Question on chisel repair

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Forum topic by surrywood posted 12-13-2018 11:31 PM 600 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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23 posts in 698 days

12-13-2018 11:31 PM

I have a very good opportunity to acquire a number of vintage socket chisels for free with handles, but the catch is that the ones that I have seen were all beaten with a hammer on the socket itself and the steel of the sockets have been folded over to varying degrees. My question is, could these be reamed out or repaired in some way so as to be useable again? I don’t have photos and I am hoping I am articulating this correctly

6 replies so far

View BlasterStumps's profile


1328 posts in 862 days

#1 posted 12-13-2018 11:37 PM

I’ve not tried to ream one or smith one but I have ground the end off to rid it of the mushroomed part. It wasn’t much damage so I was able to save it. Grinding the end off will change the way the handle fits of course. I can’t think that a little grinding will hurt much though.

-- "I build for function first, looks second. Most times I never get around to looks." - Mike, western Colorado

View shampeon's profile


1900 posts in 2606 days

#2 posted 12-14-2018 12:38 AM

Depends on how deformed the sockets are. Most of the time they can be saved with some grinding and reaming. Free is free, but it’ll be some work to get the sockets and handles fixed. Are the chisels themselves worth it? Often if they’re beating on the sockets, they’re prying things up and bending them, etc.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

View BurlyBob's profile


6276 posts in 2688 days

#3 posted 12-14-2018 01:59 AM

I had a similar experience with a socket chisel, a really big one. It took a while, but with flat and round hand files I got it back into shape. It just takes a little time and patience. Avoid the urge to use a grinder wheel. It’s to easy to over do and take off to much metal. It’d be like cutting a board to short. Ya just can’t stretch them if you take off to much. Slow and easy wins the race.

View surrywood's profile


23 posts in 698 days

#4 posted 12-14-2018 10:30 AM

I got to take a better look ast evening when we were knocking off, and today the guy will have them at work. I will get pictures. He has more at his home in NoVA and what he brought with him was not all of them and the handles were a mix match. It is from his wife’s grandfather’s estate and he is just trying to get what he can get from parsing out an old English joiner’s tool box (look almost exactly like the Anarchist’s tool chest except way older). I have seen pictures on his phone. The steel looks great, no pitting but old. Several of the handles were definitely Stanleys (I have a newer set of Stanleys and the handles are the same except these are the old 750 handles. A few look like paring chisels and some have different styles I don’t recognize right off. I want to get all the chisels, not just the ones he brought because in his photos there are more chisels and more handles. I messed around and tried to match handles to chisels but the sockets were pounded on and the metal rolled so of course nothing would fit. I can get what is there for free, but I would like to have them all so that I could potentially match handles to chisels. More pictures would obviously be more explanatory and I will take some this morning. On a related note, he has a total of 5 Disstons with good etching that are in really super shape. Unfortunately he looked those up and they priced out at between $280 and $400 each, so I will NOT be getting any of those.

View HokieKen's profile


9979 posts in 1561 days

#5 posted 12-14-2018 01:50 PM

Feel free to post pics of any that you don’t want. A custom shaped grinding bit on a lathe with some creative work holding can take care of the inside of the sockets. A little grinding on the outside and maybe a little building up with a welder and grinding back down can, in most cases make abused socket chisels users again.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View Lazyman's profile


3574 posts in 1810 days

#6 posted 12-14-2018 02:01 PM

I used a dremel with a cone shaped grinding wheel to fix one I found at a rummage sale for a buck. Only took a few minutes. My handle stays on but is just a little loose. That may be more a problem with my turning skill or the shape of the handle than anything else. Someone recommended using some clay after cleaning them up to help match the shape. I guess I should have tried that.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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