Starrett's MACHINIST TOOL BOX

Is there a source for information covering the restoration of Starrett's MACHINIST TOOL BOX?
The reason for asking is that I have recently purchased one and have
discovered one of its felts is loose and appears to have shrunk.
It needs a key; are there any sources for one?
Can the felt be cleaned and if so what technique should be used?
Thanks.
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If there is one I'm not aware of it. The box was made by Gerstner. They did not have keys for mine. There is a number on the lock if you want to ask them. They have a website so you can email them.
If your felt is oily I would suggest replacement. Mine needs this but I haven't gotten around to it. I think its glued in with a light coat of elmers type glue. You might ask Gerstner. Its been awhile since I asked. Felt is fairly inexpensive. I tried a spot carpet cleaner but was not satisfied with the results. I think replacement is the best idea.
Gary Repesh
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GJRepesh wrote:

Gary -
Why do you say one must get rid of the oily felt ?
I would assume some oil would be good in the tray to generally form a film across the tools and prevent rust.
Maybe you are meaning real soggy types.
Can you let us know ?
Martin
--
Martin Eastburn, Barbara Eastburn
@ home at Lion's Lair with our computer snipped-for-privacy@pacbell.net
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To me a restoration is bringing an item back to like new condition. Oily felt does not fit in my definition. I have not had a rust problem with my tools in a chest. And it is humid here in Texas. I will replace oily felt.
Gary Repesh
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Regarding the key, I have an old (1961 vintage) South Bend lathe with an underdrive cabinet. The cabinet has three drawers on the left side that were in great condition with a keyed latch. Of course the keys were long lost. South Bend, nor Leblonde had replacement keys. I took off the locks and brought them to a locksmith to have keys fitted. It cost me about $40. The key was an old "flag" style. Of course the keys aren't original South Bend, but the locks work now. Interestingly, the locksmith showed me a round washer like part that he took out of the inside of the locks. With the washer installed, it acted as a block to keep the lock from working even if you had the right key. With it out, the lock worked very smoothly. I've no idea why South Bend would have installed this washer....
Dave Young
fichensie wrote:

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It's possible this might have been an option, so that schools or industrial plants could prevent folks from locking the drawers so that the tooling inside could be available for everyone to use.
Jim
================================================= please reply to: JRR(zero) at yktvmv (dot) vnet (dot) ibm (dot) com ================================================
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Jim,
I had never thought of that. I was thinking negatively; that maybe South Bend (for a price) would give you an operational lock....
:-)
Dave
jim rozen wrote:

--------------030306030307030605060207 Content-Type: text/html; charset=us-ascii Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN"> <html> <head> <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html;charset=ISO-8859-1"> <title></title> </head> <body> Jim,<br> <br> I had never thought of that. &nbsp;I was thinking negatively; that maybe South Bend (for a price) would give you an operational lock....<br> <br> :-)<br> <br> Dave<br> <br> jim rozen wrote:<br>
<pre wrap="">In article <a class="moz-txt-link-rfc2396E" href="mailto: snipped-for-privacy@maine.rr.com">&lt; snipped-for-privacy@maine.rr.com&gt;</a>, Dave Young says... </pre> <blockquote type="cite"> <pre wrap="">Regarding the key, I have an old (1961 vintage) South Bend lathe with an underdrive cabinet. The cabinet has three drawers on the left side that were in great condition with a keyed latch. Of course the keys were long lost. South Bend, nor Leblonde had replacement keys. I took off the locks and brought them to a locksmith to have keys fitted. It cost me about $40. The key was an old "flag" style. Of course the keys aren't original South Bend, but the locks work now. Interestingly, the locksmith showed me a round washer like part that he took out of the inside of the locks. With the washer installed, it acted as a block to keep the lock from working even if you had the right key. With it out, the lock worked very smoothly. I've no idea why South Bend would have installed this washer.... </pre> </blockquote> <pre wrap=""><!----> It's possible this might have been an option, so that schools or industrial plants could prevent folks from locking the drawers so that the tooling inside could be available for everyone to use.
Jim
================================================= please reply to: JRR(zero) at yktvmv (dot) vnet (dot) ibm (dot) com ================================================ </pre> </blockquote> <br> </body> </html>
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wrote:

