Tuesday, 30 July 2013

20 minute makeover!

Last Saturday, I spent the day at my Mum's house laying carpet tiles, but that is another story... While I was discovering why I don't do this sort of stuff for a living any more, Sue was helping her mother-in-law to clear out the shed. Needless to say most of what was found went in the back of my brother's van, destined for the tip. The was a handful of tools, in various states of decay, that we rescued. Amongst them was a small garden fork that had seen better days.

Seen a hard life
The handle was dry and cracked, loose in the socket and rough to the feel. It had been abused resulting in the prongs being bent out of shape and finally discarded and left to go rusty. Not wishing to consign anything to land-fill that may be useful, I decided to give it a quick makeover. The fork was removed from the dry and cracked wooden handle by removing the small pin/nail that secures it. This proved to be extremely well tethered, bit it did give up the fight eventually!

I used a tack remover to get the fixing pin out
Free at last

The fork itself was straightened with a combination of hand bending and vice squeezing until the prongs look to be arranged as they should be. The handle was now in need of some attention. a quick trip to the tuning shed was required. But don't tell Sue, this is her lathe.

Mounted between centres

The original centre holes are easy to pick up and the old dry handle was mounted between centres. A quick spin and the application of a sanding pad soon got the handle back to a smooth finish.

It only takes a few minutes to get it to that nice smooth finish, after which the lathe is turned off and a coat of cellulose sanding sealer was applied and allowed to dry for a minute or so. The handle was then spun and polished off with a paper towel - cheap loo-paper is ideal for this.

Friction Polish was then applied and polished off It is a great way to finish this sort of stuff and is very Quick!

The socket was tightened with the application of some percussive maintenance, the pin driven home and the fork was given a coat of oil after all the loose rust was removed with wire wool and a bit of sanding. Not a total back-to-new restoration but at least it is now a serviceable tool. And I had a bit of fun in the workshop. It feels really nice in the hand now and once it gets a bit of use, the action of use will remove any remaining rust.


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