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[Materials & Finishes] Woods Suitable/Unsuitable for Precision Tool Storage

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Forum topic by EddyCurr posted 09-14-2009 06:23 PM 1088 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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EddyCurr

5 posts in 2766 days


09-14-2009 06:23 PM

In preparing to construct organizers for machine tool components that will be
in direct contact with wood, a question arises about whether some woods
are better than others and whether any woods should be completely avoided.

The principal concern is whether natural oils/residues or applied finishes are
known to corrode metals. What precautions if any should be kept in mind when
looking at woods like spruce, pine, cedar, walnut, oak, cherry & so on?

.


8 replies so far

View Sam Yerardi's profile

Sam Yerardi

244 posts in 3362 days


#1 posted 09-15-2009 04:24 AM

The first wood that comes to mind if I were doing a similar project is hard maple. Even though other woods might exude oils, etc. that aren’t harmful, I know from working around machine shops that you want to keep all the equipment pristine and as clean as possible. You don’t want to have to wipe the equipment down each time it is used because of something it picked up from the wood.

-- Sam

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EddyCurr

5 posts in 2766 days


#2 posted 09-15-2009 12:03 PM

Thank you for the reply.

How scarce or plentiful is Maple? Will it need to be sourced from a specialty vendor or is it a wood
that can be readily found at consumer home improvement outlets?

Where does Cedar lie on the natural oils continum – towards the wet end of the scale?

.

View papadan's profile

papadan

1182 posts in 2835 days


#3 posted 09-15-2009 12:19 PM

Any of your evergreens will be more likly to expell sap over time. Maple, Oak, or Walnut are all good choices for tool storage boxes or cabinets. Stay away from exotic woods for the same reason as evergreens.

-- Carpenter assembles with hands, Designer builds with brains, Artist creates with heart!

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Sam Yerardi

244 posts in 3362 days


#4 posted 09-15-2009 01:53 PM

Not sure where you live but you shouldn’t have any trouble finding or sourcing maple. It is readily available kiln-dried as well as air-dried. You probably won’t find it at the big-box stores. Check out Rockler, Woodcraft, or even local sawmills.

I would not use cedars or exotics for the reason papadan related. Oak and walnut would be good as well, but I suggested maple because it is tighter-grained than oak and walnut (open grain, more absorbant).

-- Sam

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Julian

880 posts in 2992 days


#5 posted 09-15-2009 02:22 PM

Most big box stores in my area carry maple and oak. Some even carry mahogany, and cherry. There is no risk in wood domestic lumber corroding your tools, so use whatever you want.

-- Julian, Park Forest, IL

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EddyCurr

5 posts in 2766 days


#6 posted 09-17-2009 05:48 PM

Based on a cursory search, it does not look like home improvement centers in my community carry
maple lumber. However, the phone book offers a number of hardwood vendors to call.

Thanks to everyone for the replies.

.

View davidroberts's profile

davidroberts

1025 posts in 2953 days


#7 posted 09-22-2009 01:00 AM

Like Sam said, if you use an oil-based finish on an open-pored wood, like and oil varnish on oak or walnut, the oil has a potential to seep out of the pores for days, or longer. You can either seal the pores or use a water based finish. Just a thought.

I guess I’m confused because I’m assuming an organizer is some sort of cabinet. Most cabinets these days are built with plywood, up to furniture grade, depending on how nice you want the cabinets to look. Medium density fiberboard (MDF) is also used a lot for shop, or commercial/ industrial applications, and is usually painted. Masonite (hardboard) is also used a lot for drawer bottoms and shelves. All these materials are dimensionally stable and free of residue. Building a cabinet out of individual boards is typically not a standard construction method these days, unless you are takling about a group of small cubby holes, say mounted to the wall. Maybe I’m way off track here. Could you give me an idea of what kind of organizer you had in mind?

-- Better woodworking through old hand tools.

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EddyCurr

5 posts in 2766 days


#8 posted 09-22-2009 08:22 PM

The organizers are intended to fit into the drawers of a mechanic’s roll-around toolchest, into drawers of
exisiting built-in cabinets and onto wall-mounted shelves in the workspace. They will consist of trays with
contoured recesses and sheet or blocks with openings to house collets, tool holders, change gears and so on.

It used to be that tooling sets and precision instruments frequently came in fitted wooden boxes with
felt trim and hinged or sliding lids. Nowadays, if there is a case, it is a blowmolded plastic affair. More
often, there is just a cardboard or plastic container with some packing.

.

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