Firstly no, I am not talking about people, I am talking about tools. Old tools, the type that gets dumped into a box and forgot about after spending their life serving their master and tossed away to make room for new shiny tools.
Old wooden tools have a certain charm to themselves. They are often made to last and take a strong punishment as people didn't throw away tools as easily as they do now. The idea was you bought something to last as buying costs money which is not something people liked the idea of doing in a world where things were not mass-produced and only made by hand.Wood, lots of old tools are made of wood.
Not flimsy grown in eighteen months wood, hardwood. Wood that took several decades to grow with brass balls attached to it. Old tools have often been put through their paces. They have been smashed, bashed and used in several manual labour ways. There are often signs old tools were also a proxy for other tools they were not designed to be used for to make do for the job in hand.Finding old tools is easy.
Car boots, brick n brack shops, little old worldly stores and house clearances. One such occasion I found by chance in one such little shop in a small village.
VINTAGE LEAD BEATERS / LEAD DRESSERS
These old roofing tools smell old, they look old and have the soul beaten from them over a long period of time. This has made the wood dense, rough and showing signs of a hard life. Lead dressers or otherwise know as lead beaters, are designed in various shapes for beating lead flashing on roofs into shape.
I acquired the above three as a little gift from my service boy while we were shopping in the store for other items he thought id find interesting.
The grand total for these three was £1 each from a random trunk of old tools and metal. To give you an idea what these fetch if you find some in good condition have a look at this auction advert below...
Of course looking rough, feeling rough and smelling of dust lead and grime make look good but it is certainly not the best for various forms of BDSM impact play. Therefore they are worth making into a mini project.
Turns out of the three I have one will need repair with epoxy resin and a clamp as there is a split starting to form. I will eventually do that but for now, I have decided to pick the two that require the least amount of time to prepare.
Off to the kitchen I do and find the meat cleaver to chop out any bits which are broken and damaged from the years of being beaten against roofing lead. This helped to make it smoother and take away a few sharp points from where the wood had broken and split in the past.
Why a meat cleaver? well, a hatchet would probably have been a better choice but this was closer to be at the time so was the best choice. I was not really that picky on where either so I used the lid of my recycle bin.
I mentioned earlier about seeing signs of tools being used for other reasons. On this piece on one side is evidence it was being used as a hammer at one point.
The shape of the nail heads would suggest old roofing tile nails. The person on the roof at the time probably picked it up as a makeshift tool or lent it from another person using them at the time for their intended use to bash in a nail or two for some tiles.
There is also one long groove. I am not sure what could have caused these but again are probably caused by the tool being used as a third party item to cover the absence of another tool.
After some minor reshaping, I got to work on the tools removing the old varnish and smoothing out the rough old wood. Three levels of sandpaper from 60 grain to 80 then 120. I was not after a perfect smoothness but was certainly easy to power out 5 mins of sanding per level of sanding paper to get the result I was looking for.
The grain of the wood is now noticeable and it would seem there are two different types of wood between them. After being sanded down I used some white spirit to clean off the dust to prepare the surface for varnishing.
First coat of varnish....
Drilled a hole in each of the handles make it easy to hang up during varnishing. The varnish I used is an extra hard polymer exterior varnish. Time taken between coats is three to four hours. After four hours I place a second coat on and leave twenty-four hours.
After the second coat, I will sand it down with 120g sandpaper, clean with white spirit and then paint on a third coat to leave overnight. This will then conclude the varnishing process. I would consider adding a leather handle to make it have a more finished look as the varnish will probably make the handles smooth and slippy.
The longest part of this project is waiting for varnish to set but any solvent based varnish worth its durability will take a little while to set but will give much harder durable results.
After the second coat being sanded, a third coat of poly varnish and some leather wrist cord later and the result is finished. I filled in the holes from the nail heads with a few drops of varnish from a toothpick and then used leather cord for the wrist loop to ensure the new toys don't fly across the room during use.
Once forgotten now back in the spotlight.