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  • There is a problem with such holders, at least here in Sydney, Aus. If the humidity is medium-high, you can get a slight amount of moisture building up between the collet and the holder, and over time that becomes rust. Very distressing, and much effort needed to remove it safely.

    I ended up with a more conventional 'rack' for the collets, made of hardwood and enclosed in a box also made of hardwood, with a clear plastic lid (well, moderately clear, as it was second-hand). Yes, wood could get damp too, but not when it has been soaked in oil! And I keep a block of camphor inside the box to further prevent any rust. The combination seems to work. ER25 set plus ER11 set.

    Getting the sticky labels to 'stick' to the oily wood was the hard part!

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    Cheers
    Roger

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    • Oooo beautiful wood work! That is a skill I never really had.... up here we get humidity too, jammed in between the Great Lakes with a west wind. Camphor is the oldest trick in the book, and very effective. I need to find a way to store my ER collets, right now they simply sit out on the bench.
      25 miles north of Buffalo NY, USA

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      • Originally posted by nickel-city-fab View Post
        Oooo beautiful wood work! That is a skill I never really had....
        Yes you do, you're just trying to think about it like a woodworker when you're a metalworker. Get yourself a nice hard wood (preferably one that has no known toxicity/allergy issues - check on The Wood Database by searching for the wood in the top right corner) and treat it like aluminium. I like Mopane as it's hard, looks nice and machines beautifully. Aluminium profile as it's sharper. Mill it, flycut it. As long as you can get it out of a single block, it's all familiar. If not, you're into the dark art of joinery but even then you can cheat with glue, screws or pins. Do make sure you've got some form of dust extraction or respirator though as the saw dust is liable to get you in the end otherwise.
        I can't tell from the picture whether Roger's is one piece or a tray added in but it's much nicer than any of the options I've seen lately!

        Originally posted by nickel-city-fab View Post
        I need to find a way to store my ER collets, right now they simply sit out on the bench.
        I want to do something nicer but my current stop-gap is a pair of round icecube trays (rectangular trays, round icecubes) someone on here (I believe) recommended. One's a bit flimsy but nested they work. Not perfect but a lot better than they were until I 'get round to it'!

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        • Ipé wood is also very hard and I machine it. Sometimes use it in place of aluminum.
          Vitَria, Brazil

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          • Originally posted by rcaffin View Post
            There is a problem with such holders, at least here in Sydney, Aus. If the humidity is medium-high, you can get a slight amount of moisture building up between the collet and the holder, and over time that becomes rust. Very distressing, and much effort needed to remove it safely.

            I ended up with a more conventional 'rack' for the collets, made of hardwood and enclosed in a box also made of hardwood, with a clear plastic lid (well, moderately clear, as it was second-hand). Yes, wood could get damp too, but not when it has been soaked in oil! And I keep a block of camphor inside the box to further prevent any rust. The combination seems to work. ER25 set plus ER11 set.

            Getting the sticky labels to 'stick' to the oily wood was the hard part!

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            Cheers
            Roger
            Very nicely done, would UHMW or High Density Plastic collect moisture like wood, my thoughts would be no.

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            • It's a single bit of hardwood, left over from building our house I think. Great fun with sharp (ie aluminium) milling cutters of various sizes.
              The clear plastic lid (visible at the top) fits into the recess at the top edges. A tab sticks out at the left to make it easy to select the collet I want.
              As you can see, the holes are all labeled in sequence, and the collets are metric. The holes at the LH end are for additional 6, 10 & 12 mm, as these are the main shank sizes from the R8 days.
              The collets at the RH edge are imperial. The ones across the top are ER11. Sometimes you need a smaller collet holder to get into corners.

              Would plastic work? I am sure it would - with added oil of course to displace any moisture. You would need a large block though. Could be $$.

              I used wood because I tend to have a bit of it lying around for free - we live on a farm. The camphor is not shown in the photo: a block of it wrapped up in AlFoil with a small hole in the top. With the lid in place the vapour tends to accumulate nicely.

              Cheers
              Roger

              Comment


              • Originally posted by rcaffin View Post
                Would plastic work? I am sure it would - with added oil of course to displace any moisture. You would need a large block though. Could be $$.
                I think you nailed it. Winters are not always about the cold. You can dye of dehydration in the dead od winter also, JR

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                • Here are some mill table covers I made for my Little Machine Shop 5500 series mill. 6061 Aluminum.

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                  • Originally posted by rcaffin View Post
                    There is a problem with such holders, at least here in Sydney, Aus. If the humidity is medium-high, you can get a slight amount of moisture building up between the collet and the holder, and over time that becomes rust. Very distressing, and much effort needed to remove it safely.

                    I ended up with a more conventional 'rack' for the collets, made of hardwood and enclosed in a box also made of hardwood, with a clear plastic lid (well, moderately clear, as it was second-hand). Yes, wood could get damp too, but not when it has been soaked in oil! And I keep a block of camphor inside the box to further prevent any rust. The combination seems to work. ER25 set plus ER11 set.

                    .....................

                    Cheers
                    Roger
                    Plastics and metals can collect water. It's most likely the collets that would do it in the case shown. But the combination of metal tools and a wood holder seems to work well in the usual sorts of medium to high humidity.

                    I wasn't going the theorize, but I will..... the surface of the metal or plastic holder is often smooth, neatly made to conform to the surface of what it is holding. So condensation can wick in, and then does not evaporate quickly. Wood has a rougher surface, and may let any condensation evaporate more easily, not holding water by wicking action.

