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Present for a Metal worker

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  • Present for a Metal worker

    My dear son left college after 4 years of work in engineering classes. He said “dad, I want to make things.” It wasn’t long before he started working in a shop as a machinist.

    Well, I found what I hope is a great expression of love and support.... an original Gerstner tool box! A machinist friend of mine was reducing his shop. It even included the machinists book!

    Call me romantic, but just Simply could not bring myself to send an Amazon gift card, or buy something made in China that would eventually end up in a dust heap on the corner of the shop. It is so dang hard to connect with kids these days. I hope this will do that.

    If if you haven’t heard of Gerstner, look it up. If it was anyone other than my son, I’d have a very hard time parting with it.

    Last edited by durango dude; 12-22-2018, 11:31 AM.

  • #2
    Nice Machinist tool box. It will be a valued present that will hopefully be handed down for generations. I see a lot of nice machinist measuring instruments for sale in pawn shops at reasonable prices. These are the older Starrett, really good stuff, when he gets ready to stock the box.

    My only objection to a wooden tool box is the lack of security it offers compared to a steel tool box. Full of tools it is still light enough for some crack head to pick up and tote off. All of my tool boxes were metal and were always bolted to the adjoining tool box and locked with a padlock..... and stuff still occasionally disappeared, and that was in a shop where everyone knew everyone.


    • #3
      Absolutely GREAT gift for your son. Gerstner tool chests have always caught my eye for their quality and usefulness. I wish I had one, but frankly I could never bring myself to justifying it. I had several jobs in my first few years and at that time worked in a couple of different places that had machine shops and those wood machinists chests were always present back in the 60's, and they always caught my attention.

      While I chose a career as a Technical Illustrator, my work always involved a lot of time in the machine shop or on the assembly floor. (I spent ten years in local manufacturing companies and thirty years at Ingersoll-Rand's Painted Post plant which was once the largest compressor plant in the world.) I could never do my job without going out and getting facts from the experts who were machining and assembling the stuff I was to illustrate, write, and photograph for the service literature. As the decades went by, those Gerstner's (and similar wooden chests became less prevalent, replaced with steel cabinets and chests.

      But I tell you, I think having one of those would be a great thing of pride for anyone who was a machinist; and, I think even more so if it carried a history with it.

      I think your son will be thrilled this Christmas!

      Think it Through Before You Do!


      • #4
        I had wanted one of those smaller tool boxes for so long but never broke down and got one. By the time I discovered HF cheaper clones, I had discovered that I was/am NOT organizationally inclined. Even much later, I have had problems keeping my two HF metal roller 3 stack toolbox sets organized - 1 with mechanical tools, and 1 with wood working tools.

        Sometimes my dreams don't match my reality!
        Hank Lee

        Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted!


        • #5
          Machinist tool boxes traditionally have lots of very shallow drawers that are suited for thin measuring tools like calipers, dial indicators and rules. In a proper machine shop all of the tools needed to operate the equipment is stationed at that piece of equipmentl, and is shop property, not the machinists property, thus the machinist doesn’t need much storage for large tools. On the other hand a mechanic or carpenter needs lots of deep drawers.



          • cwsmith
            cwsmith commented
            Editing a comment
            True, but in the Model Shop and in many of the specialized machining areas, the guys there have their own precision tools usually gained over years of experience. In our many different shop areas, we also have a couple of Gauge Labs, where measuring tools are kept, loaned out and constantly under calibration checks. Still, the "masters" had their personal tools, used for years and NEVER borrowed or loaned. These too would be calibration checked as needed by the labs on a periodic basis. While the various companies I worked for over the years provided such tools, many guys just had their own out of preference.

            I also used to see a few draftsman with such chests, back in the day when ink nibs, adjustable stylus pens, drawing instruments, and specialized templates, etc. were the norm. Today (and for at least the last three decades most all of that stuff has gone by the wayside, with the advent of CAD.

            Those Kerstner tools chests were prized with a lot of guys for their personal precision instruments.


        • #6
          you can still buy Gerstner originals brand new from Woodcraft

          Sit down before you look at the prices.

          Here's Gerstner's website:
          you can still buy replacement hardware and stuff to repair you older chest as well. And there's a link to an owners club!
          Last edited by LCHIEN; 12-31-2018, 12:14 AM.
          Loring in Katy, TX USA
          If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
          BT3 FAQ -


          • #7
            Nah.... no place to put first edition machinery’s handbook.