I am thinking of making some wooden cases for various tools, parts and so on. In some ways they are baby cousins of (and inspired by) printers' type cases.

Some type cases have brass "caps" on the joins between horizontal and vertical separators. These come in "cross" shapes, "tee" shapes and also sometimes "L" shapes for outer corners.

Close-up of printer's type case with brass "cross caps"

They seem like a good way to avoid the internal walls coming adrift as they hold the top corners firmly together. There are other ways like setting in grooves, but this way seems a lot more flexible (no extra cutting or routing) if you can just drop walls in with a bit of PVA, and cap with one of these at each end.

I have found several kinds of "corner protectors" for sale, but not this kind of reinforcement. Is it something that a) has a name and b) can be bought these days?

  • The problem with this plan is you'll be gluing end grain to face grain. End grain doesn't glue well to anything. (If they are short enough, you could rotate the dividers so the end grain is facing up and down, but that will mean sacrificing a uniform look -- the long support walls will look different than the short dividers). This is why dados (the name for the channel or groove you mentioned) are usually used instead. Even just a little bit of face grain in the glue joint helps its strength tremendously. And if the glue fails, the dado continues to support the divider. Commented Dec 14, 2017 at 18:25
  • If you continue pursuing this design, I'd switch from a PVA glue to an epoxy to secure the dividers. It will hold up much better than PVA glue will. Commented Dec 14, 2017 at 18:26
  • @CharlieKilian These aren't end grain meeting, it's an end-grain-to-long-grain joint. This can be much stronger. Even structural joints (not too heavily loaded) can be done this way if needed and everything is done right. Theory aside, I've seen racks like this tacked together with just a dribble or a couple of drops of yellow or white PVAs and the completed racks seem solid as a rock. Obviously nothing like as strong as if some proper joinery is used, but these racks take light loads as a rule so they don't have to be particularly robust.
    – Graphus
    Commented Dec 16, 2017 at 7:25

2 Answers 2


As far as I know these aren't made any more, but it's a big world out there so you never know! Part of the difficulty of course is looking for them without knowing what they're called....... or, what the manufacturer, who may not speak English as a first language calls them!

Assuming they aren't manufactured any more you could have them made for you. Or, with some effort and ingenuity you could make them yourself. It's beyond the scope of this SE to cover how but with a fairly minimal tool kit these are easily made in a corner of the shop. Once you get your sheet brass* pretty much all you'd need would be some measuring and marking tools (T-square, steel rule, scriber, maybe dividers) and a hacksaw fitted with a fine blade or tin snips, a mallet, one file ideally with a safe edge, some abrasive paper and a drill. The drill can be a hand drill/eggbeater if you like as brass is softish and easily drilled by a modern twist bit.

*Or brass strip. If you start with brass strip that's as wide as the "cross" shapes that's one less cut you'd need to do on some of the pieces.

  • If DIY manufacture is the way, since I'd need "many" of them, I might also consider a punch and die (maybe one to cut and one to form), though that needs some non-trivial metalwork! Probably the cutting form can be a circle, which is easy, then formed over a metal cross by an "anti-cross" with a bevelled edge to avoid cutting it.
    – diwhyyyyy
    Commented Dec 18, 2017 at 18:46
  • There's a type of punch similar to the chisel portion of a drill's mortising attachment that is made for sheet metalwork, don't know what it's called though sorry.
    – Graphus
    Commented Dec 18, 2017 at 21:02

They are not mass manufactured anymore. It is because of their quick breaking. Ther are very brittle. If you use too much force, you easily break the screw head.

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