Buck Bros 2" Chisel Resto & Improvement

Tool Restoration

A 173 Short

Here's a quick post for you.  As I've mentioned a few weeks ago, I inherited a colleague's grandfather's tool boxes.  It's been a treasure trove of quality, old-school tools in search of a little bit of love.  In this case it's a chisel.  I plan on using this chisel for coarse work so I'm not restoring this tool to a new condition, I'm just...well...you'll see!

So - What Do We Have?

Well, much like a hammer, the chisel is a pretty basic tool.  Of course one can fancy up a handle, make it out of just about anything I suppose, and use exotic metals for the chisel itself.  

But at the end of the day it's really just those two pieces. In my case, I have two inherited pieces, a beautiful leather-ringed handle, and a chisel in decent shape, if not a little banged up:

One of the most interesting things that I have uncovered is where the Buck Brothers got their start. On the cover of the 1890 catalog, they point out that they are "Formerly of Sheffield, England," which means a whole lot in the world of tools. But on the 1865 catalog cover (which looks remarkably similar to the 1890 catalog), they state "Formerly in the employ of Messrs. Spear and Jacksons, Wm. Ash and Co., and other First-Class Manufacturers, of Sheffield, England." We know that their grandfather was the manager of the Newbold factory, and that they served their apprenticeships under their father (who probably apprenticed under his father at Newbold) so I guess they learned from some of the best. - Brian Welch, Galoot Central, 2004

The Handle

The handle I inherited from my former boss was in pristine condition.  I don't think it had ever been used, and it still had the original varnish on it.  But I wanted to change the color, so I spent 3 or 4 minutes scraping it down with a razor blade.

Then I stained it with some Mahogany stain...

I even used it to re-stain the leather on the handle...

And into the oven it went.  I baked it at 100 watts for two hours, turning it once in the process.

Assembly and Finishing

Once out of the oven, it was just a matter of driving the handle into the chisel end.  It was a near-perfect fit!

After that I applied a couple coats of amber shellac, one of (if not) my favorite finishes.

Its Natural Habitat

And just like that I had a new chisel.  As a matter of fact, I think it took me longer to write this post than it took to put this tool all together!  And here's the new/old 2# Buck Brothers chisel in its natural habitat!

See ya soon!
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