Removing machining marks from Stanley 750 chisels...

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Forum topic by andre_p posted 07-09-2016 10:11 AM 1582 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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10 posts in 832 days

07-09-2016 10:11 AM

Topic tags/keywords: chisels stanley refurbishing

I’m looking for advice about the best way to remove the machining marks from Stanley 750 chisels while also achieving a certain type of finish.

I recently purchased a set of four Stanley 750 “Sweetheart” chisels and have enjoyed working with them. They feel well balanced and are easy to sharpen. In my eyes though they have one major drawback: the poor quality of their finish. Although its purely an aesthetic issue, the machining marks on them have been bothering me.

I decided today to try to sand off the marks, and although I succeeded I ended up with a polished/mirror finish when I was hoping to achieve something flatter (like that of Lie Nielsen’s bench chisels). Does anyone have ideas of how I might dull the finish somewhat?

(I’ve polished the first three chisels in the attached picture).

14 replies so far

View Clarkie's profile


455 posts in 1863 days

#1 posted 07-09-2016 10:30 AM

You could simply use a buffer wheel for polishing on your bench grinder. There is a green compound that will give a very nice finish, the color is green and it doesn’t take long to achieve the look you want. Just be careful not to get the polish on the wooden handle because it will darken it. After you get close to what you want, take fine steel wool and take off any build up that you might have and simply wipe with a cloth. Hope this helps.

View rwe2156's profile


2958 posts in 1503 days

#2 posted 07-09-2016 12:10 PM

It might bother me, too, but I have to ask myself is it really worth the time?

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View unbob's profile


810 posts in 1925 days

#3 posted 07-09-2016 04:02 PM

My set of different brand chisels were brought to near mirror polish by hand starting with as coarse as needed emory, then 320 grit emory, then to 600 and 1200 grit wet dry paper using thin oil. last finishing off with Mothers polish. It does not take all that long to do rusted chisels, ones in good shape go pretty fast. I just think they look nice. I found this photo of my vintage Zenith brand chisel with a Padauk handle and bronze trim.

View sethrobbins's profile


4 posts in 498 days

#4 posted 02-04-2017 07:35 PM

Hey, Andre. I am facing the same issue you had. What was your solution? For me the machine marks on the socket collar where the handle inserts are way to prominent. I’ve attached a pic where I tried to capture the ridges`. The concentric circles zip under my nail like zipper. At first I thought I got a bad set (I got the 8 piece set) but soon saw they all have the same machining. Any advice?

View sethrobbins's profile


4 posts in 498 days

#5 posted 02-04-2017 07:40 PM

View OSU55's profile


1694 posts in 2012 days

#6 posted 02-04-2017 08:14 PM

Steel wool or scotchbrite pads do a great job of toning down the sheen of a polished surface, providing a “brushed” look. Get different grades or grits and find the one you like. Synthetic deburring wheels work well but are expensive.

View TheFridge's profile


9603 posts in 1508 days

#7 posted 02-04-2017 08:35 PM

For the socket, Small strips of sandpaper working your way up through the grits. For the flats you could use any kind of stone or paper on granite.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View andre_p's profile


10 posts in 832 days

#8 posted 02-05-2017 04:40 AM

Seth – I agree with “TheFridge”. The rounded parts of the chisel were easier to polish because long strips of sandpaper can be pulled around that part easily. I was able to get a pretty awesome finish with just a few pieces of wet-dry sandpaper going up to 2000 grit (which was definitely overkill).

Polishing the main body of the chisel is more work, but if you’re mostly concerned about the neck you’re in good shape!

I personally didn’t have any luck with steel wool or scotch-brite, at least in terms of achieving the look I wanted, but I may have had unreasonable expectations.

View sethrobbins's profile


4 posts in 498 days

#9 posted 02-05-2017 04:59 AM

Thanks for this quick info. The sandpaper sounds like a good plan. Will the sandpaper also remove the printed SW logo on the neck. It looks a bit cheesy, but I’ll be kinda sad to see it go.

View TheFridge's profile


9603 posts in 1508 days

#10 posted 02-05-2017 06:02 AM

You might be able to stop at 1500g before using some kind of compound to polish.

Yes the logo will more than likely come off.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View WhoMe's profile


1564 posts in 3265 days

#11 posted 02-05-2017 06:27 AM

It took a while to remove the machining marks on the backs of mine. Almost by a factor of two in time needed for each larger chisel, they are wonderful chisels when flattened and sharpened but getting there takes work.
For the price,I feel the initial machining could be a lot better.
Still, they are really nice chisels when you get them there.
I used coarse then fine diamond plates then 1k waterstones then 6k water stones then a strop.
Spent most of the time with the diamond plates to get the machine marks out. Then home with stones and strop for the final polish..

-- I'm not clumsy.. It's just the floor hates me, the tables and chairs are bullies, the wall gets in the way AAANNNDDD table saws BITE my fingers!!!.. - Mike -

View TheFridge's profile


9603 posts in 1508 days

#12 posted 02-05-2017 06:41 AM

Well, you also have to consider what you get for 82$ while the LN equivalent is 235$. So I wouldn’tnecessarily expect them not to cut some kind of corners for 20$ a piece which is an awesome price considering.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View jimintx's profile


799 posts in 1607 days

#13 posted 02-05-2017 07:04 AM

I have never even thought about the finish on my 8-piece set. As soon as I opened the leather roll, I liked them a lot, so you could go ahead and say I was just dumb and happy.

In fact I thought the rings on the shank, the “zipper sounding” ones I guess, are a nice touch. For me, they are great chisels, and I won’t be working on the finish on them, other than what happens through use and sharpening.

-- Jim, Houston, TX

View Intile's profile


1 post in 247 days

#14 posted 10-14-2017 04:40 PM

I polished mine on the flatstones

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