Restoring a Chisel

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Introduction: Restoring a Chisel

I was helping my grandfather move and as a part of helping I got to inherit some items. One of those turned out to be a nice little socket chisel. It was missing it handle and was pretty rusty, but overall it was is good shape, only surface rust and no pitting, so I decided to restore it for use.

Step 1: Fixing the Metal

For restoring the chisel head, I simply used sand paper. I started with a rough 80 grit and worked my way to a 220 grit to remove tooling marks. I choose to go with hand sanding because I didn't want to remove any metal or mess up the levelness of the bottom plane of the chisel.

Step 2: Choosing Your Handle and Lamination

I'm going to be turning a handle for this chisel, so I chose some red oak from our hard wood scrap box. Originally I chose some walnut but after I turned it I didn't like the shape so I remade it with the red oak.

When picking lumber for a chisel its important to get a nice straight grain for it to be running with the direction of the work.

The two important things to remember when laminating is glue and pressure. I fully covered both surfaces in glue, clamped them with some wood screw clamps and let it set and cure for 24 hours.

Step 3: Turning

Our shop is lucky to have a nice lathe. We don't have a jawed chuck so I just used a drive spur and the live idle.

The photos of turning are from the walnut not the oak that actually became the handle, but the process is the same.

I used calipers to measure the socket head so I could plunge to the correct depth. When sanding I like to use mineral spirits to help remove fine sawdust and achieve a finer finish.

Step 4: Mounting, Sanding, Finishing

For mounting the handle in the socket I drilled hole in a piece of scrap 2x4 smaller than the top of the socket to hold the head while I hammered the handle in. Then I shaved down the part that gets inserted into the socket with a knife until it was only a little bigger than the socket. I then put the handle in the head and with another piece of scrap on top hammered the handle into the socket.

Once that was done I hand sanded and rounded the top to give it a nice finished look and for the level of sanding on top to match the sanding on the sides.

I chose Linseed Oil as a nice simple finish to give it a good hand feel.

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3 Comments

6th Way:

"Hey, Bob - remember that chisel I borrowed about five years ago?"

"Yeah?"

"Here ya go."

"Gee, thanks. You don't know how much I've missed it..."

I love it when I inherit tools! It's something that you will be able to use forever and be able to pass on to someone else. Love it!

Its great! And the tool is that much more of treasure