"Somebody save me!" cried the brace

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Forum topic by Brit posted 03-20-2011 07:53 PM 4034 views 4 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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7108 posts in 2566 days

03-20-2011 07:53 PM

Topic tags/keywords: brace restore restoration tools drill

What do you do on a Sunday afternoon when your chores are all done, you’ve read all your woodworking blogs and your woodworking fix is still not satisfied? Why you head on over to eBay of course to see if you can find any gems amongst the dross. Filter out the ‘Buy It Now’ items, the ‘New’ items and anything outside the UK (in my case) and then have a look at what you’re left with.

Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll. What a load of crap. I was just about to click close when I heard it. It was very faint, but hear it I did. “Somebody save me!” cried a 6” sweep Skinner brace. I enlarged the pictures. “Please help me, I’m a hard worker and I’m very eco-friendly.”

Looking at the above picture, I could see there was no time to loose. 0 bids with 10 mins remaining! Should I wait until there was only a few seconds left before entering my bid? What if someone else was doing the same thing? Would they nurse Skinner back to health? Could they carry out the necessary treatment to enable him to make a full recovery? I couldn’t chance it. This was a matter of life or death. I decided to enter a low bid to see if anyone else was watching. £2.50 should do it. 5 mins remaining. I was right to test the water as there was someone else watching. £5.50 came the reply. “Don’t worry Skinner, I’ll save you. I won’t let them get you.” I entered £10.53 and waited for the countdown to begin. 10 secs, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, – click Place Bid, click Confirm. The auction ended and I breathed a sigh of relief. Skinner would soon be receiving the treatment he deserved.

A few days later Skinner arrived in an unmarked ambulance. I knew there was no time to waste so I rushed him to the emergency room.

“Stay with me Skinner, hang in there buddy!”

Although his voice was faint, he managed to tell me that his previous owner didn’t think there was anything wrong with him and kept telling him he had ‘a nice patina’.

“I don’t know what ‘a nice patina’ is”, muttered Skinner, “but I don’t feel so good.”

“Skinner” I said, “There’s no easy way to say this, but what you’ve got is NOT ‘a nice patina’, its RUST.”

“Is that bad?” Skinner asked.

“Well I’m not going to BS you buddy. It’s terminal if it isn’t treated in time.”

“Please help me, I don’t want to die. I’ve got so much more to give!” cried Skinner.

“You’re not going to die Skinner. It’s a complex operation, but I’ll see you on the other side.”

I gathered my instruments and scrubbed up.

I liberally applied the first coat of Hammerite Rust Remover gel with an old toothbrush and waited 20 minutes. A gentle scrub with a soft wire brush and a rinse under the tap, saw Skinners pulse grow stronger. The rust had really taken a hold on poor Skinner and he had to endure two more applications of the rust remover gel before the operation was complete. I moved Skinner to the recovery room and returned the next day to check on his progress. He was doing well, but a local application of rust remover gel rubbed in with 0000 steel wool, really brought the smile back to his face.

“Thanks for saving me” Skinner said. “I feel like a new brace!”

“Well you’re not out of the woods yet my friend, but the worst is over. I could only remove the rust from your outer skin and you still have some of that poison inside you. It’s important that you take your 3-IN-ONE medicine regularly and exercise your ratchet until the colour of the oil coming out of you is the same as the colour of the oil going in.”

Two days later Skinner was back to his old self and is now enjoying a new lease of life. He managed to get a job driving big screws in a controlled and precise manner without damaging the heads. After a hard days work, he likes nothing more than a wipe down with an oily rag. He now lives in a log cabin on the south coast of England and can often be seen hanging out with his friends Yankee (2100 12” sweep) and Stanley (923 10” sweep).

Stanley is a quiet unassuming brace who is good at his job and just gets on with it. Yankee is a bit of a show-off and is always boasting about his 12” sweep and smooth ball-bearing ratchet. Stanley puts up with him because he knows Yankee will always take on the hard jobs that he would struggle to do. Skinner just smiles quietly to himself, because he knows that neither Stanley nor Yankee can drive a screw as fast as he can.

Skinner still bears the scars of his ordeal but he doesn’t mind. He’s just glad to be alive.

P.S. – I really must get out more.

-- - "The hand speaks to the brain as surely as the brain speaks to the hand." Frank R. Wilson

23 replies so far

View NormG's profile


5812 posts in 2727 days

#1 posted 03-20-2011 08:07 PM

Great work Doc

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View poopiekat's profile


4314 posts in 3458 days

#2 posted 03-20-2011 10:32 PM

Bring ‘em back alive!

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View patron's profile


13576 posts in 3065 days

#3 posted 03-20-2011 10:42 PM

great story

and a sweet brace

well done

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View lew's profile


11708 posts in 3479 days

#4 posted 03-20-2011 10:49 PM

What do you do on a Sunday afternoon when your chores are all done

Never had this happen to me! Really like what you did with your spare time, however!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10876 posts in 2839 days

#5 posted 03-20-2011 11:06 PM

thank´s for the fanstastic report from ER life saving team
they did a god job :-)
skinner looks in good health among the other brace´s

thank´s for sharing
now you have to tell a little more about the Hammerite rust gel :-)

I have a very old brace where I need to take of the wooden handle
to get inside and remove rust is there a chance you know how to do that

take care

View Brit's profile


7108 posts in 2566 days

#6 posted 03-20-2011 11:56 PM

Thanks for the comments guys.

