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Restoring Grandad's Bevel Gauge.


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My Grandfather was the carpenter on a local estate for most of his working life and after he passed on, his tools went to my father and then to me. Most of the tools were not really worth saving, as modern equivalents are much better, but one that I did use all the time during my days as a carpenter on the estate where I worked, was his beautiful sliding bevel gauge. It must date from the forties I think, and was probably a Marples or Rabone Chesterman item. Now that I am retired myself, I thought it would be nice to restore it to its former glory, being a quality tool made from Rosewood with brass fittings. Over the years, the wood had become dented and marked, one of the brass end plates was missing and the steel blade was rusty and pitted.

Bevel refurb.

Bevel refurb.

Missing brass plate.

Bevel refurb.

This will be replaced with a piece of this brass strip that I bought especially for the job.

Bevel refurb.

First job was to remove the steel rivets holding the sides together. These were punched out to be reused.

Bevel refurb.

The bevel separated into its component parts.

Bevel refurb.

I wanted to save as much of the original tool as possible, so rather than make new rivets, I straightened and cleaned the old ones.

Bevel refurb.

Bevel refurb.

It was then a case of sanding all the marks, dings and dents out of the existing brass and wooden parts, starting with 120 grit sand paper.

Bevel refurb.

The steel blade was first given a going over with a 120 grit flap disc on the angle grinder...

Bevel refurb.

...followed by a stint on a 180 grit belt on the linisher. Some of the deeper marks still remained, but I didn't want to make the blade too thin.

Bevel refurb.

The wood and brass are further smoothed with a 240 grit disc...

Bevel refurb.

...before moving on to 600, 1200 and finally 2500 grit wet and dry.

Bevel refurb.

Even the adjusting screw was cleaned and polished.

Bevel refurb.

A new piece of brass was cut and drilled to replace the missing end plate...

Bevel refurb.

Bevel refurb.

...and the end of the stock re-chiselled to accept it.

Bevel refurb.

This was attached with the original rivets, here being swelled into place with a punch.

Bevel refurb.

Finally everything was touched up on the linisher to make it all level.

Bevel refurb.

Next came a spell on the polishing mops, first with a fine compound, then a really fine finishing compound.

Bevel refurb.

The wood was polished with wax...

Bevel refurb.

...and the blade oiled to prevent it rusting.

Bevel refurb.

Finally the stock was given a coat of clear lacquer to prevent the brass tarnishing again.

Bevel refurb.

The restored bevel as it probably looked when new...however, I imagine the steel blade was blued originally.

Bevel refurb.

Bevel refurb.

The new end plate.

Bevel refurb.

Bevel refurb.

Hope somebody found this interesting and I hope Grandad is pleased to be looking down at one of his old tools.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Roger the Dodger said:

My Grandfather was the carpenter on a local estate for most of his working life and after he passed on his tools went to my father and then to me. Most of the tools were not really worth saving, as modern equivalents are much better, but one that I did use all the time during my days as a carpenter on the estate where I worked, was his beautiful sliding bevel gauge. It must date from the forties I think, and was probably a Marples or Rabone Chesterman item. Now that I am retired myself, I thought it would be nice to restore it to its former glory, it being a quality tool made from Rosewood with brass fittings. Over the years, the wood had become dented and marked, one of the brass end plates was missing and the steel blade was rusty and pitted.

Bevel refurb.

Bevel refurb.

Missing brass plate.

Bevel refurb.

This will be replaced with a piece of this brass strip that I bought especially for the job.

Bevel refurb.

First job was to remove the steel rivets holding the sides together. These were punched out to be reused.

Bevel refurb.

The bevel separated into its component parts.

Bevel refurb.

I wanted to save as much of the original tool as possible, so rather than make new rivets, I straightened and cleaned the old ones.

Bevel refurb.

Bevel refurb.

It was then a case of sanding all the marks, dings and dents out of the existing brass and wooden parts, starting with 120 grit sand paper.

Bevel refurb.

The steel blade was first given a going over with a 120 grit flap disc on the angle grinder...

Bevel refurb.

...followed by a stint on a 180 grit belt on the linisher. Some of the deeper marks still remained, but I didn't want to make the blade too thin.

Bevel refurb.

The wood and brass are further smoothed with a 240 grit disc...

Bevel refurb.

...before moving on to 600, 1200 and finally 2500 grit wet and dry.

Bevel refurb.

Even the adjusting screw was cleaned and polished.

Bevel refurb.

A new piece of brass was cut and drilled to replace the missing end plate...

Bevel refurb.

Bevel refurb.

...and the end of the stock re-chiselled to accept it.

Bevel refurb.

This was attached with the original rivets, here being swelled into place with a punch.

Bevel refurb.

Finally everything was touched up on the linisher to make it all level.

Bevel refurb.

Next came a spell on the polishing mops, first with a fine compound, then a really fine finishing compound.

Bevel refurb.

The wood was polished with wax...

Bevel refurb.

...and the blade oiled to prevent it rusting.

Bevel refurb.

Finally the stock was given a coat of clear lacquer to prevent the brass tarnishing again.

Bevel refurb.

The restored bevel as it probably looked when new...however, I imagine the steel blade was blued originally.

Bevel refurb.

Bevel refurb.

The new end plate.

Bevel refurb.

Bevel refurb.

Hope somebody found this interesting and I hope Grandad is pleased to be looking down at one of his old tools.

 

 

Nice one Rodger……..you should be on the repair shop

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