A Little Workshop Time

Tool Restoration

Chisels and Gouges

Can you believe January is over already?  It feels like Christmas and New Year's were a couple days ago, but now we're in February!  I guess that's just how it is...the march of time.  Anyway, this morning I went down to the shop just to clean up the workbench after completing a little project, which you'll see soon.  In the course of clearing things off the bench, and putting them away, I noticed a couple things sitting in a toolbox drawer, giving me an idea.  Let's get into it!

An Old, Inherited Chisel

The first thing I noticed was this old chisel I had inherited from my former boss's grandfather.  I had run it through the wire wheel on the bench grinder to at least get the rust off it back in the fall of '22, but hadn't returned to it.

So I went to my small supply of file and chisel handles, and started drilling the insertion hole to receive the tapered tang on the chisel.

I'd not actually done this before, but I took my time and drilled various drill diameters to the roughly correct depth in the handle.  I even used my depth collets on the bits so I wouldn't over drill.  Turned out, prepping the handle wasn't nearly as hard as I thought it was going to be!

That is - until I actually inserted the tang.  I can think of no better word to, in a very clean way, express my disappointment - DANG (pun absolutely intended)!

Back to the drawing board, and after about 10 minutes using slightly larger drill bits, that baby fit snug as my old sweater last worn 10 years ago!  And just like that, I had another nice chisel! 

Old, Inherited Gouges

As I was putting my newly functional chisel, I noticed a handful of gouges, that I really hadn't touched since inheriting them - also from my former boss.

There were in amazingly good condition with the exception of one.  That large chisel, third from the right in the shot above, had a boogered up striking end on the handle.

So I cut a bit off the busted up end, the flattened the end and beveled the edge on my belt/disc sander.

Then, and of course I failed to take a picture of this, I used some walnut gel stain on the bare end, and it turned out to be an almost exact match to the original color of the handle!  

We are not to throw away those things which can benefit our neighbor. Goods are called good because they can be used for good: they are instruments for good, in the hands of those who use them properly. - Clement of Alexandria

Then I noticed that one of the gouges had a loose ferrule, so I pulled that out, locked it in the vise and popped in a couple peening dimples.  That tightened the ferrule to as good as new.

While I was at it, I ran some of the other gouges through the wire wheel and the polishing wheel, and these old tools were ready for another few decades!

Natural Habitat

While I was putting these tools away, I noticed that their natural habitat, a drawer in my 20-plus year old Popular Mechanics tool chest, is getting a little crowded.  Tucking that away in my thought bank!

All this (and a couple other things) made for a nice few hours in the shop today - absolutely cathartic.  And wow!  I actually wrote a short post!  New year new things?  Maybe, but either way - thanks for stopping by and - see ya' next time!
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