Refurbished and rehandled chisel set

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Project by Scottwpaul02 posted 02-07-2010 08:39 PM 2963 views 1 time favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

So a few months back I bought a set of chisels by Irwin that were chrome vanadium and found they didn’t hold an edge very well…Since then I have been watching ebay for a set or partial set of older chisels with decent steel. Well, I got two lots of chisels and in them had a nearly full set of Witherby Warranted chisels (not all of them are the same style, but they will work for what I am doing with them). When I first opened the packages, they were all in pretty rough shape. Handles are made out of oak with copper ferrules. Steel was derusted with phosphoric acid then wire brushed down to bare steel then cold blued for rust prevention. Wood is covered with 3 coats of tung oil. All glued together with plenty of epoxy! Thanks for looking.

9 comments so far

View b2rtch's profile


4861 posts in 3076 days

#1 posted 02-07-2010 09:12 PM

Beautiful set and work.

-- Bert

View a1Jim's profile


117126 posts in 3605 days

#2 posted 02-07-2010 09:15 PM

Good job looks wonderful.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Joedcatman's profile


172 posts in 3143 days

#3 posted 02-07-2010 09:21 PM

You are a man after my own heart. I love to see the old tools get a new life. In a lot of cases they are much better than anything made today and for those with an eye for what it takes to make them work again is the satisfaction of having done something really good. I found an 1 1/2” wide firmer chisel at a garage sale once for 50 cents. It didn’t matter to me that it was almost as rusted as an old railroad spike. Now the old socket firmer chisel has a new cherry handle and I use it often, one of my favorite tools.

Great job on the blueing, a lot of time went into getting them ready and the handles with the copper really show them off. Enjoy your “new” sharp tools.

-- JoeR Nothing that I could make will ever be perfect but I'll use it anyway.

View blackcherry's profile


3338 posts in 3851 days

#4 posted 02-07-2010 09:57 PM

Please forward so I can take a closer look see…lol , nice work bring this set back to life. I’m constantly look for chisel and plane when ever possible. Like joecatman says old tools are quality made steel. Great fine and super renovation job…thanks for posting BCl

View Scottwpaul02's profile


39 posts in 3093 days

#5 posted 02-07-2010 11:24 PM

Thanks for the comments guys…I went out to sharpen them this afternoon…holy cow…much much harder steel than my previous chisels. I had to rebase the bevels on all of them due to several chips etc…when I bought them. Huge difference, can’t wait to slice some hardwoods!

View jayjay's profile


639 posts in 3074 days

#6 posted 02-08-2010 01:40 AM

Looks like they’ve given several years of use to someone, now they’re ready for several more.

-- ~Jason~ , Albuquerque NM

View shopdog's profile


577 posts in 3513 days

#7 posted 02-08-2010 12:23 PM

Great job…outstanding chisels.
Over the past decade, I have bought a number of old chisels (mostly Witherby) on ebay. Bringing them back to life was fun, and using them is better than that.

-- Steve--

View Planeman's profile


97 posts in 3605 days

#8 posted 02-08-2010 10:13 PM

Nice buy on those chisels!

They look like the set of chisels I found while rooting around in a surplus tool place back in the 1970’s. Mine are all labeled “Greenlee” and are true socket chisels. They were piled up with the chisels on one shelf and the handles on another. All were new and had obviously been sitting unused for quite some time. I hollered over to the owner what the wanted for them and he said “”Two dollars each. The handles are on the shelf below. Just pick out what you want.” I laid out what looked like a complete set of eight plus a couple of over sized ones, picked out some handles from the shelf below, and headed toward the cash register. $20 bucks for a complete set of “new” top grade chisels! About half way to the register I stopped and thought “What the hell, at $2 dollars a chisel I might as well buy a second set as a backup.” And that’s the story of my great chisel buy. It took some time sharpening them to razor sharpness but it was worth it. That surplus tool place was a gold mine! I got a lot of tools there. Sadly, its gone now.


-- Always remember half of the people in this country are below average.

View norwood's profile


303 posts in 3098 days

#9 posted 02-09-2010 05:02 AM

nice chisels well done

-- of all the things Ive lost in life i miss my mind the most

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