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Burgundy finish to tools with wooden handles?

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Andrew Tinsley31/05/2020 16:53:52
1112 forum posts

I am restoring some of my fathers old tools. The wooden handles of such things as yankee screwdrivers, Brace and bit drills and some of his planes are finished with a burgundy coloured paint, or more probably varnish.

Having done the mechanical sorting, I would like to reproduce the burgundy finish, but I have drawn a complete blank to date on a source of the paint / varnish.

Can anyone suggest a supplier?

Thanks,

Andrew.

Grindstone Cowboy31/05/2020 17:10:26
300 forum posts
27 photos

Pretty sure the Yankee screwdrivers have a paint finish, possibly with a clear lacquer over it, The woodwork on Stanley planes was varnished, but not AFAIK in burgundy - all mine (like you, inherited from Dad) are just clear/brown. Sorry I can't help with a supplier, but I'm sure someone will very soon. Paragon paints could probably mix whatever colour you specify.

And I'm a big fan of Yankee screwdrivers - quite often better than a cordless driver yes

All the best,

Rob

JasonB31/05/2020 17:27:51
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Moderator
18113 forum posts
1995 photos
1 articles

Some form of coloured lacquer rather than paint as it is slightly transparent, My dads one has the colour you describe or what's left of it and my plastic handled one is burgundy.

May be worth asking on one of the woodworking forums as they usually have a healthy number of tool collectors/restoreres.

Andrew Tinsley31/05/2020 18:06:53
1112 forum posts

Thanks Jason,

I think you are correct in it being a lacquer, it doesn't look right for either paint or varnish. I will try a woodworking forum and see what transpires.

Yes you are right Grindstone, I intend to use the yankee screwdrivers, they are not just for show!

Andrew.

Martin Kyte31/05/2020 18:11:38
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1842 forum posts
33 photos

Sort yourself out with the right coloured wood stain (you can mix them to get the right shade) then lacquer or Danish oil.

regards Martin

Michael Gilligan31/05/2020 19:33:40
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15712 forum posts
687 photos

It doesn’t answer your question, but this has a lot of useful information about the Yankee screwdivers : **LINK**

http://thevalleywoodworker.blogspot.com/2016/01/the-yankee-spiral-screwdrivers-family.html

MichaelG.

Andrew Tinsley31/05/2020 20:13:46
1112 forum posts

Hello Martin,

I did think of mixing woodstains to give the correct colour. but my normal make of stain doesn't do a stain that is red enough. Maybe take a look at other makes.

Thanks,

Andrew.

Barrie Lever31/05/2020 20:59:59
569 forum posts
56 photos

Andrew

Rustins have a good range of woodstains, then apply Rustins Plasticote and you get a super gloss finish.

I restored a M&W toolmakers chest and I was pleased with the results from the above materials.

I will upload photo's if you want to see the results.

B,

ega31/05/2020 21:03:16
1713 forum posts
150 photos

I don't think the woodstain will obliterate the grain of the wood. Dipping in the appropriate paint or lacquer is the way to go.

Andrew Tinsley31/05/2020 21:09:11
1112 forum posts

Hello Barrie a photo of the tool chest would be good. I would like to see the finish before going ahead. I have had to strip down the last painting job twice because of problems and I don't want to start doing it again. Once is bad enough, but twice is purgatory!

Thanks,

Andrew.

Andrew Tinsley31/05/2020 21:09:12
1112 forum posts

Hello Barrie a photo of the tool chest would be good. I would like to see the finish before going ahead. I have had to strip down the last painting job twice because of problems and I don't want to start doing it again. Once is bad enough, but twice is purgatory!

Thanks,

Andrew.

Mike Poole31/05/2020 21:23:48
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2575 forum posts
60 photos

Although air tools and for the last 25 years battery tools were used on production the Yankee was still used in some places. My uncle had a Yankee without a speck of paint on the wooden handle and it was natural wood so I suspect it was not stained before lacquering, whatever they finished it with it was quite thick and would chip if abused. Perhaps Stanley would know if they are feeling helpful and you drop then a line.

Mike

Barrie Lever31/05/2020 23:35:01
569 forum posts
56 photos
Posted by Andrew Tinsley on 31/05/2020 21:09:12:

Hello Barrie a photo of the tool chest would be good. I would like to see the finish before going ahead. I have had to strip down the last painting job twice because of problems and I don't want to start doing it again. Once is bad enough, but twice is purgatory!

Thanks,

Andrew.

Hello Andrew

In the photo's below there are two different colour stains, the darker one is Rustin Red Mahogany.

I have also given the boxes two different styles of finish, the M&W box is coated with Rustins Plasticote, maybe 5 or 6 coats sanded down lightly on each coat and then it has a 2000 grit finish which is then waxed with Colron furniture wax.

The smaller box is also finished with Rustion Plasticote but is polished at the end of the process rather than being rubbed and waxed.

Having taken the photos it has highlighted the need to finish the carrying handle !!

Regards

Barriedsc_1102.jpg

dsc_1100.jpg

dsc_1101.jpg

Andrew Tinsley01/06/2020 09:02:26
1112 forum posts

Thanks for that Barrie. I shall check Rustins stains to see if there is one red enough to do the job.

Andrew.

KWIL01/06/2020 13:46:27
3234 forum posts
63 photos

Just taken a look at my own Yankee driver, It was definately a black finish, woodgrain only shows where the finish has been rubbed away by use over the years. Had it since new.

ega01/06/2020 16:35:56
1713 forum posts
150 photos
Posted by KWIL on 01/06/2020 13:46:27:

Just taken a look at my own Yankee driver, It was definately a black finish, woodgrain only shows where the finish has been rubbed away by use over the years. Had it since new.

Was it by any chance one of the early North Brothers drivers?

Andrew Tinsley01/06/2020 20:13:01
1112 forum posts

Hello Kwil,

One of my old man's yankees had a black handle, just as you described. Being black, meant it was easy to restore to original condition.

I am not sure that I know why I am doing this. I suppose that I spent a lot of my younger years in the shed with my father. It is the memory of the tools when they were were well cared for. They were in a sorry state, before renovating them. I just get a good feeling when using them.

Now for the final push and get the burgundy handle sorted!

Andrew.

speelwerk01/06/2020 20:33:51
366 forum posts
5 photos

Do not know a UK supplier but Clou "bright red" is very red indeed **LINK** . Niko.

Mark Easingwood01/06/2020 22:02:54
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12 forum posts
4 photos

img_20200601_152654286.jpg

The one on the right, and the ratchet are mine, so a good 35 years old, the two Yankee's on the left were my Dad's, so they will be even older.

The one on the right has an Ash handle, which I made, as the original one came loose and started started revolving.

The colour on the ratchet is a shade darker than that on the Yankee. The Yankee colour looks similar to original Red Oxide paint. Although most of the coloured finish has gone, there still appears to be a clear gloss finish left. My best guess is they put a clear coat on before the colour coat, which may explain why the colour coat does not stay on.

We did have a much smaller Yankee type with a black handle, and a burgundy plastic handled ratchet, I can't find them 'tho, or maybe another family member has them.

These people **Chestnut** do a very good Black Ebonising Stain, an a Black Ebonising Aerosol, if you are going to do them black.

I totally agree with your reasoning, and shed memories. Having done similar to some of my Dad's tools.

Kiwi Bloke02/06/2020 12:18:45
425 forum posts
1 photos

Whatever the coating is, it's brittle, and eventually flakes off in nasty, sharp-edged 'splinters', revealing uncoloured wood. I assumed it was just a coloured old-style varnish (whatever that is).

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