LumberJocks

Buffing and Polishing Old Tools

  • Advertise with us

« back to Hand Tools forum

Forum topic by jdmaher posted 06-05-2012 03:14 PM 1351 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View jdmaher's profile

jdmaher

291 posts in 1302 days


06-05-2012 03:14 PM

Topic tags/keywords: hand tools restoration

I’ve been slowly and frugally collecting selected old hand tools. These are “users”, not collectibles. I’m not gonna become a collector (I swear!). But I do like pretty.

Many I choose are already “restored”, but these are pricier. Others are in good condition, but “as found”; and some of those have a great “patina” and function perfectly – and I leave them alone and just use them.

Some are uglier. Surface rusted, maybe even very slight pitting. So I clean them up. I’ve been using scouring pads and Evapo-Rust and sandpaper and my Dremel to make them look as good as possible. The Dremel is what got me; sometimes the parts I clean up with the Dremel come out polished so nice I bet they’re prettier than new. And it’s fun!

Got me a pretty nice 1920’s Stanley #3, and this is my first plane restoration. I found Major Panic, and I want to do a full restore to prettier than original. But I’m tired of using that little Dremel to buff and polish things. I have a no-name little buffer that someone gave me, but I’ve never used it because I don’t know a thing about it (but it does run).

I found a website for Caswell Electroplating that has An Introduction to Buffing and Polishing. Very interesting, but I’m sure they are mostly trying to sell me things.

So, the question is, is this a good starting place? Or does someone know of a great book, article or website where I can learn about what I’m getting into?

-- Jim Maher, Illinois


7 replies so far

View Don W's profile

Don W

15420 posts in 1290 days


#1 posted 06-05-2012 03:36 PM

I’ve got a blog, http://lumberjocks.com/donwilwol/blog/25464
and a refereence site you might find useful, http://lumberjocks.com/donwilwol/blog/24092

Also see some of Dan's blogs, and WayneC's blogs.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View jdmaher's profile

jdmaher

291 posts in 1302 days


#2 posted 06-06-2012 11:06 AM

Don,

That’s a huge treasure trove of information on plane (and other tool) restorations! I’ve just started reviewing it. I’ll get a lot of good input from all that you and Dan and Wayne have provided.

Hopefully, I’ll get to see what kind of buffing and polishing stuff you guys use. I don’t have a clue what sorts of wheels or compounds or accessories I should start acquiring, nor what techniques I should learn or when to apply them. But, maybe I soon will!

Thanks so much for all you guys have contributed.

-- Jim Maher, Illinois

View Don W's profile

Don W

15420 posts in 1290 days


#3 posted 06-06-2012 11:16 AM

I’m not a bright and shiny kind of guy. (and I mean that in more ways than one). Most of the steel on my restores are done with an 8” course wire wheel on an electric motor. The only parts that gets hit with the buffing wheel is the brass and the business end of the cap iron.

I’ve buffed the sides of a plane early on in my plane restoration time and discovered keeping it looking like that while using it is unrealistic. A wire wheel sheen and a few coats of BLO on the rosewood and its what I think a hand tool should be.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View willie's profile

willie

465 posts in 1177 days


#4 posted 06-06-2012 01:28 PM

Hey Don, I have used a course wire wheel on many of my restorations but have recently switched to a fine wheel. It isn’t as aggressive and seems easier to control how much you clean off. It doesn’t pit softer metals and the wheel itself lasts longer and doesn’t throw the wires at you!

-- Every day above ground is a good day!!!

View Don W's profile

Don W

15420 posts in 1290 days


#5 posted 06-06-2012 01:53 PM

Willie, I use both, but I find for the sides, I like the texture left by the course. Here is my setup, a course wheel, a fine wheel, and a buffing wheel.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View dhazelton's profile

dhazelton

1243 posts in 1019 days


#6 posted 06-06-2012 01:59 PM

I use a fine wire wheel and rusty pieces that looked like junk come out looking beautiful. I bought some of the evaporust and honestly feel like I wasted my money as I could clean something up at the wheel faster and cheaper. I put a bit of 3 in 1 machine oil on a paper towel and give the piece a coat for protection when done. Small pieces can be launched in a hurry so hold tight or save the evaporust for the small bits.

View willie's profile

willie

465 posts in 1177 days


#7 posted 06-07-2012 01:07 AM

I’m glad to know I’m not the only one using a wire wheel. I think it’s faster, definitely cheaper, and I’m closely examining each piece as I clean it and almost always find any problems easier this way. I don’t try to return them to new condition, just clean and useable again. I don’t have the money for good quality new tools but I have the time to return old good quality tools to good users and have the tools I need and want for a lot less money.

-- Every day above ground is a good day!!!

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase