• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • Anne Miller
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Mike Haasl
stewards:
  • paul wheaton
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Dave Burton
master gardeners:
  • jordan barton
  • Greg Martin
  • Steve Thorn
gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • Jay Angler
  • Kate Downham

Tool care advice for people new to tool care?

 
gardener & author
Posts: 1765
Location: Tasmania
915
homeschooling goat forest garden fungi foraging trees cooking food preservation pig wood heat homestead
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I am now at a point where I'm buying more "but it for life" type tools instead of cheap crappy ones, and I'm wondering what needs to be done, and how often, to keep them in good condition?

Is there anything I should be wiping blades down with to stop rust?

Which oil is best for wooden tool handles, and what is the process for applying it?

Is there a way to sharpen hand saw blades? What tools would I need?

What is the best tool for keeping hoe and spade blades sharp?

Do you have any general advice for making tools last?
 
Kate Downham
gardener & author
Posts: 1765
Location: Tasmania
915
homeschooling goat forest garden fungi foraging trees cooking food preservation pig wood heat homestead
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I've found the tool care PEP: https://permies.com/wiki/pep-badge-tool-care

There is an impressive list of challenges we can do to help make tools last, while getting a qualification with a badge picture attached to our Permies profiles.

Here is a badge bit for maintaining a shovel: https://permies.com/wiki/105869/PEP-BB-tool-sand-shovel

Looks like some people are using boiled linseed oil on the blade and the handle - is this a good oil to use for all metal tools with wood handles?
 
gardener
Posts: 789
Location: Piedmont 7a
281
hugelkultur trees woodworking
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Kate,

I use raw linseed oil. Some people consider the boiled linseed oil available at the big box stores toxic given the chemical and metallic additives they use to avoid actually boiling it - a cheaper way to get it to dry more quickly.  If you can find true boiled 100% linseed oil, without the additives, the advantage over raw is it dries more quickly.
 
Kate Downham
gardener & author
Posts: 1765
Location: Tasmania
915
homeschooling goat forest garden fungi foraging trees cooking food preservation pig wood heat homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Artie Scott wrote:Hi Kate,

I use raw linseed oil. Some people consider the boiled linseed oil available at the big box stores toxic given the chemical and metallic additives they use to avoid actually boiling it - a cheaper way to get it to dry more quickly.  If you can find true boiled 100% linseed oil, without the additives, the advantage over raw is it dries more quickly.



Thank you - that is very good to know! There are some natural oil companies that probably make a boiled one without additives, so that is what I'll look for first.

If I wanted to grow linseed in the future and press it myself, what would be the process for boiling it? Do I just carefully heat it up to a certain point as if it were tallow that I was going to deep fry with? Do I need to have a thermometer in it and wait until it gets to a certain heat?
 
pollinator
Posts: 1233
Location: Chicago/San Francisco
181
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
> boiled... dries quicker...
A LOT quicker. I've use raw - once - on a hammer I think, years ago. I can still find sticky places.

> what to do...
Make what ever steps you find plausible as easy and convenient as you possibly can. Whatever good stuff you decide on will need to actually be done, over and over, for all the rest of your (or rather the tools') life. If that means putting dry safe storage for tools somewhere front and center in your space, well, that's what you need to do. If it means swabbing with oil after each use, well, that oil better be w/in easy reach when quitting time comes around. If it means sharpening the tool each day, then the sharpening stuff, _all_ of it you need, has to be w/in reach and ready when/where you need it; if you need running water or oil for sharpening, make it happen that it's there when you need it. If you decide not to use your axe for a maul, you better make sure you get a maul and it's right there when you need it.

IOW, spend some resources on addressing the real problem with tool care: Laziness and inconvenience and time consuming missing ingredients. Tool maintenance is the poor relative, easily pushed down on a To-Do list.

Regards,
Rufus
 
pollinator
Posts: 1043
Location: Pac Northwest, east of the Cascades
278
hugelkultur forest garden trees chicken wofati earthworks building solar rocket stoves woodworking homestead
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
For a video about tools from the National Forest Service

part 1 of video



part 2 of video




This video series will help with how to care for tools since it is made to do just that. See An Ax To Grid for axe videos.
 
pollinator
Posts: 4958
1151
transportation duck trees rabbit tiny house chicken earthworks building woodworking
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
With the exception of carbide tools that require special tools, you can pretty much sharpen anything. Once you learn the basics, it really is just a matter of studying the tool for a second, figuring out the angles, and then sharpening it up. After a very short time you will realize how much stuff you have thrown out, that with 10 minutes of time, would have lasted forever.

I am also a minimalist by nature so I have very little money tied up in sharpening. I would say 75% of the stuff I sharpen is with a plate of glass (it is absolutely flat) and sand paper. Yes, it really is that simple and inexpensive. Round files and triangle files round out the list.

I once read a Homestead book that explained how to be self-sufficient in every way, and then he proceeded to say, "Never sharpen a chainsaw chain, send it in to have it sharpened, it is too complicated." Oh my gosh, really, you just described how to slaughter a whole cow, and now you are concerned about a chainsaw chain?

I once made a Dovetail saw completely by hand, with hand tools, filing the teeth individually using only a triangle file and saw set. If I can make a saw that easy, people can certainly sharpen saw. It is all about confidence.
 
Travis Johnson
pollinator
Posts: 4958
1151
transportation duck trees rabbit tiny house chicken earthworks building woodworking
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My best advice on making things last is this: "If something moves, it eventually breaks. Buy the tools that have the least moving parts.
 
Kate Downham
gardener & author
Posts: 1765
Location: Tasmania
915
homeschooling goat forest garden fungi foraging trees cooking food preservation pig wood heat homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Travis Johnson wrote:My best advice on making things last is this: "If something moves, it eventually breaks. Buy the tools that have the least moving parts.


I agree. I try to find tools that are as simple as possible.

I also look for things that are attached in sturdy ways, and for wooden handles that are heavy and look solid. When the join of a tool looks really flimsy, that is where I think it's likely to fail.
 
gardener
Posts: 1657
593
personal care gear foraging hunting rabbit chicken cooking food preservation fiber arts medical herbs homestead
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Once you have those buy-it-for-life tools, obviously, maintenance is key to keeping them in good shape. Bringing them in, out of the weather seems obvious, but as I bring them in, things like shovels, forks, shears, etc., all get a few rounds in my sand&oil bucket. I keep a 5gal bucket, full of sand and oil, by the garage door. Start with dry sand, and pour in linseed oil, until the sand is pretty dark & moist with it. Then, I wipe any chunks of grime off the tools and stick them into the oily sand a few times, to simultaneously scrub off any remaining dirt, and oil them, to protect them against moisture/ rust, before hanging them up.
 
I'd appreciate it if you pronounced my name correctly. Pinhead, with a silent "H". Petite ad:
Rocket Mass Heater Plans - now free for a while
https://permies.com/goodies/7/rmhplans
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic