Old English screwdrivers
Restore and more…
A few of my fellow LJ’s noticed that I was fooling around with some old screwdrivers.
This blog is the restore of those and some more screwdriver related stuff.
I spend a total sum of seven British Pounds app. 10 US to buy two lots of old screwdrivers, fourteen as I remember.
(Quite fair I think, considering that just one new from one of the leading toolmakers today is 25 US… and I then have to wait for the patina – smiles).
The first lot was ´done when I started taking photos because a fellow LJ noticed and asked.
But this bunch and some more was on its way.
As you can see they were screaming out: ‘I’M DRY, OIL ME PLEASE’...
The once on the right are smiling at me now but they looked about the same as the others when they arrived.
There are no right and wrong here, I love patina and so I will do a lot to keep this, but also I like my tools to be useful, beautiful and functional, but most of all ‘healthy’.
That means not two tools will need exactly the same level of restore and this you will see as the blog goes on.
This fellow was really tired but in a good state, so a sanding to get rid of the dirt and the old layers of lacquer.
I mounted it in a drill and then spin low speed, this makes it easy and even to sand.
Not too much we want to keep the patina and also the ornamentation.
The metal gets a touch up with a brush, again I’m lazy and use a powered one.
And again not too much since I want the years to show.
Here you see the level I go to compared to one that still needs love.
Linseed oil, AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH that was needed, so leave it overnight.
If the screwdriver is not all straight it can usually be bend back in shape.
These handles are all done with the sanding, and you will notice not the same, they all got the minimum that removed dirt and wear but kept the patina.
The ferules are touched up with a fine file.
The end made straight when needed.
This is where we start to look again at design and function, some screwdrivers just need a touch up with sandpaper or a file.
To get a straight head with the desired thickness.
This can also be done on a stone.
A hand grinder.
Disc sander or whatever…
Just don’t over heat it so the hardening gets destroyed.
In the next step I will try to shape the heads so they become uniform.
For this I will use my wet grinder and a jig to make sure I get them to be the same on both sides.
(Yes I am lazy…).
But look what a wonderful result, I am really pleased.
Before and after.
New problem, a broken ferule.
Some tobacco and then of we go.
A new one is fitted.
I think Mathisson would be happy for me!
Ok I use epoxy so he might be a bit grumpy…
The end needs a little filler and that is another minute spend.
But look what a wonderful result, tracks of life, patina and now some fresh love from MaFe.
A little oil for the metal to prevent rust.
This one is worse.
I think we need to give up and make a new handle.
First the basic shape.
Then more precise to fit ferule.
Ok a tiny bit too small but I’m happy.
A bank with a hammer on a chisel, and be careful not to hit the tang, then you destroy the chisel, I always cut down a bit of the center to be sure.
Look what a beautiful old ferule, that is really quality.
Here compared to one of the new once I bought…
That’s almost too fine…
I think we can agree it is better than before…
I almost forgot to add this one, here you can see the types.
I will split the blog here and continue in part two just to be kind to those with a slow internet connection.
It is my hope this blog can inspire others to restore some old beautiful screwdrivers.
-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.