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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