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Hand Tools and Sets

Before and After

This page is for you—it's for "before" and "after" pictures(no, not of you after you've been on a diet!). Send me before and after pix of items you've bought at the Tool Shed, remind me of what you paid, and I'll post them here for all the world to see. I'll use your first name and initial only, and won't give anyone your email address, of course. This part of the web page will only be as good as the input, so send me some good stuff!


This was sent to me by Lee T. What you see in the first picture is a disassembled plane, straight from the bargaining table, and in the second shot, what it looks like now after a couple of hours of TLC. Not bad for two bucks!

Here's another bargain table special, before and after, by Lee T.

Tighing Tool

Adjustable Wrench

It's amazing what a difference some elbow grease can make to what you get off the bargaining table for a dollar or two. Thanks again, Lee!

This is a large wrench—inch and a quarter or so—that Nick C. redid. Great job! Of course, owning a plating shop with access to a sandblaster helps a lot too.

Large Wrench

Eggbeater Drill

Here's an eggbeater drill, unearthed from some oldtimer's basement, which found its way onto the bargaining table, was picked up for a couple of bucks by Lee and given a whole new life.

In the words of Lee: "Remember those pool old saws?? I still have to join them and probably recut the teeth on the rip saw, but the blades cleaned with electrolysis & the handles were stripped with acetone, then given 5 coats of boiled linseed oil and 2 coats of shellac after a good week of drying." And I sell the "before" saws, usually for two bucks or less each.


Metal Tool

Here's another one from Nick C: " I bought each of these off the $2 table. They both were dipped in an acid bath to remove the zinc and rust buildup and finished with some steel wool and nice chrome."

"Here are the "Before" and "After" Pics of a small arbor press that I had promised you. I paid $20, and it was worth every penny! I had a good time fixing it up at my shop with some nice chrome on the handle and a fresh coat of heavy oil-based grey paint."
(Thanks, Nick!)

Small Arbor Press

Vertical Filing Machine

Remember the vertical filing machine I had in June 2006? Nick C. bought it, took it apart, cleaned and polished it, and look at it now! Great work, Nick!

Here's a shot of a body hammer, restored by Phil H. It was crusted with rust when he got it, and with a lot of TLC, it has become a beautiful hammer. Good work, Phil!

Body Hammer

Walker Turner Drill Press

This formerly ugly Walker Turner drill press was transformed into a beautiful piece of shop equipment by Lee T. Cost on the original purchase was far less than a hundred bucks. Good job, Lee!

Mark S. is the evil genius who hatched this plot off the bargaining table. The first pic is the "before" shot, an ordinary wooden box that he bought there for $2.00.

The second picture is of a magazine article about a similar box from the estate of a famous pinstripe artist, whose brush box sold for over $300,000 at auction.

The third shot is the "after" picture after an artist hired by Mark did his thing on the $3.00 box from the bargaining table. Not a bad return on investment!

Tool Box

Installation Tools

Phil H. is responsible for this Mother of All Installation Tools jobs here. The first two are the "before" shots.

And with a whole lot of TLC, the last two are the "after" shots. Great work, Phil!

Gerstner Oak Toolbox Renovation:

Another Tool Shed special for $15. This box was water damaged, rusty and falling apart. I have always wanted an oak toolbox and took the challenge to rescue this old relic.

Project work scope: Complete disassembly; reglue all box & drawer joints; repair warped sides; strip old finish; laminate new oak back; 7 coats tung oil & 400 sand; wire brush rusty hardware & clear coat finish; polish brass knobs & aluminum guards; and cement in new green felts.

I worked on this project off and on over a 2 year period and learned a lot by guess and by golly on restoration techniques. After many hours, I am now the proud owner of a gorgeous toolbox!

Tom S.

Wooden Box