                    Wood won't help you if your shop is open and under a dock at the seashore, however. There are limits. Damp wood will definitely cause rust if in contact with steel, but wood may wick away minor amounts of water into the wood, away from the metal.

                    Wood, once dried, tends to maintain a low water content even in high humidity environments.

                    Last edited by J Tiers; 09-13-2021, 12:01 PM.
                    2730

                    Keep eye on ball.
                    Hashim Khan

                    Everything not impossible is compulsory

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Dave94Lightning View Post
                      Here are some mill table covers I made for my Little Machine Shop 5500 series mill. 6061 Aluminum.
                      Aw Dave, what are you doing to my 'when I get round to it' list?! You've set the bar pretty high too. Have you thought about adding some sides to the top face so that the things you probably shouldn't be putting down on the table, but do, don't roll off? The screw heads might already be enough, but just a thought.

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                      • Originally posted by J Tiers View Post

                        Plastics and metals can collect water. It's most likely the collets that would do it in the case shown. But the combination of metal tools and a wood holder seems to work well in the usual sorts of medium to high humidity.

                        I wasn't going the theorize, but I will..... the surface of the metal or plastic holder is often smooth, neatly made to conform to the surface of what it is holding. So condensation can wick in, and then does not evaporate quickly. Wood has a rougher surface, and may let any condensation evaporate more easily, not holding water by wicking action.

                        Wood won't help you if your shop is open and under a dock at the seashore, however. There are limits. Damp wood will definitely cause rust if in contact with steel, but wood may wick away minor amounts of water into the wood, away from the metal.

                        Wood, once dried, tends to maintain a low water content even in high humidity environments.
                        Some additional thoughts on using wood as tool holders and cases that Jerry's post brought up in my mind.

                        Some woods have strong rust causing tanins in the wood makeup. So those should be avoided. Red oak is one that jumps to my mind but there are others and I'm sure a little checking around will suggest those to avoid.

                        The bit about the tools fitting tight in the wood pockets does raise a good concern. First off wood and some plastics do in fact take in moisture from the air. And under a change in conditions expel the moisture. Wood "breathes" moisture. It doesn't generate it but it responds to local changes in temperature and humidity to take in and give out this moisture. So the holes or other cutouts for tools should not be so snug that air cannot get in and aid with carrying away said moisture. There's another reason the holes or cutouts should not be a tight fit. Wood swells and shrinks across the grain with changes in humidity. A perfect fit when made can become a death grip on the item under the wrong conditions. So don't make the fits super close. Give the parts in the holders/cases some rattle room to aid with both issues.

                        Oil on the metal items will soak into the wood holders and never dry. This is fine. But said oil also holds onto dust and grit. So it's wise to finish the wood in a drying oil such as boiled linseed or polymerized tung or multiple coats of the thinned down paint store style "tung" or "danish" oil finishes. Or a quicker option is two or three coats of thinned down polyurethane varnish or thinned oil based paint. Thinning these products increases the soaking in factor and reduces how much they build up and make cavities tighter. Thinning the products also speeds up the drying time provided you paint the items and then wipe away any excess pooling in the cavities.

                        Chilliwack BC, Canada

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                        • Originally posted by Cenedd View Post
                          Aw Dave, what are you doing to my 'when I get round to it' list?! You've set the bar pretty high too. Have you thought about adding some sides to the top face so that the things you probably shouldn't be putting down on the table, but do, don't roll off? The screw heads might already be enough, but just a thought.
                          Haha. My list is super long too. The prior versions of the table covers I built were 3D printed plastic with Inset neodymium magnets that held the covers to the mill table. The power of the magnets would hold any endmills, collets or tooling that I placed on the table very securely. It works really well having the extra magnetized workspace and since I only really Mill aluminum it didn't create a mess.

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                          • I like the idea of the embedded magnets with non magnetic surrounding. That way the chips that stick to the magnets allow the swarf to be wiped away off the sides. Otherwise I don't like to use magnets around my machines due to the difficulties in keep them clean.
                            Chilliwack BC, Canada

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                            • Originally posted by BCRider View Post
                              I like the idea of the embedded magnets with non magnetic surrounding. That way the chips that stick to the magnets allow the swarf to be wiped away off the sides. Otherwise I don't like to use magnets around my machines due to the difficulties in keep them clean.
                              I can see how it might work if you're only doing aluminium (or exclusively anything non-magnetic) but I think I'll pass. Slowly trying to get rind of anything magnetic that I eagerly put in previously. Partly I do steels and as BCRider says, it causes a right pain....but also everything you have ends up magnetised. Softjaws held onto the vise with magnets? Magnetised hacksaw blade covered in swarf. I think the mag-bars that I (try!) to keep my regular use spanners (like collet holder and clampdown nut sizes) on will stay but the softjaws got replaced by a high-infill PETG print that slides on from the end of the jaw and wraps around four sides of it to stay in place.

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                              • Oil on the metal items will soak into the wood holders and never dry. This is fine. But said oil also holds onto dust and grit. So it's wise to finish the wood in a drying oil such as boiled linseed or . . .
                                Ah yes, sand and dust. Sadly, I have that.
                                But I avoid most of that with the plastic lid. I wipe the collet when I take it out of the box and before I put it back. That seems to work fine.

                                With Australian hardwoods, which are not highly absorbent, I prefer to have an unfinished surface, loose oil and a slightly loose fit for the holes.

                                Cheers
                                Roger

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