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Old Starrett 196 Slide Top Box Wood Species?

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Bob Korves

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#1
I am still playing with the 196 Starrett indicator refurbish. I made the post that the snug slides on, and sent the indicator to M. R. Tool Repair, who put a new crystal and dial on it and generally made it like new again, except for the owner's marks. Very nice and reasonably priced repair, with a quick turnaround even after I told Mark "no hurry" because I figured he had lots of work from his fliers at the Summer Bash. The set is now complete and ready to put to work.

However, the wooden slide top box also needs some help. It is missing the slide top, has half of one of the rails that hold the slide top broken off, and is grunged out with greasy grime on the outside. It still has the paper tag on the end of the box, which is only slightly readable due to the grime.

So, I plan to address those issues without trying to make it look new, just take some layers of grease off and repair it to make it fully functional again.

Does anybody know what type of wood Starrett used for these boxes, guessing early 1900's up to WWII? I would like to make the new parts out of matching wood, but would also like to wait to clean what I have now, because I want to use some of what I clean off the old wood to rub into the replacement wood so it matches better.

Also, any ideas on the best ways to try to save the label without destroying it while cleaning it? This set is not really collectable, but I am still learning and practicing how to honor old tools.

BTW, this amount of honest use does not put me off, it smells and looks it's age, and it could no doubt tell some interesting stories if it could talk. It has earned a bit of TLC...
SAM_1444.JPG SAM_1447.JPG SAM_1448.JPG
 

MozamPete

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#2
Can't help you out with any of your questions, but I totally agree with your philosophy. Good luck.
 

T Bredehoft

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#3
I have a WWII era Starrett vernier caliper in it's original box. It appears to be walnut, but the box is boxed in and I can't get it out to see the inside where it's not 'finished.'
 

Bob Korves

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I have a WWII era Starrett vernier caliper in it's original box. It appears to be walnut, but the box is boxed in and I can't get it out to see the inside where it's not 'finished.'
This does not look at all like walnut. It is softer than that, and has little dark/light contrast in the grain, more like pine, poplar, perhaps birch, but it is really too grungy to tell. Probably whatever grows (or grew) near Athol, Mass.
 

4gsr

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#5
Beech wood? There were so many varieties of wood species used back then we don't see today, it's going to be hard to match up to. Dad had several of them boxes laying around when we were in diapers we played with. He picked them up at work at the old machine shop he worked at. People would dump out the stuff into the drawer of their tool box and discarded the box. I recall the wood being very soft, easily damaged from handling. Could be sugar pine or one of the northern species of pine. Definitely tight grain, certain it was quarter sawn. Be interested to know. Wonder if Starrett could tell you a little history behind the box?
 

Uglydog

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#6
I was guessing sugar pine.
However, I just called a full time woodworking friend.
He said that while many woods were used, including mahogany, that yellow pine was the most common.
Sometimes the yellow pine was dyed to look like mahogany.

Let me know if you'd like a pic of the lid.

Daryl
MN
 

chips&more

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#7
Your quest is admirable. But you could find out the species of wood and still not be a match. Mother Nature can be funny that way. Rather than hunt down the kind of wood. I would go to a well-stocked lumber yard with sample in hand and look around. Trying to match up grain pattern, color and such. You could find one board with a small section of perfectly matching wood and the rest of the board totally different and unusable. I have been there and done that!…Good Luck, Dave.
 

Uglydog

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#8
IMG_0923.JPG notice the thumb notch...


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