Restoring an old Brace with Brit #1: The rust is coming off.....

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Blog entry by dakremer posted 08-16-2011 11:14 PM 7704 reads 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Restoring an old Brace with Brit series Part 2: Trying to fix my screw up.... »

hey guys. Brit .....also known as The Man.....started doing an amazing blog on how to restore an old fashion Brace (hand drill). I showed off 3 braces that I had picked up at a thrift store for only $16. I was asking some questions on how to restore them, and Brit stepped up to the challenge. I had no clue he was going to do such an amazing, detailed blog. You should definitely check it out! Anyways, I started this blog to show Brit and others how MY restore is coming along…...and so it begins….

I decided to go all in and restore the worst one I bought. You can see that it is completely covered with rust

Here is the close up of the chuck and the jaws…lots of rust

Rust remover of choice. Bought it at Harbor Freight via Brit’s suggestion…

This is after 30 minutes in the bath, and a little scrubbing and some wiping off with a paper towel…...

I am currently letting it soak for another 30 minutes to try and get the rest of the rust off. Possibly will have to do it more….

One thing I didnt do is pour in new rust remover. I just placed the chuck and jaw back in the used stuff. The bottle didnt say to use fresh remover every time. Is this correct, or should have I switched it out??

Next blog I’ll show what it looks like after 1-2 more baths in the rust remover, and after some filing down and some sanding!!...

Thanks Brit for all or your help!!!


I cannot seem to get that shine like Brit gets. Maybe this is harder because of the rounded shape???? I filed it to get all the pits out of it as best as I could – this had a TON of pits. I then tried to draw-file it. Not sure if I did that right either. And then i worked from 220 grit all the way to 1200. Hmmm….might need a little more help. I told you Brit – I’m dumb when it comes to this….I think it should be looking better than this. Not to mention I kind of accidentally rubbed off the grips! oops……....

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

12 comments so far

View SASmith               's profile


1850 posts in 3108 days

#1 posted 08-17-2011 12:41 AM

Looking good. I have a few of these that could use a makeover too.

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

View chrisstef's profile


17637 posts in 3127 days

#2 posted 08-17-2011 01:02 AM

Doug, you can reuse that stuff until its jet black. I strain it through a coffee filter back into the jug. Keep it up and ill send you a few others you ccan restore while youre at it.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View dakremer's profile


2709 posts in 3212 days

#3 posted 08-17-2011 01:40 AM

I’ll pass on the restoring YOUR Braces! haha One, as I’m finding out, is hard enough…..

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

21117 posts in 3226 days

#4 posted 08-17-2011 02:17 AM

Chuck that round part up in the lathe and polish it with 220 paper or finer. It will look like new- except for the knurled part.
If you want more of them you can find them in most antique stores.


-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View dakremer's profile


2709 posts in 3212 days

#5 posted 08-17-2011 02:28 AM

Hey Jim. I was thinking about putting it in the lathe and doing it that way. Except the lathe that is available to me does not have a chuck…so not sure how I’d mount it in the lathe….

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

View DocK16's profile


1184 posts in 4208 days

#6 posted 08-17-2011 04:04 AM

Can’t find Evaporust anywhere locally Where did you pick it up.

-- Common sense is so rare anymore when you do see it, it looks like pure genius.

View dakremer's profile


2709 posts in 3212 days

#7 posted 08-17-2011 04:07 AM

Hey Dock. I found it at Harbor Freight

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

View MedicKen's profile


1615 posts in 3583 days

#8 posted 08-17-2011 04:28 AM

After it soaks in the evaporust use a fine wire wheel on a bench grinder to help clean and polish it slightly. It works really well

-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their

View Tim Kindrick's profile

Tim Kindrick

369 posts in 2675 days

#9 posted 08-17-2011 05:45 AM

I usually buy those little 3” brass wire wheel brushes at Big Lots and chuck it in a power drill. Turn it upside down in a vise and lock the trigger in the “on” position. Just make sure you wear safety goggles because some of the wire will fly off the wheel.

-- I have metal in my neck but wood in my blood!!

View Brit's profile


7454 posts in 2963 days

#10 posted 08-17-2011 07:05 AM

Well there’s no stopping you is there brother? 10 out of 10 for effort. Don’t be too disheartened, Rome wasn’t built in a day right? Just treat this one as your practice brace. :-)

I think the issue is that I need to show you how to file a cylindrical object. I’m currently working out in Denmark Monday to Thursday, so I won’t be able to show you until Friday I’m afraid. Just hold fire until then and I’ll post some pics or maybe a short video.

In the meantime, can you post a picture of the file or files you’re using?

-- - Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View Sonny_9630's profile


10 posts in 2532 days

#11 posted 10-19-2011 06:26 PM

Hey dakremer, good job restoring your brace, like you i just bought a brace. I will post some pictures soon. I’m going to start restoring it this weekend.

View saddletramp's profile


1180 posts in 2759 days

#12 posted 10-19-2011 06:59 PM

Doc said “Can’t find Evaporust anywhere locally Where did you pick it up.”

You should be able to find it at a good auto parts store, one that carries automotive paint and I hear tell that you can also get it at TSC (Tractor Supply).

-- ♫♪♪♫♫ Saddletramp, saddletramp, I'm as free as the breeze and I ride where I please, saddletramp ♪♪♪♫♪ ...... Bob W....NW Michigan (Traverse City area)

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