There’s something awesome about saving old tools and equipment and that’s why I love this video that shows the step by step restoration of a 70-year old Blackhawk bottle jack. This is a five ton model that has certainly done its fair share of work over the years and as you will see in the work done in the video, they don’t build them like they used to. Bottle jacks are simple little machines but that does not mean that there’s no skill involved in getting one rehabbed. This guy takes it seriously, machining his own replacement clevis pin and all.
There’s something eternally satisfying in seeing a piece of history like this brought back to the realm of the living. Things like jacks and vises are yeoman tools. They do not garner the ooohhhhs and ahhhhhs of more sexy stuff like welders and electric hand tools but they’re essential to getting jobs done. Who knows if this jack was used to life trucks or maybe even houses over the course of its life. We do know that the old school quality of the WWII era of construction shines through here when the jack is pulled apart.
Never seen the simple inner workings of a bottle jack? Now’s your chance. Never restored any tools? We have and it is fun. The air compressor we use to do work around the house is a 1950s era SpeedAire that we got for free from a guy’s garage. It was a couple of weekends worth of work to get it all rewired, re-ringed, and up to life order again but we have a smile every time we use it.
This guy has the same every time he sees the jack.