Dirty Hands Once Again

by laurie jane kern on April 23, 2011

Back in December, I picked up a large "rustic" ball stake off of ebay for about 40 bucks before shipping costs. It is almost 3" in diameter and brand new something like this would cost almost $200. 

 It looks like an old and possibly home made stake because the tang is long and round plus only the bottom of the tang is square to fit into the hardy hole of an anvil.   The stake is/was black and had quite a bit of surface grime plus it was very pitted and not even round. There is a flat spot on the top and other flat spots on the "ball".   

The first thing i did this morning was take it to the wire brush I have on my grinding motor.  Then I went at it with a very coarse criss-cross cut file. I wanted to get out pits and get rid of the flat spots.  That took over an hour. Then I moved onto another file that had a finer cut than the previous file. I  worked out the deeper groove and refined the shape further. I also rounded the area around the top flat spot some what - it's just not as big as before and it blends into the rest of the stake better.  

At this point my hands were black so I went and cleaned them up and went back to the garage and next took the stake to a white advantage wheel on the other spindle of my grinder. Using this wheel i was able to remove most of the remaining file marks, more pits and remove the slight ridges that were still there to the touch.  This process is slow and with not a lot of pressure because if the wheel grabs the stake I could end up with a tang in my face - that and taking too much off and just making it worse. 

We are now 3 hours into the process and I was finally ready to go back upstairs and work with the sand paper.  I think I used 2 sheets of the 280 and the 320 grit paper.  Then the 400 and 600 which gave a good finish but I decided to go at it with my very fine papers too. 

I am now done and my husband can't believe the difference.  In all, it took almost 5 hours to redress.

It is pretty good looking and it now looks like a funny dome stake vs. a ball stake. The picture below is of my hand after using the sand paper.

Unfortunately I forgot to take a before picture but you can see the after pictures over on the Tools of the Craft page.
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