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Staniforth Severquick... Shiny once more!

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posted on Jun, 21 2014 @ 10:47 AM
This is my grandfathers old machete. I say machete, although I am unsure if that name can be applied to this tool, since it has an axe like blade on the other edge, but that's what he called it, so that is what I am going with. As you can see, it is pretty rusted, and badly pitted up.

I have been meaning to re-finish the surface of the metal for some time, having sharpened the living hell out of this thing on a previous occasion. However, so deep was the rust, that I was stumped when attempting to use my normal technique for rust removal, involving wet and dry sand paper and elbow grease. Therefore, I dug out my Dremel multi purpose tool, put the barrel sander attachment into it, and set to work. Initially, results were less than staggering...

However, a few hours (while working around customers and other bits and bobs), patience and several replaced barrel sanding bits later...

Not bad for an afternoons work. There is still much to do, but I have broken the back of the task now!

Now this tool is very old. I looked it up once, and the year 1934 came up. Could be as many as 80 years of accumulated rust and muck all over me, and I could not be happier !

posted on Jun, 21 2014 @ 12:01 PM
a reply to: TrueBrit

Kudos, Star and Flag to you.
This just goes to show what a little hard work and care can do. In todays "throw-away" society it is good to see someone who actually cares enough to clean and repair rather than replace.

posted on Jun, 21 2014 @ 01:26 PM
a reply to: TrueBrit

Nice tool and nice job cleaning it up! It's great to bring back old items and make them useful once again, isn't it?

All you need is a horde of zombies to go with it!

posted on Jun, 21 2014 @ 02:17 PM
a reply to: TrueBrit

I love seeing old tools like this. What did your grandfather use it for? I'm curious because of the shape. I still have my grandfather's wire cutter/hammer/twister tool from when he was a cattle rancher setting up fences 90 years ago. This thing is sturdy as heck and I use it to this day.
I wish I knew who and how it was forged. It has no brand name on it.

posted on Jun, 22 2014 @ 03:06 PM
a reply to: TrueBrit
Dude, t'is a Billhook and the finest and most British of outdoor tools; beloved of hedgers, bodgers, farmers and other woodsy type folk.
I've done most of the work on bowmaking with one of those, split logs, cleared brush, made shelters, harvested wheat and generally howled at the moon while brandishing it at the stars. Last time i used one was yesterday

I love me a good billhook as do many folk, and their typology is a hobby to many - see Timeless Tools for many examples - i'm no expert at all, but i've heard these called both Staffordshire and Roman type.
They are very rarely tanged as they are not really meant for very heavy tasks, though if you get a rare tanged one as i do, you can fell a small tree no probs.

Nice restoration job - what is the makers mark on it?

ETA - Staniforth Severquick ofc

edit on 22-6-2014 by skalla because: (no reason given)

No idea if Industrail History is of interest to you, but some info on the maker : Thomas Staniforth and Co
edit on 22-6-2014 by skalla because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 22 2014 @ 06:29 PM
a reply to: skalla


For gods sake, I knew that somewhere in the back of my head, but just never married the term to the item!
Thanks for that skalla!

As far as I know, grandfather used this tool for many chores with regard to his gardening pursuits, and made use of it to split wood for kindling and fuel as well, back in the days before the central heating got fitted to his and grandmothers home, about eighteen years ago.

Since then, it sat at the back of grandfathers tool shed in the back garden of his home. When he died a couple of years back, my aunt rescued it, had no use for it, and gave it to my mother, who entrusted it to my care. I have had hold of it for a year and a half, and have been ruminating on how best to approach the restoration and upkeep of the blade for pretty much that entire time (running the thing through in the back of my head, rather than constantly banging on about it of course. No one wants to be "that guy" at the back of the bus, silently and with expressionless face, going through the mime of sharpening a tool on a whetstone!).

I also need to make a carrier for it of some sort. I have a bit of heavy duty plastic packaging, which used to contain a pair of ratchet tie down straps. That is the correct length, width, and has some features which make it perfect as a place to store the billhook for now, but I want to add a covering to it, to provide protection for the blade, as well as belts or straps to carry it on my person during a days heavy work, in my sisters garden for example (which, trust me, is like doing battle with Godamn triffids).

I am also considering coating the blade in a tough matt black paint, and then coating THAT in some of that NeverWet stuff that I have recently seen advertised. I would have thought, that as well as keeping moisture away from the blade, the NeverWet might actually reduce drag on the blade as it passes through vegetation, resulting in a nett reduction in effort required to use the blade. All things to ponder, and continue with at some point.

