I was in the market for a large framing chisel on
eBay and wound
up with a package deal for 30 bucks… an old Stanley 5C Type
16… the Lakeside 2” Framing Chisel I wanted… a beater chisel with
a mangled socket… and an old cooper’s shaping chisel.
This article will deal with the two framing chisels…the cooper’s
chisel was usable as is with some cleaning and sharpening, and
the plane I’ll cover in another article, although I’ll
rehabilitate them together. These will be put back to work as
users, like all my tools… restoration of collector items is
this article, I’ll purposely use only the minimum tools and
techniques necessary for a first-class job… and all the work
done in a crude, temporary 12’ by 12’ shop. My intent is to
provide a model for newcomers to the craft who will benefit
greatly from acquiring older but high-quality tools in need of a
hug for very little money… and putting them back into service
without a lot of machines and fancy gizmos you don’t have yet.
Moreover, with enough practice rehabbing old tools, making new
ones like in other articles I’ve written, and doing traditional
joinery for your workbenches and other shop necessities…by the
time you create for yourself a nice workshop, you may find you
no longer feel a need for all the trendy doodads being shilled
at you weekly. I’m not saying that all those expensive tools and
jigs aren’t useful or don’t have a place, I’m merely trying to
provide you something to help set those priorities.
use a large, 8” gunsmith’s pedestal buffer-grinder for most of
my grinding and polishing chores, but a smaller 6” bench grinder
will also work fine. I’da used a smaller bench grinder for the
pics… but I don’t own one.
use a soft steel wire wheel to clean all metal parts
thoroughly…the cooper’s tool has been cleaned in the shot above.
I treat them with a phosphoric acid solution (above) available
at home improvement chains to kill any remaining rust. This is
the functional equivalent of using an electrolysis solution for
those not so inclined. The phosphoric acid is allowed to sit
over night to work. The next day, the black oxide rust residue
is removed with the wire wheel in preparation for buffing and
finish later… we need to do some rough grinding and make and
mount the handles, first.
treasure of the lot is the one in the worst shape; of course… a
Robert Duke Diamond Brand firmer-style chisel of lovely,
glass-like cast steel.
had lost its handle ages ago and probably served to cut the
heads off nails with a large, ball peen hammer in its old age.
The socket tang was badly mangled with the remnants of the old
handle remaining in the void. The tang was returned to its
original form by drilling and filing the socket mortise, and
grinding off the metal extruded on the outside.
Fortunately, there was enough socket mortise remaining to use or
I would have required the services of a neighbor I trade work
with…and his TIG welder…to build it up. Using heat-sink paste
and wet rags, I might have been able to build up the socket with
my torch welding setup without ruining the blade’s temper, but
it would have been riskier, and I’m not near the welder my
professional neighbor is.