tools.

Colin

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jayell
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Re: Repairing torn book pages

Postby jayell » Mon Nov 03, 2014 4:02 pm

Colin Parks wrote:I'm green with envy at seeing Flymo's tool chest! Now that is a classy way of storing your tools.Colin


You don't need a purpose built toolmakers cabinet to store tools but they sure are nice to have and look good sitting at the back of the workbench.

There are several designs of cabinet but I prefer the style with several small drawer at the top and full width drawers below that with a double depth one at the bottom. Back in my furnture factory days the cabinet makers used a design that had a fold down flap below a two rows of shallow drawers, behind the flap was one deep compartment. I guess all the varying styles had a purpose and probably depended on the type of tools to be stored.

I currently am bidding £40 on a cabinet that has a central deep drawer to take the 'Engineer's Handbook' with small drawers on each side. With two days to run on that auction I expect the price to go up beyond what I am willing to pay. There are a couple nice Union brand currently at £69 and £52 but both are in reasonably good condition so will certainly go higher.

There are quite a few metal tool boxes around as well as the plastic DIY ones but I am reluctant to use these, aesthetics and snobism play their part in this of course ;)

John

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Flymo748
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Re: Repairing torn book pages

Postby Flymo748 » Mon Nov 03, 2014 5:59 pm

johnlewis wrote:
Colin Parks wrote:I'm green with envy at seeing Flymo's tool chest! Now that is a classy way of storing your tools.Colin


You don't need a purpose built toolmakers cabinet to store tools but they sure are nice to have and look good sitting at the back of the workbench.


The looking nice is a real bonus :-)

The thing that I actually find much more practical though is that the tool chest is actually designed to hold tools! That means that the small stuff can go in shallow drawers, and not become buried several layers deep in a way that requires the entire contents to be emptied just to find the right size jeweller's screwdriver.

Ironically, given that John is looking for that feature, is that the only drawer that this doesn't work with is the deep one. Although it holds things like wheel presses and riveting tools (must take that out, as I now entirely use the larger GW Models one...) it always seems that whenever I want to use my micrometer, it's buried deep underneath layers of files and sanding pads. And don't ask about finding the toothbrush!

But I will emphasise that this chest didn't come to me in this state. It needed lots of cleaning and polishing to make it like this. However it did mean that it was the ugly duckling that was clearly overlooked and undervalued. So have a hunt around and you might be surprised about what you find!

Cheers
Flymo
Beware of Trains - occasional modelling in progress!
www.5522models.co.uk

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jayell
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Re: Repairing torn book pages

Postby jayell » Wed Nov 05, 2014 5:56 pm

I have ended up buying this one on a 'buy it now' basis, that way I know exactly what I have to pay without having to wait for an auction to end up much higher, the one I originally liked has already exceeded my self-imposed limit of £75.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/151439030194

It does need quite a lot of TLC, all the drawers need re-lining and the lowest drawer needs a new ply bottom. It may be possible to get new corner plates to replace the existing rusty ones if they don't clean up. It won't take too long to remove the shabby varnish and re-polish it, if the wood is revealed to be in good condition after rubbing it down I may just use the button polish I used on the box containing my staking set which will probably leave it much paler in colour than it is now.

I'll try to remember to take some 'before' and 'after' pics

John Lewis

decauville1126
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Re: Repairing torn book pages

Postby decauville1126 » Wed Nov 05, 2014 6:15 pm

johnlewis wrote:
Tim V wrote:Wasn't that the 1957 edition had the metric threads :D

Now he tells me :(

Actually I bought the cheapest copy I could find from the 50's era as I'd read this was probably the best period for the 'Machinist's Bible'

John

I started my apprenticeship in 1965 and still use my copy, that was secondhand even then, on an almost daily basis. Known generally as 'the bible', and still so in my workshop. Plenty of metric stuff in there including the BA system!

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jayell
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Re: Repairing torn book pages

Postby jayell » Wed Nov 05, 2014 8:04 pm

Lots of people probably have Zeus Data Charts as well (or instead). After Terry suggested this link,
http://www.trfastenings.com/pages/Tappi ... ance+Holes
I checked my Zeus and found it didn't list tapping/clearing drill for a couple of very small metric sizes that are included in Terry's link.

I suspect a lot of P4 modellers will be wondering what on earth all this has to do with making 4mm scale models. Not a lot is the simple answer ;)

But for those of us with small lathes and interested in making use of them for things other than railway modelling the 'bible' and things like zeus charts are very useful. Once you acquire more than one or two lathe accessories you really need somewhere to store them for protection from dust and moisture. A toolmaker's cabinet is the ideal place to store them.

