Gluing a Jernbolaget Label

The label fell off of this minty Jernbolaget chisel recently.


The label is foil on a paper backing. It is embossed with a raised trademark, lettering, and oval perimeter.


The label was originally glued on with hide glue. I did not want to remove the hide glue for fear of damaging the label. I did a little research and felt that fish glue would would be the best glue to use in this case. It should bond to both the hide glue on the label and the shellac on the handle. It is very tacky and has a long working time. Any excess glue can be cleaned up with water.


I had a quick look at the other chisels in the set to determine label position and alignment. I also got the fish glue ready (it was stored in the fridge and needs to be warmed to room temperature ) and found a small paint brush and some elastic bands.


I squeezed some fish glue on the bottom of a clean plastic container, then applied glue to the chisel label.


After applying a thin and even coat of glue I carefully positioned the label back on its original spot. I was able to see a very light outline of the label’s original position. I then carefully wrapped two elastic bands around the handle, holding the label firmly in place. The elastics should not be wrapped too tight to prevent them from marring the label.

I took the elastics off after about an hour and carefully cleaned off the small amount of squeeze out with q-tips and warm water. (If I had had more squeeze out, I would have cleaned it up before putting on the elastics). Then I wrapped the elastics back around the label and set the chisel aside while the glue dried.


After 12 hours, I took the elastics off. The glue had cured and the label lookes good.


One comment on “Gluing a Jernbolaget Label
  1. Randall Nelson says:

    I was really surprised that you felt the Jernbolaget label was originally glued on as a discreet process by itself, using hide glue. I had always assumed that the labels were put on while the shellac was wet, letting that be the adhesive. But, on reflection, if the handles were being purchased from a separate manufacturer, it would probably have been up to the people assembling the chisels to put on the company label, in whatever manner they felt was appropriate. Intact pristine stickers are one of the most desired elements for a “collectible” chisel, so I totally understand your desire to keep this group of tools looking good. Now, if I could just figure out how to make an authentic looking reproduction of some of those different stickers…

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