Another tool - rescued Irwin

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Project by DanoP posted 03-18-2012 05:51 AM 2370 views 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Another tool - rescued Irwin
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This beauty was a rusted mess when I rescued it from the swap meet for fifty cents. Kingwood for the handle was simply sanded and buffed. The gloss is its own oils brought to the surface during “vigorous” buffing. New mild steel rivets. The metal the shaft was progressively sanded and polished. The original temper seemed in tact.

-- We've got enough youth. Let's search for a fountain of smart.

12 comments so far

View Vince's profile


1172 posts in 3668 days

#1 posted 03-18-2012 05:54 AM

Well done, nice looking tool, you should take before and after pictures.

-- Vince

View MShort's profile


1797 posts in 3657 days

#2 posted 03-18-2012 03:08 PM

I have several of these type screwdrivers and I had one that I made new handles ( or say I tried ) for but I did not get the fit tight like you have it. Excellent restore !!!

-- Mike, Missouri --- “A positive life can not happen with a negative mind.” ---

View Dusty56's profile


11830 posts in 3927 days

#3 posted 03-18-2012 03:39 PM

”—We’ve got enough youth. Let’s search for a fountain of smart.” ROFLMAO !!

Great rebuild ….it came out fantastic : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View RusticJohn's profile


219 posts in 3830 days

#4 posted 03-18-2012 10:05 PM

Hullo – I make all my own tools also. You get a great tool that perfectly fits you hands. You did a wonderful job on the restoration of the screwdriver.

-- RusticJohn

View Condor1's profile


64 posts in 3216 days

#5 posted 03-19-2012 01:24 AM

It’s a thing of beauty. Great tool CPR.

-- There are times when a mistake is remembered as your best work.

View Martyroc's profile


2712 posts in 2545 days

#6 posted 03-19-2012 02:49 AM

That’s great looking, and the tool design has a natural flow to it.

-- Martin ....always count the number of fingers you have before, and after using the saw.

View RibsBrisket4me's profile


1554 posts in 2744 days

#7 posted 03-19-2012 02:50 AM

A work of art!

View hunter71's profile


3317 posts in 3425 days

#8 posted 03-19-2012 12:20 PM

Great restore. I love restoring old tools.

-- A childs smile is payment enough.

View Kayvon's profile


88 posts in 2544 days

#9 posted 03-19-2012 03:34 PM

That the prettiest screwdriver I’ve ever seen.

-- Kayvon

View DanoP's profile


135 posts in 2578 days

#10 posted 03-19-2012 09:50 PM

Thanks to all for your very nice comments!

Vince, You are correct, I should take before photos but I tend to just pick up an item and just start fiddling with it. Next thing I know, I’m half done with a restoration… Too late now…

-- We've got enough youth. Let's search for a fountain of smart.

View jcontract's profile


86 posts in 3326 days

#11 posted 03-20-2012 03:55 PM

Dano. I have a few of these and would love to restore them as you have. Is this real difficult to do? I was wondering if you could list the steps you took to replace the handle, replaced the rivets, and what you used to sand and polish the steel.

View DanoP's profile


135 posts in 2578 days

#12 posted 03-20-2012 05:13 PM


Restoring these “perfect handle” tools is not hard at all, just takes a little patience and sandpaper. Here’s a link to a good “How To”: . Polishing the steel… well, I started with a wire wheel on the drill press to get the rust then went over the whole thing with sandpaper starting with 220 and working up to 600 grit. From there, on to the dremel with a buffing wheel and lots of polishing compound. I used this stuff, (the rouge, not the wheels) from Harbor Freight. It says it’s for Al but worked fine on the steel.

As for the handles, I traced out the shape and left myself plenty of room, especially on the thickness. The trickiest part is getting the bevels just right. It took me a lot of “sneaking up” on it. The link is right on the money. My handles were not interchangeable from one side to the other. Once I got the handles to fit the bevels and the bottoms, at this point I hadn’t trimmed anything but the ends and the bottoms, I taped one side to the screwdriver and drilled for the rivets. Then I taped the other side on and used the first set of holes to “match drill” the other side. Next I cut two pieces of the steel rod that I used for rivets about a half inch longer than the thickness of the assembled handle. I epoxied the handles in place and used the steel rod pieces to ensure that the handle holes stayed perfectly aligned when I clamped the whole things up. Once everything is clamped up and secure, pull the rods out before the epoxy sets up!

Once everything is set up good and stable, I started shaping with rasps, files and the belt sander. Then, when the shape was close, I cleaned out the holes and put in the rivets. I cut the steel rod about 1/8” longer than the thickness of the handles. I coat the rivets and the holes with epoxy then center the rivets in the handle and peen the ends with a regular old 16 oz hammer. be careful not to over peen the rivets. They will expand and split the wood. From there, I use the belt sander to grind the rivets flush and then just go to town with the sandpaper to finish the whole thing up.

I hope this helps!

Let me know if I can answer anything else for you,


-- We've got enough youth. Let's search for a fountain of smart.

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