10" CeeTee Pliers Refurb

A Trademark of Crescent Tool Co.


Here's another incidental find from The Tool Box.  Back in mid-October, I took a trip to The Tool Box just to see other people and other places...people and places that are not home or work.  Once again, I had no agenda, there was no one item in my mind during this trip.  But, quite frankly, I should - and do - know myself better:  If I go to The Tool Box I'm definitely bringing something home.

What All Did I Pick Up?

Anytime I go to The Tool Box, I pretty much make a beeline to the pliers and wrenches aisle.  This move cemented the fact that I wouldn't be leaving the store empty handed.  That said, the haul from mid-October included a pair of Pexto pliers, which I'll eventually get around to fixing up.  I also picked up a small Trimo pipe wrench - another little project for another day.  

I also picked up today's gem - a 10 inch pair of Cee Tee curved jaw, slip-joint pliers.  A couple things about these pliers that caught my attention was their length and the yellow plastic on the handles.  

Especially the yellow handles.  As soon as I saw the handles I knew they weren't original and that they were likely a liquid plastic like Plasti Dip.  I've never tried the stuff but it seems there are very vocal lovers and haters!  It's actually kind of finny how passionate both sides can be about such an inconsequential thing.  

Cee Tee Co.

The other thing that caight my attention was that these pliers were Cee Tees!  I added an exclamation point as though I knew at the time what Cee Tees were.  Well, I didn't.  But what I did know was the branding wasn't etched in, it was stamped in - and deep.  In my amateur mind, this seems to indicated some higher level of quality.  With a little research, I found out Cee Tee was a branding used by Crescent Tool Company (get it? C T..Cee Tee?  Embarrassingly, it took me a minute).  

The Crescent Tool Company was founded in Jamestown, New York, between Buffalo and Cleveland on the south side of Lake Erie, by Karl Peterson in 1907 after merging with the J.P. Danielson Company. This newly minted company came to be one of the famous tool makers in America.  

The "Cee Tee Co" trademark was used beginning in 1913., but the best I can tell from some online research they discontinued the line sometime in the '60s.  According to some conversations on tool collector sites, Crescent resurrected the Cee Tee line some years ago, although the Cee Tee tools are no longer made in America.  Oh - fun note - Jamestown was the birthplace of Lucille Ball!

The Crescent Tool Company was one of the premier industries in Jamestown in the 1940s and 1950s, and in their 2004 book Jamestown, Currie and Crocker referred to this company that had been established in 1907 by Karl Peterson, a Swedish immigrant from Malmo, as “one of the crown jewels of Jamestown’s industry.” - Joan Lindquist, Jamestown Gazette

The Cleanup

The first step was to remove the Plasti Dip.  The covering was dirty and worn, to the point that even the best cleaning wouldn't save them.  

One of the complaints I've read about this kind of covering is that it never really sets well and just peals right off the tool.  In this case - not so.  I had to scrape it off with my electricians knife

I don't know why I didn't take the pliers apart from the start, but I had sense enough to dismantle them (consisting of taking the nut off the bolt) before running the jaws through the wire wheel.  No sense not making things as easy as possible!

I'm getting better with the wire wheel and the bench grinder, so getting the parts to the pliers rust-free really took a grand total of maybe 7 or 8 minutes!

Makin' them Shiny

Before I got started to really shining up these pliers, I wanted to knock down the forge marks on the back of the jaws.  It's not really pronounced in this picture, but it's there...

So I took a file to the forge marks, and about 5 minutes later, they were gone on both jaws...

Then it was just a matter of a few grits of sanpaper and polishing with some Flitz...

Just because of the size of the bolt that holds the halves together, and the fact that I have sausage links for fingers,

I popped it in my drill to make polishing easier...

And in literally less than 3 minutes, it was like a mirror finish:

The Finished Product

So, with all the parts shined, it was time to wrap up this little cleanup.  Here's the outside of the jaw after removing the forging flash...

And here are the CeeTees reassembled.  The sheer size of these pliers make for an excellent fit  and feel in my hands.  And, while they aren't exactly like new, they're darn close to new!

A Bonus Factoid

Before we go, I want to point out one of my favorite features of these pliers - the grip pattern.  This was Crescent's plier handle pattern from the days when each major manufacturer had their own proprietary pattern - a kind of instant identifier.  For some reason, in my mind's eye I see this pattern on pliers when I was a kid.  I'll have to ask dad - if anyone has pliers with this pattern it'd be him!

And just for posterity, I found this - the patent for the grip pattern:

Their Natural Habitat

And now we have arrived at one of the goofiest patterns I've fallen into - displaying a tool in its natural habitat.  That said, here are my "new" 10" Cee Tee pliers in their natural habitat:

Thanks for stopping by!
Next Post Previous Post