I have inherited a few generations of hand tools, some rusty, some like new.
I am attempting to find what the general feeling is about restoring these.
The rusty ones have a
light coating of red rust; the braces and bits are heavily rusted, but not
pitted (and the hand saws
and planes are beautiful and sharp!).
The questionable ones date from the late 1800s to the 1950s and include:
Assorted diemaker's tools (stuff the size of dentist's instruments)
Braces and bits
Awls / punches ?
Hammers of many (most?) types and sizes
Nail pullers (had to look it up, had never seen one. Bridgeport Hardware Mfg
Co. Model 56)
And a few that I haven't figured out yet.
The dozens of screwdrivers and chisels were wiped off and put on the pegboard
for immediate use. For
the rest, my options appear to be-
-give them a wipedown with oil
-phosphoric acid to convert the rust to iron phoshate (Ospho)
-whatever else the group suggests
The hammer handles are unfinished but most appear smooth from use.
I won't be selling them, and most I will probably never use. I just don't want
them to deteriorate
What should I do?
Since you're not intending to sell them, and it's only going to be for
your own amusement, it doesn't really matter - but
personally I'd use wire wool to remove the worst and a wipe
over with oil - this will slow down the deterioration, and
will not significantly affect value.
I might consider electrolysis - this works very well on working tools,
and doesn't overly spoil the patina of age.
I wouldn't use the phosphoric acid - it ruins the patina completely, and
makes hard lumps which need to be ground off.
Anything ultra-rare or expensive, I would find an antique restorer and
ask for a quote before even considering DIY.
Hack to size. Hammer to fit. Weld to join. Grind to shape. Paint to cover.
There is a web site in Australia that discusses preservation of metal
items. The usual strategy is some FINE steel wool and oil DO avoid the
phosphoric acid, as the other poster points out, it can really damage
the surface. Paste wax makes a good preservative after you have them
cleaned up, but don't overclean. I'd put them in a container with a mix
of oil and kerosene, and let them soak for a week or so, then carefully
go after them with a small bronze or steel "toothbrush."
Whenever I restore old hand tools I never try to make them look like they
are brand new again. I clean them up and make them work like new, but I
leave the patina and stains that the tool has acquired over the years. They
earned their appearance from years of loyal service and it just doesn't seem
right to strip them of that. I use steel wool and scotch brite pads to make
the surfaces smooth, then oil and wax them. The only areas that get more
work are the cutting edges or parts that have to be replaced to make them
work like new again. If I have to make a handle I'll try to duplicate the
original as close as possible, even to matching the wood type. Then I'll use
a dark stain to color the new part as close to the original part as
"professorpaul" < email@example.com> wrote in message
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.