Putting a James Swan chisel back into service #1: Runup to the decision, assessing the situation, planning the resurrection

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Blog entry by Lee Barker posted 12-27-2011 05:20 PM 1541 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Putting a James Swan chisel back into service series Part 2: Rebuilding the handle and adding on--varnish dip and it's a hone run! »

Since I got this tragic-looking tool at a giveaway (a junk store was moving, and the last day was free) and it had a bit of a name—James Swan tools are present and selling on the ‘bay—I decided the maximum benefit was to sell it. At the same time I put up a 2” Greenlee which I had. It wasn’t much, I thought. Well the Greenlee got all the attention, and indeed sold, but the Swan, all inch and three quarters of it, after two weeks, languished still. I considered keeping it.

The handle appeared to be toast. Two major cracks, and the leather was useless and the tenon over which the leather sits was quite mushroomed.

I wire brushed the steel. Very pitted in places, but it appeared that I could get the back flat enough to make it workable.

The ferrule captured my eye and my heart. It has a lovely patina, and some very fine engraving on the lower edge. I buffed it gently.

The handle was the challenge. The steel just required patience at the grinder.

-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

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