Restoring Wooden Clamps

Last month, I went back to the Springfield Extravaganza Antique Show in Springfield, OH. It’s the bi-yearly pilgrimage I’ve taken for the past 20 years. I love it, even though I haven’t found that many tools in the past few years. It was slim pickings again last month so, I was happy to buy a few wooden clamps for $15.00 a piece.

When I started restoring them, they were completely seized as the handles were unable to turn. I thought to myself “did I just piss away $30.00?” Luckily, after spraying the threads with PB Blaster for about 30 minutes, I was able to break free the rust on the threaded rods.

I then went to my tried and true antique oil, of mineral oil, orange oil, and melted beeswax. The solution not only helped the parts move freely, but it made the parts move like they’re brand new. If I had half of a brain, I’d sell this solution as it works so damn well, but I already have enough on my plate these days.

After the parts were free, I used a Japanese metal file and carved away the rust that was in the threads. You can see in the photos how corroded the threads were on the clamps. I feel lucky to have them usable again.

The final step was to coat the whole clamp with my tool solution. With a everything clean, I have two very usable clamps for a fraction of buying new wooden clamps and it was a done in one afternoon while watching football on TV. You gotta love antique shows!

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