Hand Tool Journey #46: Stanley 244 Miter Box Resto-. My gawd did I ever F up!

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Blog entry by Airframer posted 06-14-2021 08:49 PM 594 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 45: Just A Quick Distraction.. Kids Handsaw Build #1 Part 46 of Hand Tool Journey series no next part

I was reading back through this blog last night (I was bored ok?) And remembered that I was in the process of collecting a full set of Stanley Sweetheart miter boxes. It also spurred a curiosity as to how the 2 I already restored had faired the years sitting in a drafty and humid barn till I started getting the shop together. Well they are still in pretty good shape though they have started to develop aome small areas of light surface rust. Last night on a whim I pulled my 246 apart to do some light cleaning and rust removal to bring it back to how it was. Not much is needed and am pretty impressed with how it has held up.

As I was taking that apart I had a sudden realization and then a panic attack! About 7 years ago I aquired a SW 244 box and had pulled it apart and put everything in their evaporust baths and then immediately following that had to move out of base housing (was medically retired from service and everything happened quickly). When we moved to our new rental everything just got hurriedly shoved in wherever it would fit and the majority of my tools and stuff sat beneath other boxes and crap forgotten about. The. We moved here and again things got stacked and forgotten. Cut to now 7 years and a well deserved divorce and a few years of chaotic single fatherhood later I am digging everything out and those parts I placed in their evaporust tubs are still in their evaporust tubs!!!!! I had completely forgotten about them till last night! I hunted down all the tubs and took a deep breath not knowing what I would find and to my horror it was just as bad as I had expected. The evaporust had evaporated leaving behind a solid black crust on everything. Penetrating all the screw holes and drying out to a hard plug.

The carnage…...

Then it was time to check the deck. I had covered it in citri-strip as I usually did to loosen the old paint and rust on it to make it easier to wire brush off.

Deep breath again and then..

A nice slimey orange and rusty film now envelops it. The good news is all the extra parts I cleaned and bagged during the last restoration are still in their bags and pristine. I may need some of them on this.

Now I could just say this is a lost cause, find another and feel I deserved to spend more to pay for what I have done but no….. I will save this. I have to. Not just because I can’t afford another 244 but because I feel I need a redemption moment here lol. So stay tuned. This is going to be a big one! Can it be saved? We shall see!

-- Eric - "I'm getting proficient with these hand jobbers. - BigRedKnothead"

6 comments so far

View duckmilk's profile


4643 posts in 2489 days

#1 posted 06-14-2021 09:44 PM

Wow, that’s going to take some research and maybe experimentation.
I’ve never used evaporust. I wonder if soaking a few experimental parts in more evaporust will loosen up the crust?

-- "Duck and Bob would be out doin some farming with funny hats on." chrisstef

View Airframer's profile


3117 posts in 3118 days

#2 posted 06-14-2021 10:04 PM

I currently have them soaking in some dawn dish soap and hot water hoping to rehydrate the crust ao it can be cleaned off before getting a fresh soak in evaporust again (only over night this time lol). I am hopeful so far.

-- Eric - "I'm getting proficient with these hand jobbers. - BigRedKnothead"

View theoldfart's profile


12748 posts in 3616 days

#3 posted 06-14-2021 11:48 PM

That looks like a challenge Eric!

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


17441 posts in 3783 days

#4 posted 06-15-2021 12:19 AM

Oh my… hurts to see those pics! And I agree it needs to be saved, if at all possible. What a mess.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. - OldTools Archive -

View Airframer's profile


3117 posts in 3118 days

#5 posted 06-15-2021 12:28 AM

Yeah I probably should have included a trigger warning of some kind at the beginning lol.

So far I have hosed off the deck and it is actually looking pretty decent with no injuries I can see. Even the nameplate is fully intact. Should clean up nicely with some wire wheeling. I am still soaking the other bits and am pretty confident I can get them saved as well. I am mostly perturbed at myself for spacing this but man….. Life has been nothing but chaos for the last 7 years so not surprising. Thankfully things seem to finally be settling and I’m able to get back to doing me things again. Plus I don’t have anyone here but my kid so I get to make the daily schedule without a committee meeting!

-- Eric - "I'm getting proficient with these hand jobbers. - BigRedKnothead"

View HokieKen's profile (online now)


18481 posts in 2303 days

#6 posted 06-15-2021 03:37 PM

I think you’ll be fine. Evaporust shouldn’t cause any corrosion (even after 7 years) I don’t think. It’ll take some wire-wheeling but I imagine what you’ll find is just a surface layer of some sort of oxide with perfectly usable parts underneath. Good luck and I’ll be watching!

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

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