Swan Chisels

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Tools and Woods with Bob Smalser

  Rust-proofing Tools   1 of 4  



“Rust-proof” with routine care, that is….



Nothing I know of will prevent steel from rusting some when put away wet in warm weather, especially when covered with sweaty, salty fingerprints. 

If your tools are used indoors and live in a heated shop, you might not benefit much from this other than a good way to hide rust staining that won’t buff off.  If your tools live and work in wet, open boat sheds, however, then these methods may be of some benefit.

I’ve been looking for one of these large hand gouges or slick gouges for a long time to compliment my heirloom 3” slick.  When a good bit of stock requires removal to fit two large timbers together, the gouge works like a scrub plane to remove high spots and set the depth of the cut, to be smoothed afterwards using the slick.

This one is unmarked, and quite old, with both a hammer-welded socket and laminated blade.  After rough wire-brushing, you can see the hard-steel, cutting-edge lamination to a softer body, both on the bevel…

…and the back.  Used in a shipyard somewhere on the coast of New England, it is badly pitted, although its 20-degree paring bevel is still surprisingly sharp. 

It also has a hole in the socket to secure the gouge’s handle with a screw, a safety measure that was required in many yards.

To put it back into service, the first step is grinding out the pits on the hard, cutting-edge side of the gouge using the belt sander with 60 thru 150 grit belts in succession.

Learn how. Discover why. Build better.
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Stanley Chisels



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