Are these chisels worthy of a restoration?

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Forum topic by Dozuki31 posted 02-29-2012 05:02 AM 3733 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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14 posts in 2302 days

02-29-2012 05:02 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question chisel craftsman restoration sheffield england

Hey everyone,

This is my first post on LumberJocks, and I am very happy to begin posting on these boards. I have for the longest time used this forum as a great learning resource, as there is a vast amount of great information here.

What I’m looking for is some opinions on whether these chisels I have are worth the time and effort needed to restore them. My dad had these laying around in the garage, and I figured I would restore them back to working order if they were worth it. They are in pretty rough shape, but I enjoy bringing new life to older tools. I haven’t really been able to find any info on these. All I know is that they are Craftsman, and I’m guessing were produced maybe in the 80’s-90’s.

These are the 3 chisels I have:

My first question, is the steel a good steel? There is Sheffield England stamped onto the chisel, and from what I understand, that is a good quality steel, but I’d like to get some other opinions. Should these hold an edge well?

Secondly, these are most likely a lower end chisel set, with no collectable value correct? The reason I ask, is because if the steel is good and worth restoring, I was thinking of making some new handles for them. The tops are beginning to crack, and I would like to add my own personal touch to them.

I think for now, those are my 2 major concerns. I would greatly appreciate any info, or insight you can give me. Thanks!

16 replies so far

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


15367 posts in 2641 days

#1 posted 02-29-2012 05:10 AM

They certainly appear to be worth bringing back as users. The bevel ‘sides’ are consistent between each of the three, and go from zero at the edge to not much close to the ferrules. Note that they’re likely metric / not true imperial measure (one is true, other is approximate) if that’s impotant to you. Sorry, but no insight on steel quality or composition.

Good luck w/ your decision.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4122 days

#2 posted 02-29-2012 05:12 AM

I am sure they are not worth any monetary value, so the question is what value are they to you?

I think making new handles would be a great experience.

I am sure the steel will hold an edge just fine. I could take those and in just a few minutes with each be shaving hair.

I say go for it!

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View fussy's profile


980 posts in 3073 days

#3 posted 02-29-2012 07:04 AM


Give me your address and I’ll shoot you some to play with. But you do have to send them back sharp.


-- Steve in KY. 44 years so far with my lovely bride. Think I'll keep her.

View ChristianCastillo's profile


27 posts in 2303 days

#4 posted 02-29-2012 07:59 AM

I think they are worth bringing back, if only because they will serve as practice in restoring chisels, and because they are your dads.

View ShipWreck's profile


557 posts in 3775 days

#5 posted 02-29-2012 09:30 AM

There is no such thing as a bad chisel. I have a older 1” Craftsman in my tool box that has served me well over the 35 years. The “good wife” often used it for taking up vinyl floors from concrete slabs, paint stirrer, prying, scraping, ..... you name it. Navy wives have to learn to be self sufficient…. (pun). Almost every time I came home from deployment, I would get to see the latest battle scars. I nicknamed it my “Purple Heart” chisel.

Dozuki31….. I would keep those just for the nostalgia reasons alone. :)

View woodworm's profile


14468 posts in 3613 days

#6 posted 02-29-2012 12:03 PM

IMHO, they are in good condition, just sharpen ‘em, use or send to my address, if you wish!

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4122 days

#7 posted 02-29-2012 03:31 PM

Are you serious?

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4948 posts in 3983 days

#8 posted 02-29-2012 04:28 PM

If you think that those are in bad shape, you shoulda seen some that I’ve restored.
Get busy workin’ on those bad boys.


View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4122 days

#9 posted 02-29-2012 05:17 PM

You restore them first and I will.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View paratrooper34's profile


915 posts in 2975 days

#10 posted 02-29-2012 05:33 PM

These look like Craftsman chisels that were made when Craftsman tools were of good quality. As long as the backs are not heavily pitted, I would get them sharp and put them to use.

Good Luck!

-- Mike

View hhhopks's profile


651 posts in 2400 days

#11 posted 02-29-2012 06:25 PM

They look to be in pretty good shape to me.
I supposed that if it bothers you, you can clean them up. Shouldn’t take much effort.

To judge the quality of the chisel, you simply sharpen them and use it. Right?

-- I'll be a woodworker when I grow up. HHHOPKS

View Steven H's profile

Steven H

1117 posts in 3083 days

#12 posted 02-29-2012 06:31 PM

They are good for removing glue.

View KPW's profile


226 posts in 2391 days

#13 posted 02-29-2012 06:41 PM

I,ll have to agree with HHHOPKS. Sharpen them up and use them. You’ll know if they’re any good.

-- Ken --------- never try and put 5 lbs. of tenon in a 3 lb. mortise.

View bondogaposis's profile


4755 posts in 2374 days

#14 posted 02-29-2012 06:46 PM

I would say that those chisels are quite useable. It wouldn’t take much to get them sharp and you could use them a bit a see if making new handles would be worth it.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View PurpLev's profile


8536 posts in 3671 days

#15 posted 02-29-2012 06:53 PM

yes. just clean the blade, and sharpen, not much to “restore” there. sheffield blade should be good quality.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

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