Is that on a cabinet stand that has a frame that comes up to the top in a wide, continuous "U" shape? Or two U's sort of like this U_U?
That particular model was often found on ships and in military shops. It was built to a milspec standard and there were both South Bend and Standard-Modern lathes built to meet the same spec on a very similar style stand. They came *fully* equipped with tooling and the drawers had exquisite fittings for storing and supporting all the bits and pieces.
Those cabinet stands with the rounded corners on the frames could be skidded up and down ladders and passageways on ships and in and out of trucks on mobile or field machine shops.
It may be that the milspec on those called for drawers that latched shut but did not lock. If that is the case, it might it be that locks were an inherent part of the drawers but were not part of the milspec and were disabled by the piece you mention to meet the spec.
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Actually, I used to use a lathe exactly like this one on an old Coast Guard 180' buoy tender (built around 1943 and still in service in 1995). This lathe doesn't have legs in the normal since of the word, but the left side is where the motor, belt and adjustment mechanism is (behind a door). The right side has three drawers. In the middle is nothing but a space with a piece of sheet metal bent at the bottom to give a lip for rigidity. But this lathe was sold to Packard Machinery in January 1961 (according to Rose, who used to work for Leblonde). But the locks very well might have been made not to be operational for reasons other than profit. Who knows....
Thanks for the input Jack (sounds like you've got a bit of shipboard experience)...
Jack Erbes wrote:

--------------000301050208070303070708 Content-Type: text/html; charset=us-ascii Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN"> <html> <head> <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html;charset=ISO-8859-1"> <title></title> </head> <body> Actually, I used to use a lathe exactly like this one on an old Coast Guard 180' buoy tender (built around 1943 and still in service in 1995). &nbsp;This lathe doesn't have &nbsp;legs in the normal since of the word, but the left side is where the motor, belt and adjustment mechanism is (behind a door). &nbsp;The right side has three drawers. &nbsp;In the middle is nothing but a space with a piece of sheet metal bent at the bottom to give a lip for rigidity.&nbsp; But this lathe was sold to Packard Machinery in January 1961 (according to Rose, who used to work for Leblonde). &nbsp;But the locks very well might have been made not to be operational for reasons other than profit. &nbsp;Who knows....<br> <br> Thanks for the input Jack (sounds like you've got a bit of shipboard experience)...<br> <br> Jack Erbes wrote:<br> <blockquote type="cite" cite=" snipped-for-privacy@4ax.com"> <pre wrap="">On Sun, 11 Jan 2004 16:47:41 GMT, Dave Young <a class="moz-txt-link-rfc2396E" href="mailto: snipped-for-privacy@maine.rr.com">&lt; snipped-for-privacy@maine.rr.com&gt;</a> wrote:
</pre> <blockquote type="cite"> <pre wrap="">Regarding the key, I have an old (1961 vintage) South Bend lathe with an underdrive cabinet. The cabinet has three drawers on the left side that were in great condition with a keyed latch. Of course the keys were long lost. South Bend, nor Leblonde had replacement keys. I took off the locks and brought them to a locksmith to have keys fitted. It cost me about $40. The key was an old "flag" style. Of course the keys aren't original South Bend, but the locks work now. Interestingly, the locksmith showed me a round washer like part that he took out of the inside of the locks. With the washer installed, it acted as a block to keep the lock from working even if you had the right key. With it out, the lock worked very smoothly. I've no idea why South Bend would have installed this washer.... </pre> </blockquote> <pre wrap=""><!----> Is that on a cabinet stand that has a frame that comes up to the top in a wide, continuous "U" shape? Or two U's sort of like this U_U?
That particular model was often found on ships and in military shops. It was built to a milspec standard and there were both South Bend and Standard-Modern lathes built to meet the same spec on a very similar style stand. They came *fully* equipped with tooling and the drawers had exquisite fittings for storing and supporting all the bits and pieces.
Those cabinet stands with the rounded corners on the frames could be skidded up and down ladders and passageways on ships and in and out of trucks on mobile or field machine shops.
It may be that the milspec on those called for drawers that latched shut but did not lock. If that is the case, it might it be that locks were an inherent part of the drawers but were not part of the milspec and were disabled by the piece you mention to meet the spec.
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wrote:
<snip>

