Steel tools don’t require the gentle touch you would use for
non-ferrous metals. In fact, the job might take a lifetime if you
start with steel wool!
If there are dings and scratches on the steel, start with pretty
coarse sandpaper, around 100 grit or even lower if dings are deep.
Work your way up until the surface looks beautiful, taking our all
the previous marks with each new grit-- the usual process. Finish on
a buffing machine with bobbing compound or tripoli.
I did this years ago with an inexpensive small ball peen hammer,
first reshaping it with files, and I still use the lovely little
hammer that resulted. I’ll never forget how it instantly took on a
mirror shine when I touched it to the buffing machine.
On the other hand, I put a lot of elbow grease into resurfacing the
steel block that is part of my bench pin, got it smooth and
beautiful, and as soon as I hammered on it, it dinged up again–
Anyway, don’t be afraid to treat steel like the workhorse it is-- it
is tough stuff. Just try to be sure the pieces you work on are worth