However, for the moment, I will be having a break from working on that tool, in so far as there is much work to do to remove some of the more stubborn pitting, and that will more than likely require the use of more heavy duty sanding gear, something with more poke than my Dremel can muster at any rate. While I look forward to that very much, despite wearing a dust mask during my last engagement with this task, I managed to end up with rust clogged sinuses from all the iron oxide dust that flew off the thing when I was working on it.

So until I have cleared out all the rust from my nose, I will just keep the blade oiled, and consider using linseed oil or similar on the handle of the tool. That is another thing entirely, since the wood is rather dry, and has already shown signs of cracking. I do not know what I am looking forward to more, the idea of a nicely finished original handle, of the prospect of having to devise a new one!

posted on Jun, 22 2014 @ 07:36 PM
a reply to: TrueBrit

Fret ye not, i have often ruminated on such matters whilst on the bus, no doubt miming words and actions too

It great that it's an heirloom too
My own billhook is modern and simple stamped steel but it's a great tool - i do like the ones with the blades on the back and have used them may times, though my own lacks that feature - which helps when you want to batton/bludgeon it through thicker logs etc.
It's been pretty mistreated; banged off rocks, left out in the rain and so forth so it aint pretty but i just sharpen the curve with a half-round file most of the time (though cigar shaped sharpening stones are made for the task, Axminster may sell them online) and strop the straight part of the blade with wet and dry taped to a block of wood. It works a treat and i've given my self some nasty cuts when i've been careless with it.
Sheaths are pretty tricky due to the blade flaring out at the business end though iirc Fiskars and Spear and Jackson make some fancy ones that may provide inspiration - i just protect the blade with card wrapped in plastic tape though and keep it in my back pack, and i had a colleague who made a nice (loose) sheath made from riveted leather with belt loops etc.

As for a new handle, i know it's often done. You could always make an extra long one and then you'd be able to hook a knight from his mount and chop him in to little bits at a safe distance! Farmers have been doing that for a thousand years when the need arose.

posted on Jun, 22 2014 @ 08:03 PM
a reply to: skalla

For sharpening the blade, I use a two stage process, ordinarily speaking.

I have a device made by Plasplugs, a company which I believe no longer exists, which consists of a motor, a spinning grinding wheel, and several attachments which are used for purposes ranging from chisel and drill sharpening, to knife and scissor sharpening.

However, my favourite way to use the device, is to leave the attachments off, and merely use the grinding wheel on it. We have a larger, more powerful grinding wheel, but the wheel on the device I am talking about, is oriented so that it spins from left to right, rather than toward oneself. It has also been worn down, so that the wheels outermost edge, does not have a harsh corner, but a soft, rounded feel. This makes it perfect for putting an edge back on a tool, or at least, starting that process. By applying the blade to the wheel at the correct angle, and drawing it back and forth against it, a decent start can be made on producing an edge. All that is required to make use of the device when the blade itself is somewhat curved, is familiarity with the heft and feel of the object, and the sound the metal makes against the wheel when one is doing a good job.

There is a particular pitch, slightly different for each tool, which indicates that one is putting the correct pressure on the blade, and the right angle against the wheel, to get a nice start on an edge, and that is largely a trial, error, and observation issue in my experience.

The next stage, is the whetstone. Now, I have a block stone, rather than a rounded one, but it is pretty worn also, which means it has both flat planes which are great for straight sections, and it has dull corners, which makes it pretty damned good for running around a curved edge. Before applying the metal to the stone, I place the stone in a vice, to make sure it remains stationary, then I coat the stone in washing up liquid. I do this, because the washing up liquid captures the particles lifted from the surface of the stone, and the blade itself, and keeps them all in place and acting as a part of the honing process, rather than just building up at the ends of the stone when one pulls the blade along its length.

Then I just set about working the blade on the stone, until I can pass the tool through a piece of paper without any tearing happening, just a smooth, straight slice, using nothing but the tools own weight, and a backward pull.

I like the idea of a longer handle. Not to the degree of turning it into a weird halberd or something, just so a nice firm two handed grip can be taken upon it. That would be great for when my buddy has barbecues at his place. He usually has a whole heap of wood that needs rendering into kindling and main fuel sized pieces before the cookout begins, and I would love to see how the finished article would perform in that regard if a two handed grip could be put on it, but I think I will leave further musings on structural modification until I have established how well the current handle will stand up to oiling and so on! If it is not broken, I do not intend to go fixing it too much!
edit on 22-6-2014 by TrueBrit because: Grammatical error correction.

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