Lew – For once I managed to get to the end of my list before my wife noticed and added a load more chores to keep me occupied. I agree with you, its not the norm.

Dennis – I take it you are referring to the wooden handle on the u-bend. To the best of my knowledge, you can’t remove it without destroying it. The handle was placed on the metal bar along with the metal collars either side and the collars were soldered in place. The metal bar was then bent into the shape that we know and love. The only way to remove the handle is to destroy it. You would then have to make a new one in two halves and glue them together. Personally, I wouldn’t try to remove the handle unless the handle itself is badly damaged.

As for the Hammerite gel, I first used it on the 10” sweep Stanley brace which belonged to my grandfather. It wasn’t anywhere near as rusty as the Skinner brace and the rust came off after one application of the gel. Now I’ve seen the result of using it on the Skinner brace which was really bad, I have to say, I’m very impressed with the product. Go to and choose your country. Then use the product selector and select the products for rust removal. Hammerite also do a dip, but I haven’t tried that yet. What I like about the gel is that unlike other rust removal products, you can apply it selectively to the parts that need attention and you don’t have to dip the whole item in a bath, which would badly damage the wood on a brace. Also, it doesn’t discolour the metal that it leaves behind. After 20 minutes you brush the metal with a soft wire brush and then rinse it off with water. If the item is badly rusted, the gel seems to remove it in layers. So if your item is still rusty, just repeat the process until all the rust has gone. I then dry the item with my wife’s hair dryer to drive out any moisture in hard to reach places.

I’m going to try it on a saw plate next so I’ll let everyone know how that goes.

-- - "The hand speaks to the brain as surely as the brain speaks to the hand." Frank R. Wilson

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10876 posts in 2839 days

#7 posted 03-21-2011 12:27 AM

thank´s Andy for the infomation
sofare I have used Citric acid to remove rust with
but I needed something to be used where I can´t take all the wooden parts of
like on the brace and cheisels and I had my eye´s on the evaprorust ... but that is not sold in Denmark sofare
and Hammerite seems to bee a good alternative to it

take care

View Brit's profile


7108 posts in 2566 days

#8 posted 03-21-2011 12:30 AM

I tried to get Evaporust too Dennis, but it isn’t sold in the UK either. Give the gel a go. I think you’ll be impressed.

-- - "The hand speaks to the brain as surely as the brain speaks to the hand." Frank R. Wilson

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10876 posts in 2839 days

#9 posted 03-21-2011 01:07 AM

I just surch evaporust and it becourse I remebered I had seen there was one in UK
here it is just not the one I remembered

but the one in Sweden I can´t find now but instead I have found a Danish one instead …. LOL
but I will give the the hammerite a chance :-)


View mafe's profile


11548 posts in 2813 days

#10 posted 03-21-2011 01:17 AM

I love you! And I love Skinner.
You for this wonderful story.
Skinner for his beauty, he is one handsome guy.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Brit's profile


7108 posts in 2566 days

#11 posted 03-21-2011 01:29 AM

Dennis – Thanks for the link. I think it will be a while before I use up the Hammerite gel though. :-)

Mads – He certainly is a handsome fellow. I bought him one of these attachments as a get well present and he loves it.

-- - "The hand speaks to the brain as surely as the brain speaks to the hand." Frank R. Wilson

View Brit's profile


7108 posts in 2566 days

#12 posted 03-21-2011 01:31 AM

Mads – Sorry that link just takes you to the main page. Scroll to the bottom of the page and you will see this:

Brace Accessory with 1/4 inch (6.35 mm) hex internal bit Holder 9.5 mm deep with Magnet and conical square Shaft

-- - "The hand speaks to the brain as surely as the brain speaks to the hand." Frank R. Wilson

View Rick's profile


8287 posts in 2756 days

#13 posted 03-21-2011 04:33 AM

I Love Hand Tools and have started using them more often. I find it a LOT more enjoyable building a Project that way!!

I think it helps/maintains your hand/eye/brain coordination also.

I have three Power Tools with Lazers. I DON’T use the Lazer! To put it Politely…I am NOT a Lazer Fan!! I’d rather draw the line or Center Spot then “I’LL” do the Aligning and Cut or Drill.

You did a Beautiful Job on that Brace Andy!. I’d be Proud to have that in my Shop any day of the week.

Thanks for Posting.


-- Hope Everyone Is Doing Well! .... Best Regards: Rick

View Jack_T's profile


623 posts in 2755 days

#14 posted 03-21-2011 06:06 AM

Great story!
Great looking brace!

-- Jack T, John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life."

View Brit's profile


7108 posts in 2566 days

#15 posted 03-21-2011 09:59 AM

Thanks for taking the time to read my post guys. I’m waiting for an old saw to arrive in the post. Once it arrives, I’ll do a proper review of the Hammerite Rust Removal gel with step by step photos so you can see it working.

-- - "The hand speaks to the brain as surely as the brain speaks to the hand." Frank R. Wilson

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