Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Before and after

So, the rust haul from the weekend. Dunno why but sometimes all sense flies out of the window and a pile of stuff I wouldn't even bother to stoop to look at normally suddenly becomes appealing enough to be bought. Must be a masochistic streak I think. Anyway, this lot came to the over-priced total of two quid; frankly I was pretty convinced I'd make a serious mistake over the hand drill almost as soon as I bought it, but the deed was done. It's all nestling on a plastic bag 'cos they're filthy enough that I don't want them on the benchtop even long enough for a photo...

What did I get then? Well the aforementioned hand drill of the smaller sort. Incredibly useful thing to have handy, a short drill. Had my bacon saved more than once by being able to use one in a confined space where a standard eggbeater won't fit. Never yet found one with a makers name on - didn't Stanley, Millers Falls et al make 'em? Was it down to the unnamed, cheap tool makers to realise the usefulness of same? Hey ho. Anyway, they usually have the three little spring design of chuck jaw, so I made sure they were all there, everything seemed to move - after a fashion - nothing that a soak in citric acid wouldn't help, all in all I had hopes. The rest went in the citric acid solution too; two wad punches (I think I'm getting an addiction to them ), a pair of 4" dividers, another double-ended screwdriver bit for the brace and, just when I said I never saw them unless they were busted, a twist drill for a brace. This one's bent instead.

I'm now just using the citric acid to start the cleaning process, then switching back to fine abrasives and the ol' polishing routine so as to avoid any dead look to the metal. It's always good fun seeing what gets revealed as you clean, as well as having the odd should-I-shoudn't-I moment. F'rinstance, I had to remove the original black finish on the smaller punch and screwdriver bit in order to remove the rust - luckily the latter's a fine example, beautifully ground, so it's come out looking great, but often the black finish can hide some awful stuff. Bit of a surprise to find the twist drill is marked Mathieson too, while I hit the Starrett jackpot again with the dividers. Bit stiff, mind you, but fine for my purposes. The wad punches cleaned up and sharpened easily enough (maybe that's why I like them?), although the larger required the mushrooming ground off, natch. The drill required quite a bit of work, not least rescuing a few of the threads on the chuck spindle, but it works just fine now. Overall I'm fairly pleased; I reckon they look clean but not shiny new, except the screwdriver bit, which is what I aim for. Time'll take care of any excessive shininess...

Which is a long way to take up enough space so you didn't get the before and after pictures right next to each other.


  1. Mike Wenzloff (MikeW)7/25/2006 06:20:00 pm

    Nice haul, really. That little egg-beater came out really nice.

    btw, I have seen a couple marked Stanley Rule & Level before. As well, the small MF have markings. As for the MF, none were marked with the Mohawk label, so my assumption is they were first-line tools vs the second-line.

    Take care, Mike

  2. Who'd have thought a pile of rust like that would end up looking so good. That screwdriver bit looks particularly nice. Nice job, Alf.

    Paul Chapman

  3. Short drills - yeah, you need a leytool. Still made in plastic, the old ones were die cast ali.

    Or a round-the-corner thingy.

    Screwdriver bits for braces; I have loads of these, can't resist them.

    I never use them, since I normally use a mag 1/4" hex holders and "bits" ;-)

    And summat like 75% of all screwdrivers (of any type) that I find have been "sharpened", and need regrinding before they're usable.


  4. Used to have one of those Leytool hand drills (the old metal version). It previously had a hard life and eventually broke in an unrepairable sort of way. It was really useful for drilling in confined spaces so when I find another I'll buy it (but not the plastic version).

    Paul Chapman

  5. Avoid the plastic Leytool drill. I got one some years ago from Buck and Hickman (catalogue illustration still showed metal type!) and the gearing slips as soon as any resistance is met. Later aquired metal version from car boot sale and it is a lovely little tool. What a shame they cheapened the product.



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