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Thread: Saving a tool.

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Saving a tool.

    No, not me, I'm doomed. When I came to Canada in the early 70's I didn't bring much with me, in particular no tools save a pocket knife and a couple of other small items. One of the first tools I bought here was a six inch Crescent wrench. A few years ago it vanished until recently. It somehow wound up under the edge of the floor mat on the driver's side of the Ranger. Not a good place to be, especially in winter. It was soaked in salt slush repeatedly for some years until I found it one day. It looked like this...



    Not a pretty sight. Normally I would just toss it but this is a genuine Made in USA back in the good old days real American tool. I decided to see if it could be saved. I started with an all day soak in a strong solution of phosphoric acid. This removed all the visible rust and revealed a heavily pitted surface, not encouraging. However, having nothing to lose I continued. Next treatment was spraying with a lubricant similar to WD-40 and letting it soak. After a couple of days of this I began beating the wrench on a block of wood occasionally. After a week of this I started using the partly open jaws to try to pry a piece of 1/8" sheet metal to loosen the jaws. More lube, more beating and more prying.

    Today I decided it was time for the heat treatment. Since the wrench claims to be made of Crestoloy (what ever that is ) I proceeded carefully. Using a flap wheel I polished up the sides of the jaws to remove the pitting so I could see the metal clearly. I turned on the torch and heated the wrench until I saw a tiny indication that the the pointy tips below the adjuster were beginning to color. I removed the heat and began spraying with similar-to-WD-40 and bashing on the wood block intermittently. Rust came out of the adjuster and slide in large quantities.

    Eventually, with the careful application of minor brute force to the jaws and the adjuster (via Vicegrip, yes, the real thing, another story, left clamped on the underside of the Land Rover for two years)... where was I? Oh yeah, brute force. It finally loosened, pretty much all at once until it was working just like it never rusted. After buffing and an application of cold bluing it looks like this:

    Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Origin now settable to bottom left! All values positive. Click Here

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2002
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    Beaumont, TX
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    Default

    We must be brothers under the skin. I thought I was the only one a*** enough to spend that much time and effort on a rusted tool. I have an inside caliper that had a similar amount of rust. Belonged to my father so I was determined to salvage it. I also did the cold bluing: it looks great and works perfectly.

    Nice job.
    Paul A.

    Make it fit.
    You can't win and there is a penalty for trying!

  3. #3
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    Chilliwack, B.C.
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    Default

    Back from the dead, looks fine. I'm sure I have a tool or two hiding in just the same spot in the land cruiser.

    Ah, but on to the vice grips. I have a real one, and a fake one that was a gift. I use the fake a lot in the shop for minor holding jobs, and pretty much curse it out every time. Then I used it outside and lost track of it. I was getting kind of hopeful that I wouldn't find it, but then it turned up. Whaddya gonna do.

    If I do find them rusted up some day, I'm NOT going to restore them.

  4. #4
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    I don't know what it is about saving old tools......

    I've spend shop hours (normally income producing time) doing it. Those hours would bring in many times the value of the salvaged tool.

    One method I use in addition to those mentioned by Evan is a pneumatic rivet gun on low pressure to break loose stuck moving parts. The rivet gun seems to work well on bolts deeply threaded into castings.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    Western New York U.$.A
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    Quote Originally Posted by darryl
    I'm sure I have a tool or two hiding in just the same spot in the land cruiser.
    That's why I won't own a Land Cruiser

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    Western New York U.$.A
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    Quote Originally Posted by DR
    I don't know what it is about saving old tools......
    I know what it is for me. I value tools that have done work much more then new ones. They are like shoes to me, at some point they get very comfortable and familiar in my hands. It's kinda like when the newlywed status wears off after you been married a few years..................... on the second thought, maybe I shouldn't start down this road I don't want anyone to think my tools are sagging
    Last edited by Your Old Dog; 07-07-2007 at 07:11 AM.

  7. #7
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    Default

    They are like shoes to me, at some point they get very comfortable and familiar in my hands.
    I've always used shoes to protect my feet. Oh well, to each his own. It's gotta be difficult to pick things up though.

    I just couldn't bring myself to toss the wrench. Many of the tools I own are from a time when quality came first and was the main selling and even bragging point for manufacturers.
    Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Origin now settable to bottom left! All values positive. Click Here

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
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    Ct
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan
    I just couldn't bring myself to toss the wrench.
    Not to be a buzz-kill here as you did a great job bringing it back from the brink but when I was a Engineman in the Navy and lead Petty Officer on tugs and "A" division on a ship I gathered every Crescent wrench I could find and tossed 'em overboard.

    No risk of rounding fasteners that way with hundreds of gallons a minute flooding in!

    Now I own several.

    I live on a mountain!
    Len

  9. #9
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    I own several machines with square head bolts in places. No risk of rounding them either. They carry titanium crescent wrenches on the shuttle. I wonder what they cost?
    Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Origin now settable to bottom left! All values positive. Click Here

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Geeze, my first thought is dont worry about your wrench, worry about your rocker panels

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