|Project by Chris Wright||posted 10-17-2009 02:18 AM||3102 views||3 times favorited||11 comments|
When I took over the shop here at the Arts and Crafts Center, the departing shop manager was showing me around. When we were in the tool store room, he showed me the old Marples bench chisels that they had. Saying that they were pretty much junk. The shop had purchased a set of Two Cherries to replace them. So they just sat there, getting used occasionally for odd jobs where we weren’t to worried about damaging the tool.
Looking for something to do in my down time, I decided to go through the pile of about 15 or so chisels and pull out the ones that were in better shape and see if I could clean them up and restore them. I found a set of 5: 6 mm, 10 mm, 16 mm, 20 mm, and 26 mm). They all looked pretty much like the one in the second photo when I started, slightly corroded and on a few, someone had ground the backs, so I had to spend a lot of time lapping them.
First thing I did was use some 320 grit wet/dry sand paper that I taped to a piece of plywood and wet sanded the backs, tops, sides and side bevels (I was a little bummed to loose the “Made in Sheffield, England” that was etched on the top, but what can you do). After sanding I polished them with my diamond honing stones. I then ground new bevels using our Tormek grinder. They are now the clean looking set you see here and they are sharp enough to shave with.
Once I had the chisels clean and sharp, well I just couldn’t just toss them in a box or a drawer so I decided to make a storage box for them. Made from some scraps of 1/4” and 1/2” birch ply, I made the support from a piece of maple and to keep them from sliding around inside the box when it’s closed I put a piece of foam-core to press into and hold the handles.
Though it seems kind of boring to spend so much time (about 5 hours total) cleaning up some “junk” tools, and then making a box for them, it was fun and rather meditative to do the repetitive tasks of of lapping and sanding and polishing and grinding and honing. Maybe I’m crazy, but I had a good time working on these tools and the box.
-- "At its best, life is completely unpredictable." - Christopher Walken