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Thread: Quick & Dirty Cheap Tool Upgrade

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    Little Rabbit's Tools

    Quick & Dirty Cheap Tool Upgrade

    First an apology: I'm a wood-butcher, not a consumate craftsperson like some of the regular posters here, nor a living legend like Tony Foale.

    I came into possession of what is possibly the cheapest possible pair of MIG pliers ever made. They were apparently punched, and were only machined? on the flat faces. The needle jaws were misaligned by about 2mm at the tip, presumably from the the punching process. However, I didn't have a better pair and I am a cheapskate.

    I started with simply filing the needle points so they aligned. This worked well enough (I really dont think there's much carbon in the steel, it filed pretty easily). This improved the tool enough that I got a bit excited and decided to record my progress. The next step was to file off all the sharp edges and then sand to a reasonable finish, 400 grit.
    Quick & Dirty Cheap Tool Upgrade-after-light-filing.jpg
    Quick & Dirty Cheap Tool Upgrade-nearly-there.jpg

    You can see from the second photo where the end of the left-hand jaw was filed down.

    Naturally once a reasonable finish was obtained there was a need to protect it. Not having any commerical protection liquid, I visisted the kitchen for a poor man's blue. In this instance Kiwi Fruit, (also called Chinese Gooseberries) figuring they are acidic. Yes, I know other fruit and vegies work better, but I had a surplus. I simply skined and mashed a bunch and stuck them into a suitably sized container with the pliers and topped it up a little with water.

    Quick & Dirty Cheap Tool Upgrade-stew.jpg

    This type of bluing usually takes only a few days for knife blades in my experience, but due to a multitude of extraneous events I didn't get back to the kitchen window sill for a week.

    Quick & Dirty Cheap Tool Upgrade-finished-ii.jpg

    The resulting finish is OK, but a bit inconsistent; either due to inconsistent sanding, or perhaps some pre-existing oil in some places. Either way it looks better with a coating of light oil. They now work better than originally and are reasonably rust-proof.

    Any thoughts on how I can improve the handles?

  2. The Following 7 Users Say Thank You to Little Rabbit For This Useful Post:

    Inner (10-24-2019), j.bickley (10-28-2019), Jon (10-23-2019), Karl_H (10-27-2019), Stevohdee (10-23-2019), Tonyg (10-28-2019), Tuomas (10-24-2019)

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    Thanks Little Rabbit! We've added your MIG Pliers Jaw Fix to our Miscellaneous category,
    as well as to your builder page: Little Rabbit's Homemade Tools. Your receipt:





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