Lessons... #3: Inheriting Tools #3

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Blog entry by Jim posted 05-15-2009 04:26 PM 1358 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Inheriting Tools #2 Part 3 of Lessons... series no next part

Well yet again I was very fortunate to have woodworkers in the family, and I recently came across some of my great grandfather’s tools. While digging around at my parents for my old camping tent I found 2 full size wood lathes and a bench top sander. I can vaguely remember my great grandfather always doing woodworking and knew instantly it was his stuff. The problem being, that after he passed away (had to have been almost 15 years ago) my dad laid them on the floor of our shed, and they’ve sat there ever since. So today I made a trip back to my parents and pilfered a lathe and the sander. Here is what I’ve got to work with.

So while I’m extremely happy to have found these, I’m unsure of the best way to try to restore them. I know for sure the sander still works, but it needs some oiling and definitely rust removed. I’ve been using WD-40 and a wire brush, and some coarse grit sand paper to get it off, that’s why the table on it was already removed. But I was wondering if there’s an easier way? And not knowing much at all about lathes, does it seem like it’s still usable (I have a motor too, just not pictured). These are all cast iron and steel tools which is just an extra bonus to my find because they’re hard to come by anymore without paying an arm and a leg it seems. Any help would be appreciated.

-- -- Jim - Kokomo, Indiana

5 comments so far

View PurpLev's profile


8551 posts in 4162 days

#1 posted 05-15-2009 04:47 PM

looks like you’d need to take these apart and clean each part separately, then put it back together once you have the rust off, and lubricate it (at least that what I would do).

google electrolysis – this is a method to take off rust with a battery charger, which works quite well. you can also try the “rust-off” products that are sold in hardware stores.

another technique is using potatoes – but that takes quite a while to work – you can look this technique up on website under tips/videos …

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View a1Jim's profile


117722 posts in 4091 days

#2 posted 05-15-2009 04:47 PM

There’s a non toxic rust remover called Evpo-rust that works great. good luck on refurbishing

View Jim's profile


150 posts in 3836 days

#3 posted 05-15-2009 06:03 PM

Alright, Thanks guys! I sanded as much as I could on the sander, I’ve got a few bolts that HAVE to be replaced, no biggie. Other than that, it’s usable, but nothing pretty lol. I’ll have to check out those techniques and maybe tear it apart and see what I can do.

-- -- Jim - Kokomo, Indiana

View marcb's profile


768 posts in 4187 days

#4 posted 05-15-2009 08:15 PM

I would tear it apart, derust it and remove the original paint.

Repaint it, easy if done with decent spray paint like ACE brand. I avoid rustoleum as it takes a month to get fully hard enough to take actual use.

This will give you a chance to replace ball bearings or clean out gunked up sintered bronze bushings.

All in all a small item like the sander can be done in a week if you put an hour or 2 a day into it, and it will be as good as new.

If you rush it, it may tear itself apart.

View Jim's profile


150 posts in 3836 days

#5 posted 05-15-2009 11:29 PM

I already worked on it a bit, and put it back together so that I could use it this week. I sanded the major rust off, and used a product that supposedly turns rust into a non-rusting primer… we’ll see. I plan to soon tear it apart down to the motor housing (may even know someone with sand blaster now that I think of it) and repaint the whole thing. I’m betting it’s just something that’s comparable to a harbor freight tool, I know it’s made in Taiwan, but I still want to make it look nice and preserve it for sentimental sake at least. Thanks again guys for all the input!

-- -- Jim - Kokomo, Indiana

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