My favourite place for vintage tools is Habitat for Humanity‘s Restore shop in Sechelt, British Columbia. The staff is super friendly, and the selection for tools is just amazing! If you ever find yourself in town, I recommend you check out the store.
I had a choice of six Stanelys, of different makes and models, all at $10 – never thought choosing would be part of my quest for a perfect hand drill! I chose a reversible one with a nice chuck, minimal rust, and nice wood. From there it was taking everything apart and de-rusting in vinegar and salt for a couple of days (I couldn’t remove the middle wood, so that area was wrapped in plastic). Then a scrub with a steel brush, resetting the PH with some baking soda, and finally wiping down everything with alcohol to get rid of excess liquid.
For the wood pieces I did a scrub with mineral spirits to remove the paint and grime, then hand-sanded and wet-sanded to 600-grit with Tung oil. Seeing the finish and getting reminded of the history of vintage tools always amazes me.
To finish I got all the metal pieces covered in oil, lubricated anything that needed lubrication, and screwed it all back together.