Shop Blow Dryer

My newest tool isn’t one you’d usually think of for a workshop. When B was getting a new blow dryer for her bathroom I asked if I could have her old one. It was dark pink and caked with makeup, but I saw potential. After a simple disassembly, some cleaning, and a new paint job it’s new again.

A blow dryer is useful in a shop when you want to speed dry spray paint, make glue cure quicker, or even create an oven.

Learning From a Retractable Extension Cord Reel Restoration

My brother gave me this reel, which I think he got from an estate sale.

My garage only has an outlet on the wall by the house and one in the ceiling by the garage door opener, so this will come in handy as a quick way to get power anywhere in the garage. There really wasn’t much to restoring it. I cleaned it up, gave it some paint, and put a new grounding cord outlet on it.

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I love bringing things like this back to life because we’ve become too quick to discard things. Taking stuff apart also allows me to learn. I’ve often wondered how the wiring worked in a retractable mechanism like this. It’s pretty cool. I bet if I took apart my small wet/dry floor vacuum, the retractable cord in there would be built similar to this. Now I’m curious how retractable air hoses work!

There’s always a risk of breaking something when taking it apart though and that’s exactly what happened to me. The spring snapped when I would it up in the wrong direction. I was able to fix it by cutting the spring, drilling a new hole, and using a nail as a rivet. Hopefully it lasts.

I put everything back together and hung it in the garage.

Craftsman 12 Inch Wood Lathe

796d5e0d-a64b-4b34-bedd-4c90de7a10c2-3139-000002cc0aa2d9d6_fileEarlier this summer, I came across an auction online with a bunch of tools. The items were located up in Alpena and I was heading up to Long Lake for our family vacation in a few days. That’s only 10 miles north of town, so if I won anything I could pick it up locally instead of paying for shipping or needing to have my Dad pick it up. I bid on a few items, not really expecting anything, so I was surprised when I got an email telling me I “won” a lathe.

It is a Craftsman 12 Inch Wood Lathe (Model 113.23800) and was about $93 after fees and the auction house took their cut.

Here are a couple of pictures that were taken for the listing. It seemed to be in really good condition.

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The lathe had been sitting in my garage for over a month and I needed to start clearing some space, so I finally put some time into it. I unbolted everything from the table top and cleaned it up. Then I painted the stand and table top. I cut a base out of some 1/2″ plywood and attached four casters to make it mobile in my shop. I also picked up a new belt from Autozone. When I was assembling everything I noticed the pulleys weren’t aligned, so I drilled new mounting holes for the motor.

Between the belt, spray paint, and casters I put about $20 into it. It cleaned up well and I think the paint makes the stand look a lot better.

One thing it’s missing is the original belt guard so I’m building one. I’ll post details when it’s ready.

Stanley 743 Vise Restoration

This Stanley vise caught my eye at an estate sale last year. I think I paid $3 for it. The jaw snapped at some point and someone did a rough weld job to put it back together. The other side reads 743 – 2 IN.

I finally got around to cleaning it up. Most of the work was done with brass wire wheels on the bench grinder and drill. Then a little hand wire brushing and sandpaper to get the corners.

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Do you think I should paint it? I kind of like the bare metal look.

4-1/2″ Square Restoration

Little squares are handy to have around the shop. I got a 2-1/2″ one for Christmas and have is used it a lot already. I don’t know how this one lasted until day three of an estate sale, but it was a great find for $1. Only took about ten minutes with a brass wire wheel on the grinder to clean it up.

Craftsman Jointer Restoration

When I saw this Craftsman Jointer (model 113.232240) for $100 I couldn’t pass it up. Most jointers I’ve seen in the $100-150 range are shit.

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The manual is dated 5/97, so it’s over 20 years old. My Internet searching suggests this model originally sold for around $600. The only original parts that appear to be missing are the side panels, blade gauge, and push block. I bought a couple of push blocks this summer at an estate sale, so I’m set there.

They don’t make many tools like this anymore. This thing is a beast of solid metal and weighs a ton. Here it is in my basement. It had some rust, but otherwise it was in good shape and the rolling base was built well.

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I went at the table and fence with a razor blade, which easily removes most of the surface rust. I sprayed everything with WD-40, let it soak, and then did another pass with the razor blade. I love that feeling when you start to see some shine.

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Then I cleaned up the stand and the base. The leveling feet in the stand were rusted and beat to shit, so I trashed them. Drilled holes in the base and properly attached it to the stand with bolts instead of tape like the previous owner.

I replaced the bolts on the belt guard which were rusted really bad. A little elbow grease and a brass brush cleaned up some of the rest on other bolts throughout the stand. I removed the screws for the switch and ran them over a brass wire wheel on the grinder. I also took apart a lot of the fence assembly one piece at a time and used the brass wire wheel to clean it all up.

To continue cleaning the tables and fence I had to order a brass wire brush set for the drill. Everywhere in the area sells the steel wire set, which eats at the metal too much.

Look how much of a difference a few seconds makes.

I went over both tables and the fence with the brass brush and followed up with a polishing wheel. Then I put it all back together and applied a coat of paste finishing wax to those surfaces. Look at that shine! I love that you can see the reflection of the blade guard.

I could see a few nicks in the knives and they had some rust. I’d rather start with a fresh set, especially since they were only $17.

I’m going to add a dust/chip collection chute I can hook my hose up to, but that’ll be an upcoming project. Will wait until that’s completed to do final adjustments to the tables and knives since I’ll be removing the tool from the base several times.

Plumb Bob Restoration

I paid $1 for this plumb bob at an estate sale last month.

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I was cleaning my shop yesterday when I noticed it hanging on the wall and figured I’d bring some new life to it. Didn’t take long.

I removed the rust with a brass wire wheel on the grinder, replaced the string, and made a handle out of a piece of dowel.

More Eagle Oil Cans

I really fell in love with the look of the Eagle oil cans and ended up finding some more at estate sales. My first find was a can almost identical to the No. 66 my Dad gave me. I was going to clean it up for my brother, but I haven’t been able to unstick the trigger to take it apart. I’ve tried all kinds of stuff, so if you know any tricks, let me know.

Then I found two other Eagle cans that don’t have the No. 66 designation on the top, aren’t brass, and use a completely different pump mechanism and trigger. I like the feel of the triggers a lot better but the brass definitely looks cooler.

The large can was rusty and had all kinds of grease caked on. I cleaned it up and gave it a vinegar soak to take care of most of the rust. I didn’t want to get too aggressive with it and left some of the patina for a unique look. The small can had a teal-ish colored paint job and is in really good shape other than a dent. A few applications of Klean-Strip Premium Stripper got rid of the paint and I cleaned out the inside.

The middle oil can looks a lot darker in these photos than it is in person.

I wanted a place on the drill press cart to keep the original can, which is filled with cutting fluid. I whipped up a holder out of some scraps. It’s an ugly little box but does the job.