My grandfather's hand tools #1: unknown chisel

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Blog entry by Lucasd2002 posted 10-03-2014 04:22 AM 2308 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of My grandfather's hand tools series Part 2: E A Berg chisel »

My grandfather was born in 1913 and lived in Charlotte, N.C.

He died in 1987 when I pretty young. I knew him as a very soft-spoken family man. I have also heard numerous stories about his skill as a woodworker. The best examples I have are the hand-carved firearm stocks he made (he was an avid hunter). Other than a few things he made, I know him by his tools.

Most of his tools went to my father back in the late-80s. When my dad passed away (almost 2 years ago), I gathered as many of the tools that I could find (both my father’s and grandfather’s).

I don’t have much experience restoring tools, but my hope is to clean up and bring a few of them into decent condition. I have a busy work schedule so I won’t promise extremely rapid (or even semi-regular) updates. But, everything I show in this blog has sentimental value to me.

Any advice about cleaning/polishing/de-rusting/conditioning or whatever is greatly appreciated.

I have no idea about the brand for this chisel. Anybody know? As shown below, there is a stamp that reads “HARDENED – TOOL STEEL – MADE IN U.S.A.”

Here is quick cell phone “before” picture.

I’m doing some sharpening inspired by Paul Sellers. I have 220, 400, and 600 on some plate glass and I’m sharpening by hand (glass cleaner for lapping fluid). I was surprised at the amount of material (burr) removed by the 220. Apologies for the poor image.

 photo burr_zps1c9d51ef.jpg

After some sandpaper for rust removal and sharpening, I rubbed 3-in-1 oil into the metal and then did a quick polish or two using Wenol. For the handle, I added a little old English conditioner/scratch cover (couldn’t find anything else). What would be a good product for this old handle?

 photo chisel_zpsd90fce90.jpg

 photo logo_zps2589ee43.jpg

4 comments so far

View handsawgeek's profile


645 posts in 1417 days

#1 posted 10-03-2014 01:37 PM

Nice tool re-furb…Always good to see a piece of rust turned into a good user.
The product you used on the handle is adequate. Cleaned it up pretty well, while still leaving the aged ‘patina’ look, judging from the photo.

As far as sharpening…if you are using the sandpaper method, I would countinue with smaller grits. Obtain some 1000, 1500, and 2000. Your goal is to get that baby mirror-shiny on the back side (you should be able to easily see your reflection), and the hone sharp enough to effortlessly shave off some of your arm hairs. 600 grit sandpaper won’t get you there.

-- Ed

View summerfi's profile


3953 posts in 1709 days

#2 posted 10-05-2014 01:03 AM

I’m glad to see that you care for your grandfather’s and father’s tools. So many people don’t appreciate the tools their ancestors left behind, and that’s sad. That chisel is looking nice. Keep up the good work.

-- Bob, Missoula, MT -- Rocky Mountain Saw Works

View Lucasd2002's profile


124 posts in 1374 days

#3 posted 10-07-2014 02:14 AM

Nobody can identify this chisel?

View realcowtown_eric's profile


609 posts in 1959 days

#4 posted 10-07-2014 03:15 AM

It was made by Hans Beater, long suspected by tool collectors as a cousin for the Superior brothers (warren and ted) for fabrication and distribution of low cost tools to ” 5&10c stores throughout North America.

These types of chisels have since been known as “Beaters”

Honestly I have no idea as to who made it, but investment in rehab time would put this down low on my priorities. I suspect it’s not really high quality, its a tang chisel, and a likely a flat tang chisel at that.


-- Real_cowtown_eric

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