Family tools and my first tool gloat!

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Blog entry by RaggedKerf posted 11-17-2012 01:44 PM 4160 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Just before we left on our trip, my parents came up from Florida to visit in the last week in October. With them, besides lots of laughs and smiles and good times with the grandkids, they brought me some of my Dad’s tools that had been collecting dust down in the sunshine state.

He decided that since he wasn’t really doing anything with them, he’d rather see them in my shop making sawdust rather than collecting dust. Who am I to argue with the wisdom of my father? Especially when besides the fabulous-ness of the power tools he doesn’t use, he brought a collection of old, rusted and nearly forgotten relics of his father and his father. In fact, we’re pretty sure they’re all from my great-grand father (Herbie of the famous hammer repair a while ago) that were passed on to Dad’s dad. Now they have fallen into my hands.

So here goes, my first ever tool gloat (bear with me, I won’t get to do this often). Here’s what just found a new home in Wisconsin:

Delta belt sander with wheel DeWalt random orbital sander Craftsman 16” scrollsaw a vintage Black and Decker router (from the ‘70s!)

I think the router is my favorite because it was used to create the toybox Dad made for me when I was 2 years old, that I rehabbed (with his help) and presented to my son last year—-yes, we still have it and it is sturdy as ever! There is something I just can’t fit in to the confines of mere words when I pick up that router, turn it on and feel it kick in my hands before chewing through some wood and leaving a smooth, glass-like finish. It’s just…awesome. And way too much fun.

Okay, so here’s part two—-the old tools. This is what the post is really about. I’m seeking opinions and will likely post in the forums on Lumberjocks about these tools but I figured I’d do it here first.

Here’s a picture of what he brought, spread out on the bench:

From left to right: a hammer head (surface rust, but no real pitting…this is begging for a new handle), a small hammer (ball peen, say, for a blacksmith? Herbie was a blacksmith…), a wide chisel (the handle is practically so light it feels like balsa wood, it’s got to be dry rotted), a pair of pincers of some kind (Dad thought they may have been for horses since he grew up on a farm, but they also look like blacksmith’s tongs to me…only…I thought those were, um, a lot bigger), some kind of large nail or spike, another chisel without a handle.
In fact, I thought the last item on the right was simply another spike or punch or set like the one immediately to the left is (I think), but on closer review…

It has something inside it…and that something, I’m betting is wood. Then I examined the rest of it closely:

That’s no punch…that’s a really blunted and abused chisel with some rust and pitting.

So…here’s where my research begins:

(1) What are the tools I can’t really identify (the tongs/pincers, that punch thing, the odd hammers).

(2) Can I, or is it worth it to clean these tools and actually use them (I would looooove to turn these things into users). As a corollary, if I were to successfully remove the rust from these tools, would that in some way weaken them? I guess the real question is, is it worth the effort to rehab these (that little chisel is pretty well round, not sharp) or just put them in a shadow box and display them on the wall? I would so love to use these things but if I don’t have the tools necessary to fix them in the first place…I’m just not sure where to start.

Oh Gooooogle….

-- Steve

4 comments so far

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1286 posts in 3020 days

#1 posted 11-17-2012 02:13 PM

Cross pien hammer: make a handle from some of that hickory and put it to use.
Small ball pien hammer. Looks good.
1in Socket chisel (or so): make a new handle, sharpen it up and put it to work.
Pincers: Well, you can pull nails with them. They would do ok for holding things for small scale blacksmithing.
Cold chisel: I forget the point type. Clean up the mushrooming and you are good.

Last but not least,
Poor abused half inch socket chisel.

It could still be salvaged. Grind away the mushrooming and see where it stops. There might be enough socket left to hold a handle. If not, you could weld or braze a bit to add to build it up a bit. You could also grind the neck of the socket into a tang and then go ahead and put a handle on that. I have revived some that looked that bad. You can’t hurt it any worse.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune:

View walden's profile


1552 posts in 2044 days

#2 posted 11-17-2012 03:09 PM

Ball pein hammers are always handy. I have a big one I use for mechanical work and working on lawn mowers. I also have a little 3 once model that I use to lightly tap my plane blades to adjust them side to side.

The big chisel can be very useful. Take a wood mallet and tap the side of the socket housing. The handle should come out. Submerge the metal part of the chisel (and the nail nippers) in Evapo Rust for a few hours. Both will come out clean, but a bit murky. Dry them off and then go over both with 0000 steel wool or a fine grit SandFlex block. This will make the metal look like new. I found a chisel that looked a lot like that this past summer and bought it for $7. After cleaning it up, I realized it was a Stanley 750! I use it all the time in my woodworking.

The nail nippers look like the good kind that only have the jaw beveled on the inside. The new ones are beveled on both sides, making them hard to use for surface nails.

I’m not sure about the rest of the stuff. The abused chisel could be ground and used as a glue scraper…I did this with an old abused chisel I got in much the same way.

-- "I am hiring a realtor if and when the day comes a lion is on my roof."

View RaggedKerf's profile


425 posts in 2142 days

#3 posted 11-17-2012 05:12 PM

Wow thank you guys, this is exactly the kind of info I was looking for! Didn’t even know the names of some of these things so Google was getting me know where…you can’t really search for a description :)

I plan on restoring all of the tools now to working order. I kinda like how old tgey look but the chisels just beg to be sharpened and cleaned up. As for the clippers—-never even thought that’s what it was! Awesome! I know I can put that to use….

-- Steve

View Bluepine38's profile


3379 posts in 3107 days

#4 posted 11-17-2012 06:33 PM

Those two hammers will be the easiest to clean up and put to use. I have a few tools from my father, and
there is always a special feeling I get when I use them, and the memories are priceless.

-- As ever, Gus-the 79 yr young apprentice carpenter

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