Tote removal on my Stanley #45.
I scoured the interwebs and didn’t find anyone to point me in the right direction regarding removing the tote on my #45. My tote was in good condition but the plating on the frame is flaking off badly and rust has begun pitting the metal where the nickel has come off. I would not be happy with it in that condition and determined that sacrificing the tote, if it came to it, was a price I was reluctantly willing to pay.
On the left side of my tote were two exposed pins slightly shy of flush with the wood. There was nothing showing on the opposite side. I surmised that the pins were press fitted through holes in the left side aligning with holes in the frame. I considered that it was possible that the pins were shouldered to provide a limited set depth. It was also possible that the pins extended into the right half of the handle into a predrilled hole with or without a stop shoulder. The visible ends of the pins did not appear to be perfectly perpendicular to the surface of the wood. I assumed the pins were slightly peened into place, but without extending through to the far side to provide for bucking during the peening process it didn’t really add up.
I decided to try drilling the pins out with the understanding that if the pins were not square with the frame then I was almost certainly going to end up with a really boogered up #45, but I was already at that point. Drilling was a disaster, the lower pin was very out of square, the upper pin wasn’t much better. After drilling from the exposed side and attempting to follow the pins with limited success I drilled in from the opposite side and tapped what remained of the pins out the way they came in. As it turns out there was no shoulder, and the pins did extend into the far side of the handle by about 1/8 inch.
I don’t think the tote on my #45 or any other #45 with this arrangement can be removed completely unscathed.
If I ever have to do another I will take accurate measurements and drill in from the far side with a bit about twice the size of the pins, tap the pins out, drill out the frame and the near side to match the new one in the right side and set a brass rod through and through with epoxy, cut and polish flush, which is what I intend to do if I get the frame looking good enough.
Wish me luck with electrolysis on the frame. Bet the nickel plating makes a mess.