Chisel Restoration

Set of fine chisels ready for sharpening.

Set of fine chisels ready for sharpening.

Just finished this rare set of Anton Berg socket chisels. The original handles were removed and the steel de-rusted in my electrolysis tank. Then they were put through a process I call “brightening”. This is a light polish where no measureable amount of metal is removed. Then I made new handles, replicating the originals, from hickory. These chisel are ready for another generation of service.

As always, thanks for stopping by and feel free to leave a comment.


Professional furniture maker and restorer. Dealer and collector of vintage and antique woodworking tools.
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4 Responses to Chisel Restoration

  1. Jeff H. says:

    Can you describe the “brightening” process further? I have used electrolysis in the past and had limited success removing the black patina afterwards.

    Beautiful set of chisels!

    • The black coating you mention seems to be left behind by most de-rusting methods. First I use a very low current for my electrolysis. Put a trailer running light in series with your negative lead and this will cut your amperage to milliamps. Second don’t leave the part in the tank any longer than necessary. this will minimize the black coating.

      Don’t let the part dry. Keep the part wet in a pan of water and scrub with a stainless steel wire brush. I use a stainless steel wheel in a Dremel running on slow speed under dripping warm water. Obviously you have to be very careful not to get the Dremel wet.

  2. It makes one wonder what kind of work the craftsman did if the two wider chisels are nearly all used up. One would think that the narrow ones would be the chisels with little to no blade left.

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