Prairie Tool Co. Model 85 Grinder Restoration #2: Elbow grease and regular grease, applied.

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Blog entry by Woodknack posted 11-25-2012 05:34 AM 7111 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Revitalizing a hand crank grinder Part 2 of Prairie Tool Co. Model 85 Grinder Restoration series Part 3: Grinder tool rest »

After disassembling, cleaning, greasing, oiling and reassembling, I scraped and wire brushed the exterior then applied a coat of light coat of oil and wiped off the excess. She purrs like a kitten now.

Better image of the unusual grease zerk. It can actually be seen now that I’ve removed about 1/16” of crud.


This thing spins like a top, they sure knew how to make ‘em back in the day. It’ll outlast me.

The original intent was to degrease and paint it black, I still might, but I’m liking the nice patina. The only down-note is that it will not fit the spot at the end of my bench. The leg is too close and I can’t tighten the clamp. Guess I’ll have to find a new spot or maybe just make a small stand.

Next up is a tool rest … to be continued.

-- Rick M,

4 comments so far

View Woodknack's profile


13552 posts in 3441 days

#1 posted 11-25-2012 06:23 AM

Before and after together:

Should I paint it?

-- Rick M,

View MarkSr's profile


215 posts in 3112 days

#2 posted 11-25-2012 07:44 AM

Greetings Rick,

I dabble in some vintage tools, some I use and others are great wall hangers. The ones I use I disassemble it down as far as I can without getting myself into any trouble. Then I soak them in a rust removal product at least overnight, there are about 3 – 4 good products, the two I prefer is Rust-Off and Evapo-Rust at Hargor Freight stores, catalog and online. The ones I use as wall hangers, I’ll do a quick rust removal, (5-7 hrs.) and then paint, and keeping that beautiful plack of black & brass, (I believe) as nice as can be, oil up that wood handle and make it shine, you can do that even if you are going to be using it, but a clean-up after every use is mandatory. But which way you go, you can not beat the vintage wood working tools, if they have been looked after, they work as good or better than todays modern tools.’‘

Either way enjoy any vintage tool you can get.

-- Mark, ”...NEWBEE: On the road to learning a lot; but; a lot more to learn…” ("My Granddad used to tell me, if you didn't learn something new today, it just wasn't worth getting out of bed")

View Kreegan's profile


1452 posts in 3208 days

#3 posted 11-25-2012 02:09 PM

Very nice work! I say leave it as is. It’s earned that patina.


View JoeinGa's profile


7741 posts in 3068 days

#4 posted 12-31-2012 02:31 PM

I vote “NO” on painting. I also like the look of the old tools

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

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