Bridgeport Tomahawk Jr. Crate Tool Cleanup

Back in the day (don't ask - I don't know what day) most packages that were sent to your house came in a crate - you know - no boxes back then. I can't find much on them, but the way I understand it is the warehouse version of this tool was larger than the Tomahawk Jr., and were used in the shipping warehouses. This version was usually provided gratis at hardware stores as an ad giveaway, and were mostly used at home for opening smaller boxes. Anyway - this should be a quick post, it's really just a cleanup as opposed to a full restoration.

I think I should point out that this isn't the only style of crate tool that was out there, it's just the one I have.  I should also mention that several companies are making crate tools (usually called multi-tools today) so new versions of this beauty can be got!  Here's one of the few things I could find on this tool, although this ad is for the full-size version:

Inherited And Rusty

This is another one of the tools that I inherited from my former boss - two huge toolboxes full of vintage tools!  They're all in pretty good shape except rust had set in on many of them.  This Bridgeport Tomahawk Jr.  Here you can see it circled in the upper right.  Another of those occasions when I didn't get a before picture.

Do not wait; the time will never be 'just right.' Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along. ~ George Herbert

A Simple Cleanup

What with all the rust, the obvious first step was removing said rust.  An overnight Evaporust bath did the trick!  Here's the Tomahawk with some of the other tools that were in the bath:

And here's the ol' Tomahawk after running it through the wire wheel:

Adding A Little Pop!

So, this idea really isn't mine, I've seen a few YouTubers do this - just giving credit where due.  I wanted to give this tool a little pop of color, and I decided on 173's signature color - red.  Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of me painting that either, but I used Rustoleum Regal Red enamel, thinned with a little acetone. And here's the painted version in the oven:

After the paint baked for about 24 hours, I took a small acetone swatch of cloth and ran it over the raised letters.  I also tried to dab them with Q-tips and acetone.  And it really turned out nice!

Its Natural Habitat 

Not just for the looks, of which I'm nuts about, but because of its versatility, I decided to put it on the peg board over the workbench.  That's prime real estate, so it's kind of a high compliment to a tool!  And here she is in her natural habitat:

Thanks for stopping by for this simple little cleanup - see ya next time!
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