Interesting Christmas Present

Its pretty common for us to give each other new gimicky tools for Christmas.
Round knob sockets, quick grip wrenches... whatever new and interesting tool
that basically does the same old thing catches our eye. My dad did not
disappoint this year. He gave me an open thru bolt socket set. The ratchet
engages the outside of the socket instead of the inside so it can go over
studs of any length. That was interesting, and I am sure there are times
when it will come in handy, but after the festivities of the morning were
over we wandered out to his truck and he gave me a truly good Christmas
present. One that can't be beat by any new gimicky tool.
My grandfather (my mom's dad) had given him a bunch of machinists tools some
time in the past. He (my grandfather) was a job setup machinist. My mom
told me for every hour of hour of overtime he worked over the years (way
he bought new. Others he got from other machinists. There were a number of
right angle blocks, some gages and standards for certain things. Double
angle bars for measuring hole diameters with a regular micrometer,
micrometers, dial indicators, dial test indicators, v-blocks, and sine bars.
At today's prices it would take thousands of dollars to replace, but in the
prices of the day they were thousands of hours of overtime worked. Maybe
tens of thousands. Many of the wooden boxes are falling apart, and because
they were stored in a building that lost a roof at one time some things are
made nearly worthless from rust. (Both sine bars are rust damaged sadly.)
Not a single thing is a cheap tool. They all carry names like Starrett and
Brown & Sharp. It might seem like a small thing to some folks but it is
something to me. At the time I refused to carry the tools into the shop
(would have been a couple huge armloads). I went and got a tool cart to
carry them. Two days later I am still thinking about it. Many of these
tools were used during WWII. Some may have been used during WWI. A couple
have patent dates from before the turn of the last century.
I am torn on some of them. The wooden boxes are falling apart, and I want
to make new boxes for them, but I hate to throw away the old boxes that may
be 80 years old or more. Many of them I plan to check and use in my own
shop.
Thanks Dad, and thank you Grampa John Klements. (1899 - 1986 (I think))
I'll post a picture or picture link of some of them later.

Reply to
Bob La Londe
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Zep makes a good rust remover product that I've found at 'Depot. Worth a shot to use carefully to see how bad the rust really is. I believe Starrett, B&S and the like will refurbish old tools as well.
Reply to
Pete C.
I may go that route. The micrometers all seem to be ok, and measure to within a line width of zero (0) with their included standards. Those that have standards anyway. The test indicators also seem to be ok, but I have no way to check them. I suppose I could stack some gage blocks on the mill table and then measure the difference with the indicators. A couple of them have quite small ranges, but very high claimed precision.

Reply to
Bob La Londe

Check with the wood boat and restoration NGs and suppliers. It may be possible to salvage/rebuild the old boxes. Total disassembly, vacuum impregnation, reassembly, etc.
Following may be of interest
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Reply to
F. George McDuffee
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Lovely! Especially with the family connection.
I would like to suggest that you try recovering them.
I've had a lot of of my tools attacked by rust after some rather toxic smoke from a fire a year ago. I'm finally getting around to cleaning them, and while I've done the electrolytic derusting, and the vinegar and salt derusting, neither works too well in the winter, especially since I do the electrolytic outdoors.
However, someone in the local hobby machinists group suggested I look into Evapo-Rust -- which is sold by a few places, including (of all places) Harbor Freight. Not cheap ($25.00/gallon), but I decided to try it.
First removing any remaining oil and grease -- Isopropyl alcohol in an ultrasonic cleaner, which I happen to have from a hamfest. The transferring it to the Evapo-rust and giving it an hour of ultrasonics before leaving it to do its thing. (The instructions say 65F or higher, and I started out with a very hot water bath in the Ultrasonic, but it cooled down too fast (was 50F after an overnight run), so I added a recirculating water heater/chiller from another hamfest (which I recognized from the chem lab where I worked). That runs water through a 3/8" copper pipe in the ultrasonic tank -- or for larger things in a large photo developing tray, and that keeps it above 90F all night and all day.
I made a web page about my results prior to adding the recirculating heater. If you are interested, it is:

It shows some before and after photos, as well as some "after" photos for things for which I don't have a "before" photo.
Derust them. it will make them look much better, and many of them will become usable again.
Can you re-glue the wooden boxes?
Please do -- and try the de-rusting. Perhaps start with some of the ones which you want most to save, and then work as you can on the rest.
Good Luck, DoN.
Reply to
DoN. Nichols

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