26 years in the Navy and only about two years or so actually on ships at sea. And that was never more than 60 days at one stretch.
I had a pretty good deal in the Navy, I was in a shore duty rating (Cryptologic Technician) that put small detachments on board combatants after the ships were deployed. And we usually left as the ship was going home. So we did not have to live through the yard periods and pre-deployment workups. The down side was that, as spooks, we were misunderstood and resented as outsiders. But we occasionally did something good for somebody even if we couldn't talk about it.
But once I became aware of lathes, it seemed like I would run into one or two somewhere on board every ship. It made me crazy to look at some of them. That 10" South Bend with the fitted drawers with two chucks, a Jacobs collet chuck set, taper attachment, cutting tool holders, and all the other basic attachments in the fitted drawers used to really make me nuts.
Any ship that had a electric motor rebuilding shop had a lathe. I made friends with an Chief Electrician's Mate on one of them that spent a some of his off duty time making models of cannons on the lathe in his shop. Spent a couple of evenings down there watching him work and it was a pleasure. That was the cleanest lathe I ever saw in the Navy. His guys used it too, but they did about 30 minutes of cleaning for every 15 minutes of turning.
If I was going to look for machinery in a smaller ship, I would start in the electric shop, then move to the engine room. But on some ships they were in some real strange places, I know I missed seeing a bunch of them because I was not a snipe.
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Jack,
29 years in the Coast Guard for me (as of 20 January) and still going. I'm doing the full 30 (actually I have authorization to do two years after that, but they're not offering me any good jobs, so probably will be retiring this year with terminal leave). I am/was a snipe (now CWO). About 33 years ago the CG combined a lot of the engineering ratings (Engineman, Machinist Mate, Boilerman, etc) into one rating Machinery Technician (MK). Unfortunately when they did that we lost a lot of our expertise. Very few folks active duty in the CG know how to use machine tools (lathes, milling machines, etc) other than simple drill presses and bench grinders. Even with simple machine tools we don't know how to properly use them (I've got a bench grinder at work right now that I've got tagged out because someone used it for aluminum. I've got a new wheel, but I won't put it on until I give the guys some training.). Most of our machining needs are either contracted out, or we have civilians at some of our bigger units that are machinists.
I was on isolated duty on Kure Island, Hawaii and had a relatively new Craftsman (I assume Atlas) lathe. No one, including me, knew how to use it. So it sat there unused. Probably for years. After that tour, I took a shop class in Alaska and learned the basics of using a lathe (even used a mill). At the time I was running the vehicle maintenance shop in Ketchikan. I ended up making some parts for some government vehicles (door hinge pins and bushings for example) and forklifts, and for my Harley. From there I went to the CGC Sweetgum, an old 180' buoy tender built sometime around 1943. Had a pair of old straight eight Cooper Bessember engines (quietest diesel engines I'd ever heard. You could have a conversation between them with them running <until you started the ships service generators - 6-71 Detroit Diesels>. They drove generators that ran the single propulsion motor. To start the engines you would motorize the generators). In the auxiliary shop in the main motor room we had a 9" South Bend lathe that was very similar to the lathe I have now (honest I paid for mine, I have a receipt!!!!). We had to rebuild a couple of heads underway on the Coopers but we didn't have the tools to pull out the valve guides, nor push them back in. The engineers were amazed when I went back to the lathe and turned the stuff we needed and we were able to rebuild the heads. My next unit was a 210' WMEC (medium endurance cutter) as the Auxiliary Chief. With the lathe I bought for the cutter (The EO didn't think we'd use a lathe, but I pestered him until he gave in), I built replacement clutch dogs for our port anchor windlass and a new pump shaft for the condensate cooler pump for the boilers. We had tested the anchor windlasses just before going to REFTRA. When we tried to raise the anchor the windlass "slipped". The command was upset as the windlasses had to work as it would have been a restrictive and not allowed to go through the mandatory training. I took off an inspection cover and found that the part the clutch dog went into would raise about 1/2" under load which caused the mechanism to slip preventing the anchor from raising. The week before I had been over at the scrap bin at the Navy base we tied up at (Panama City, Florida) and picked up a piece of 2" or so round stock. With this round stock I built longer clutch dogs that allowed the windlass to work properly. When we got back we rebuilt the windlass and replaced the stock dogs, but it did allow us to finish REFTRA. My EO later told me that listening to me about buying that lathe was one of the smartest things he'd ever done.
I'm not trying to brag here, but just show how important it is for us to keep our skills. Last year I jumped at the chance to buy a South Bend lathe that I mentioned earlier. I don't even try to call myself a machinist, but I do have fun with it.
Dave
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That sounds like quite a ship.

Hey - I've been at that navy base!
Jim
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It was our homeport. The cutter's name was the Courageous (now decommissioned). I was stationed on her from 1989 - 1991.
jim rozen wrote:

--------------080909050207040605050204 Content-Type: text/html; charset=us-ascii Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN"> <html> <head> <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html;charset=ISO-8859-1"> <title></title> </head> <body> It was our homeport. &nbsp;The cutter's name was the Courageous (now decommissioned). &nbsp;I was stationed on her from 1989 - 1991.<br> <br> jim rozen wrote:<br>
<pre wrap="">In article <a class="moz-txt-link-rfc2396E" href="mailto: snipped-for-privacy@maine.rr.com">&lt; snipped-for-privacy@maine.rr.com&gt;</a>, Dave Young says...
</pre> <blockquote type="cite"> <pre wrap="">From there I went to the CGC Sweetgum, an old 180' buoy tender built sometime around 1943. Had a pair of old straight eight Cooper Bessember engines (quietest diesel engines I'd ever heard. You could have a conversation between them with them running &lt;until you started the ships service generators - 6-71 Detroit Diesels&gt;. They drove generators that ran the single propulsion motor. To start the engines you would motorize the generators). </pre> </blockquote> <pre wrap=""><!----> That sounds like quite a ship.
</pre> <blockquote type="cite"> <pre wrap="">caused the mechanism to slip preventing the anchor from raising. The week before I had been over at the scrap bin at the Navy base we tied up at (Panama City, Florida) and picked up a piece of 2" or so round stock. </pre> </blockquote> <pre wrap=""><!----> Hey - I've been at that navy base!
Jim
================================================= please reply to: JRR(zero) at yktvmv (dot) vnet (dot) ibm (dot) com ================================================ </pre> </blockquote> <br> </body> </html>
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Ah, I might have seen that ship then. We had to drive past the CG dock to get to where we were working down there, in the non-mag area. I remember there was a coke machine on the other side of the road, that had the least expensive sodas anywhere.
Jim
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As others have commented, this was probably not manufactured by starrett, but by anothe company, for them.

I re-did an old oak Scherr toolbox by replacing all the felts at once. Others have strongly suggested to avoid white glue as some of the ingredients might promote rust in the tools. They suggest contact cement IIRC. I re-did mine before the thread happened, and used elmer's white glue. :( The box has been in use for years now, and does not seem to rust tools noticeably, though. :)

Your best bet is taking the lock mechanism to a good locksmith, he may be able to make one for you.
Jim
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