One thing I must do once I get a usable cabinet is get some 'rust inhibiting' paper. I used to put this in my old cabinet and I see Chronos sell one make in packs of five 24"x36" sheets for just under £4

John

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Tim V
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Re: Repairing torn book pages

Postby Tim V » Wed Nov 05, 2014 8:09 pm

S4 Digest 10.8.1 contains some useful smaller sizes, found in the Digest section...
Tim V
Scalefour News Editor

Terry Bendall
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Re: Repairing torn book pages

Postby Terry Bendall » Thu Nov 06, 2014 7:06 am

johnlewis wrote:I suspect a lot of P4 modellers will be wondering what on earth all this has to do with making 4mm scale models.


I think this will depend on how people go about their modelling. Even replacing a missing screw on a RTR loco for example may involve getting into screw threads and for anyone who builds a loco kit or works from scratch making and using screw threads is almost inevitable. Even if a kit is mainly soldered together, most people will build things in sub asemblies that are fixed with screws, just to make the painting easier.

Terry Bendall

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Flymo748
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Re: Repairing torn book pages

Postby Flymo748 » Thu Nov 06, 2014 7:20 am

johnlewis wrote: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/151439030194

It does need quite a lot of TLC, all the drawers need re-lining and the lowest drawer needs a new ply bottom. It may be possible to get new corner plates to replace the existing rusty ones if they don't clean up. It won't take too long to remove the shabby varnish and re-polish it, if the wood is revealed to be in good condition after rubbing it down I may just use the button polish I used on the box containing my staking set which will probably leave it much paler in colour than it is now.


That's actually very similar condition to mine, when I purchased it. I'm confident that you'll achieve an excellent result at the end of it.

Cheers
Flymo
Beware of Trains - occasional modelling in progress!
www.5522models.co.uk

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David B
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Re: Repairing torn book pages

Postby David B » Thu Nov 06, 2014 2:07 pm

I bought a nice set of drawers a few years ago from The Tool Box in Colyton.

In order to make greater use of the space, I made small trays which slide on runners I added to the drawers. These drawers are useful for smaller and thinner items. For the deeper bottom drawer, I made a long tray to store wire and brass section. The wire I keep in plastic tube with one end bunged up with Araldite - much easier than dealing with slippery plastic packets.

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IMG_0181r.jpg
IMG_0181r.jpg (142.39 KiB) Viewed 7926 times

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Steve Carter
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Re: Repairing torn book pages

Postby Steve Carter » Fri Nov 07, 2014 1:22 pm

Just received advice from Chronos. They are selling Quality Traditional Toolmakers Chest - SLIGHT SECONDS ! (Ref: S1003178S) and they are SELLING THESE AT £69.95 INC VAT AND CARRIAGE UK MAINLAND - THEY ONLY HAVE LIMITED QTYS SO FIRST COME FIRST SERVED
See http://www.chronos.ltd.uk/cgi-bin/sh000 ... aS1003178S
Steve Carter

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jayell
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Re: Repairing torn book pages

Postby jayell » Fri Nov 07, 2014 1:40 pm

Bear in mind Terry's comment earlier on these Chronos cabinets before buying :?

John

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Jol Wilkinson
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Re: Repairing torn book pages

Postby Jol Wilkinson » Fri Nov 07, 2014 2:02 pm

Thank you Steve, one on order.

I had just decided to reorganise (tidy up) the workshop, so this will help. I'll need to follow David B's lead and make some "organisers" to hold various tools.

Jol

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jayell
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Re: Toolmaker's cabinets

Postby jayell » Fri Nov 07, 2014 6:04 pm

Looks like someone decided to tidy up this thread (or rather re-name it) whilst I have been out taking SWMBO to the hospital :)

Nothing toooo serious, just a cataract operation that isn't going exactly to plan :cry:

John Lewis
(edited 22:48 hours)
Last edited by jayell on Sat Nov 08, 2014 8:15 am, edited 2 times in total.

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LesGros
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Re: Repairing torn book pages

Postby LesGros » Fri Nov 07, 2014 9:57 pm

Steve Carter wrote:Just received advice from Chronos. They are selling Quality Traditional Toolmakers Chest - SLIGHT SECONDS ! (Ref: S1003178S) and they are SELLING THESE AT £69.95 INC VAT AND CARRIAGE UK MAINLAND - THEY ONLY HAVE LIMITED QTYS SO FIRST COME FIRST SERVED
See http://www.chronos.ltd.uk/cgi-bin/sh000 ... aS1003178S


I have one of these, as Terry says, not to the standard of the apprentice examples, but reasonably useful; albeit needing a bit of TLC around the metal fittings which have skin catcher burrs.
LesG

The man who never made a mistake
never made anything useful

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grovenor-2685
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Re: Toolmaker's cabinets

Postby grovenor-2685 » Fri Nov 07, 2014 10:07 pm

Thank you Steve, one on order.

Lucky you, the link now says'
SORRY- THESE ARE NOW ALL SOLD (42 IN UNDER AN HOUR)

Rgds
Keith
PS. Steve, you better ask for commission. :)
Regards
Keith
Grovenor Sidings


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