Restoring a Chisel/Slick

Apparently, my last restore was somewhat lame, so I’ll step up my game a little bit and show you how I restored this slick.

I bought this blade on the Worlds Longest Yard Sale a couple of weeks ago. I saw it on the ground and thought it was just a big ass chisel. The guy selling it told me he got it from the Amish. I noticed it was made by the Ohio Tool Co, so I bought it figuring it wouldn’t be too hard to make a new handle for it. When I got home, I examined it next to my other chisels when I realized that I probably had actually bought the blade for a slick.  It was 2 1/2″ wide x 6″ long and much thicker than any of my 2″ firmer chisels. The top of it was mushroomed and the blade was blunt like someone used it as a cold chisel, but I was confident that I could bring it back from the dead.

20180805_152301-1.jpg

I started cleaning the slick the same way I start all my restores, by soaking it in a citric acid bath for a few hours, then cleaning up the metal with a brass wheel on a buffing machine.

20180814_173357.jpg

The pieces of the handle still remained inside the socket of the slick, so I had to drill it out in order for the new handle to fit.

20180814_173748.jpg

In order to get rid of the mushroomed socket, there was no way I was about to heat up the end of the slick and reform the socket, so I decided just to grind the mushrooming away on my bench grinder. I figured I lost about a 1/4″ to 3/8″ of the total length of the socket grinding away the mushrooming.

20180814_175348.jpg

I grabbed a piece of 1 1/2′ maple and turned a handle that was about 16″ long. I looked in an antique tool catalog for a picture of a slick’s handle that I could use as a pattern. It was a very simple design with a knob on the end and a slight curve in the middle. This photo is the wood before I turned it to shape.

20180814_181112.jpg

 

The trickiest part about making a new handle for a chisel or slick is to measure the angle and thickness of the taper to properly fit in the socket. I took a 1/2″ thick dowel and placed it down the center of the socket and marked the top with a pencil. This gave me the length of the taper.

20180814_183209.jpg

Setting my calipers to  1/2″ to turned the bottom of the handle until the calipers slipped by.

20180814_183640.jpg

Next, I measured the diameter of the hole at the top of the socket and set my calipers to that measurement, then shaved down the wood until the calipers slid pass. This gave me the length and the proper shape of the inside of the socket.

20180817_204138.jpg

20180814_183826.jpg

After I cut the handle from the lathe, I sanded the end of the knob and hit the handle down into the socket with a wooden mallet. This is the trickiest part of the operation as you really don’t get a second shot. Once the wood seats inside the socket, it’s not coming out. The socket was slightly oval inside from all the whacking by the Amish guy, so the handle was tough to fit all the way down, but it still solidly seated in there.

20180814_185124.jpg

Next, I focused on the blade and sharpened it on my grinder and honed the edge with my water stones. I used 1000, 6000, and 12000 grit water stones respectfully.

20180814_185934.jpg

I bet it’s been a long time, if ever, since this blade has been this sharp. You can see how the top of the blade is all chewed up. It’s as if the guy used the top of the blade as a plate for tin punching.

IMG_20180814_201332_996.jpg

I flattened the back with my water stones as well. I didn’t go over board with the flattening. Just enough to give a good cut.

20180814_195432.jpg

Here’s the slick in use. It cuts wood like butter.

IMG_20180814_201333_006.jpg

I added hemp oil to the handle to give it some protection. I’m not sure if I will ever use this slick, but it’s nice to have it in case I do.  The best part is restoring it wasn’t that hard as it only took a couple of hours, but the tool will last me a lifetime.

IMG_20180814_201332_990.jpg

Corradi Gold Rasp Handles

Last year I bought a couple of Italian made Corradi Gold Rasps direct from Italy; a 6″ round and a 10″ cabinet rasp. While I absolutely loved using them, they were painful to use without a proper handle. The tip of the tang would dig into the palm of my hand causing great pain. Corradi sells handles for their rasps, but I figured I could make my own easily enough.

http://www.corradishop.com

 photo files 002.jpg

I use these rasps to shape and make new pieces of wood for the top of my rosewood plane totes. Their small size makes it nice to work into the tight curves of the handle and the small hole for the threaded rod. At a 6 cut, they are aggressive enough to make quick work of removing the wood, but with their advanced stitching, they don’t leave big tool marks on the wood’s surface. In the photo below, there is a small black line near the top of the tote that distinguishes the original Brazilian rosewood and the new piece of cocobolo. I use cocobolo because Brazilian rosewood is nearly impossible to get nowadays and cocobolo is in the same species of wood. While the color of the woods are not an exact match, they’re good enough to make the tote look nice again.

 photo files 013.jpg

I started making the handle with a scrap piece of apple about 12″ long and chucked it into my lathe.

 photo files 005.jpg

Then, using a template handle I had when I bought an old knife sharpener, I used my parting tool and calipers to mark and measure the details of the handle.

 photo files 006.jpg

After everything was turned to my satisfaction, I took some of my lathe shavings and burnished the wood to a nice sheen.

 photo files 007.jpg

In order for the handle to fit in the tang of the rasp securely, I drilled a small pilot hole as plum as possible down the center of the handle. The drill bit was the size of the very tip of the tang of the rasp so it would fit tight when driven into the handle.

 photo files 008.jpg

Next, I took my blow torch and carefully heated the tip of the rasp so I could burn into the handle. It took a couple of tries as I didn’t want to burn it in all at once. On the second burn, the rasp seated nicely into the handle and I was unable to pull it out.

 photo files 009.jpg

The final touch was to simply apply a couple coats of oil on the handles. These handles were extremely simple to make. In fact, it took less that 30 minutes to make both. Why I didn’t make them last year when I originally bought the rasps I have no idea.

 photo files 011.jpg