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Tool Restoration and Maintenance

Lily Whites are Long Gone

Any reader of this site knows I am a fan of oil stones... One of the finest quality oil stones out there are by the Norton company are known as "Lily White Washita" stones.  These are the type of stones I learned how to sharpen on - I had one of these stones for many years, and lost it through a mishap 10 or 12 years ago now - and I have missed it.

Restoring a Lost Cause - Part 3

I finished the handle with a some amber shellac, the color of which (along with the witch's brew of stain) helps hide the differences between the woods. 

Well - the final fix shows, but at least it's not painfully obvious:

As a whole, the handle didn't come out too bad:

Restoring a Lost Cause - Part 2

To work on the back, it seemed right to clean it up first so I could see just what I had. A little time at the grinder with a deburring wheel to clean off the grunge was in order...

Once I got the back down to bare metal, it was over to the press to straighten it out. Here I'm using an arbor plate underneath and a thick chunk of steel on top to sandwich the back and allow me to close it up evenly:

Restoring a Lost Cause - Part 1

This was a small project I did a couple of years ago... A recent conversation I had reminded me of it, and I thought some might find it interesting so figured I would post the story here. It's one of my favorite stories to tell, and it was a fun little project...

I was reading a post in a woodworking forum asking a question about straightening a saw - a backsaw in particular. Seems a fellow had picked up an old backsaw on Ebay and was hoping to restore it to use for himself, but was having a bit of difficulty. It seems it was bent, and he just couldn't seem to get it straight. Several helpful suggestions were given - and followed - to no avail. A further description (I don't remember if the exact conversation, or the photos), the general consensus was that it wasn't worth fixing. That's when I stepped in... I was looking for a bit of a challenge, and this was right down that alley. I got the original owner to either give or sell me (I honestly don't remember if I paid for it) the old saw to see what I could do with it.

When it arrived I got a chance to take a good look at it:

Pretty rough, to say the least - it would take a lot of work..  But if I'm anything - its a champion of lost causes... 

Cleaning an Old Oil Stone

A fellow woodworker (Jeff Ranck) reported the following experiences to me that might be helpful on cleaning some very badly clogged oil stones:

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