Clearcut Chisels Restoration

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Blog entry by Jorgearaujo posted 08-04-2015 01:32 AM 3715 reads 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Well it’s official I am hooked… restoring old tools is my new obsession. This time I found some old chisels, Clearcut brand, ever heard of it? Me either. I also couldn’t find much information on the brand online, I did find one post that mentioned they are from Montgomery Ward but I can’t be sure of that. No matter the steel feels good. Guess we will see if it holds an edge.

I also shot a video of the restoration which can be viewed here.

View on YouTube

As you can see in this first picture the chisels needed some help, the sockets had been mushroomed from somebody beating the crap out them with a metal hammer and no handles. So to restore these I will need to grind down the mushrooming, clean and polish the chisels, make new handles and of course sharpen the chisels.

I started by grinding down the mushrooming, first the outside of the sockets.

Then using a rotary tool I worked on the inside of the sockets, making sure not to change the angle so that the handles work… of course if I did change the angle by accident I could make the handles with a different angle but its better to stay consistent so that the handles are interchangeable.

Next I moved onto cleaning the chisels using a series of cleaners and rust removers with scotch brite pads.

I also used a wire wheel on my grinder to get the deep rust and grime off.

Now that the chisels are clean and ready to move on…

It’s time to move onto the bevels… They are really beat up and not sharpened very well.

I started by grinding down the bevels flat to start from scratch.

The I used the worksharp 3000 to shape the bevels back to a 30 degree grind.

Next I moved onto the chisel handles, I used some white oak on my lathe deciding to use the shape from my Stanley Sweetheart chisels only a little longer and larger because these chisels are more like long pairing chisels.

Only thing left now is to sharpen the chisels. I used my diamond stones progressing from 300, 1000, 4000 and 8000 grit on both the back and front of the chisels. Then I used a leather strop to polish out to a mirror like finish.

The I tested the chisels on a piece of Walnut endgrain to make sure they were sharp.

They look pretty sharp to me…. Now will they hold an edge? Is the steel good? well only time will tell.

For now get ready for some more tool porn!!!

8 comments so far

View Boxguy's profile


2880 posts in 3114 days

#1 posted 08-04-2015 07:46 AM

It does indeed look like you are hooked. There is something noble about restoring a nicely made old tool to its former glory. Fine job on the oak handles and de-rusting process. Keep looking there are plenty of neglected old tools that could use your TLC. Have fun, and thanks for sharing.

-- Big Al in IN

View canadianchips's profile


2632 posts in 3843 days

#2 posted 08-04-2015 11:29 AM

Really good looking handles. I like that profile as well.
Hopefully after all that work they hold an edge long !
Keep sharing, I enjoy when other people restore old tools.

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View Richard's profile


1940 posts in 3537 days

#3 posted 08-04-2015 10:29 PM

Some people have way to much spare time.
Very Nice Job on these and I also hope they hold there edge good after all that work on them.

View JoeinGa's profile


7741 posts in 2853 days

#4 posted 08-04-2015 10:33 PM

Dang! They look great . Nice job!

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Tim's profile


3859 posts in 2808 days

#5 posted 08-05-2015 01:25 AM

They look great, I bet the steel will at least be decent. Great job on the handles too.

View Don Broussard's profile

Don Broussard

3938 posts in 3098 days

#6 posted 08-05-2015 01:31 AM

Great restorations, Jorge! And really nice photography skills on display too.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View Jorgearaujo's profile


51 posts in 2598 days

#7 posted 08-05-2015 01:44 AM

Thank you guys.

View CeeToo's profile


2 posts in 1715 days

#8 posted 07-22-2016 11:28 PM

Love your work Jorge!
I was actually doing some research on the Clearcut brand and found this photo and it references George Worthington Company as the Company that sold that brand in their hardware stores.

The George Worthington Company was a hardware company organized by George Worthington (1813-1871) in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1829 to sell the products of the Cleveland Iron Company. It later became one of the largest wholesale hardware dealers in the United States. The company was dissolved in 1991.

Thought that you might find it interesting.

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