Maintaining Your Garden Tools

It is very important to maintain your tools by keeping them clean and free of rust, properly adjusted and sharp. You also need to do some repair if the metal is deformed like the point on a pick (it tends to get blunt when striking rock) or the tip of your spade.Garden Tools

Supplies and tools needed:

  • Files – several different sizes and shapes
  • Screwdrivers
  • Hammers
  • Saw sets
  • A bench vise
  • Steel wool (several grades from rough to fine)
  • Medium to Light oil – such as 3-in-1 oil
  • Sharpening stones and slip stones – I recommend water stones as they don’t clog easily
  • Grinder – I recommend a bench grinder and not one you use with a drill
  • Soapy and fresh water
  • Shop towels
  • Metal Polish
  • Linseed Oil

General Procedure

  1. Clean the tool with soap and water and towel dry. Let air dry in the sun a little longer to be sure it is dry
  2. Make note of any and all damage
  3. Disassemble if possible – keep track of bushing, nut and bolt locations for re-assembly
  4. Use steel wool and 3-in-1 oil to remove any rust
  5. Use files and grinders to remove any damage and restore the tool to its original shape or restore the edge
  6. Some edges only need filing but others will need sharpening so proceed with the stones to make the edge razor sharp
  7. If the tool initially had a polished finish polish the surface now
  8. Apply a light coat of 3-in-1 oil to the metal parts to keep moisture at bay
  9. Apply varnish or linseed oil to wood parts to keep the wood in good condition
  10. Re-assemble if you had to dis-assemble

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