For a few years now, my YouTube subscriptions have been filled with channels that restore tools. That's not to say I subscribe to just any channel that restores tools, believe me, there are a ton out there filled with videos of people maiming glorious old tools... but the few that do it correctly are worth their weight in zen.

For instance, the moment someone whips out a dremel and sanding barrel, you pretty much know where they are in their skill level. One mustn't harm a tool with a power tool. It shows not only a lack of said skill, but a lack of creative problem solving and experience. There's a far cry between flattening a plane with a mill and multi-tool... but it's not my tool.

Side Bar: If you decide to take on a task like this and need to flatten something, like the built in rail guide the jaw floats on, grab a file and a few different grits of sand paper and go to town. If you're using a tool that plugs in to restore a tool that doesn't, you've made a mistake.

In a stroke of luck and family history, my grandfather was a tool collector for most of his life. As my cousin and I have been granted permission to look around his old tool shed recently, we've discovered pure gold piled up and hanging from the rafters. Sure, the gold pile isn't worth any considerable amount of money, but the true worth is being able to find use for the tools collected so many years ago. You may think there's no use these days for a bit and brace, but those old school USA made spirals of tool steel cut smoother and faster than any twist-bit you could buy in store today. The old wrenches are the most curious in the entire collection. They made tools to such a high degree of quality back then that most old wrenches won't fit newly produced nuts and bolts. It really is curious how the world could allow quality to just slip away like that.

If you haven't ever restored an old tool, you might give it a try. You don't need fancy rust dips or a bunch of tools to get started. A little WD40, a quality file, some sanding papers and a gallon of vinegar is enough to dip your toes into a new world of hobby. You might try it. Just don't be the guy that ruins priceless history with power tools.

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