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winter hand tool maintenance?  RSS feed

 
master steward
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Location: Left Coast Canada
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Anyone here do any hand tool repair or maintenance in the winter months? 

I know for me there is always lots to do.  Oil the handles on the hoes and shovels, sharpen and oil blades, sort through the broken tools and see what can be repaired and what is heading to the scrap yard... that sort of thing.

What's your favourite way to protect wooden handles? 
What tool maintenance do you do in winter? 
 
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Location: ALASKA
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Short answer is yes.  I typically clean, sharpen, oil, replace lost or missing hardware, tighten handles if needed and or replace handles as the case may be.  I've found a good way to keep shovels clean and oiled is a bucket of sand with some type oil in it.  When you finish using the shovel, hose it off and stick it in the bucket of sand a time or two.  The sand scours the blade and the oil protects the metal.  I will sand down wooden handles as needed and use a food grade oil on them.  I only sand down enough to have a "hand safe" finish, not to baby smoothness. I sharpen with a file or whetstone as dictated by the tools primary use.
 
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Walt, that 'bucket of oily sand' idea is great! I'm going to do that . . . as soon as the sand thaws out! Thanks.
 
Walt Chase
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Yea, Tracy, having thawed sand is important.   I laid my sand out on an old piece of plywood in my shop floor and let it dry completely then it went in the bucket with the oil poured over.  Don't fill the bucket up to the rim.  Within a couple or three inches works and you won't spill as much sand out that way.  I keep my bucket under cover so it doesn't get rain or snow in it.
 
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Fixing the tools over winter is a great idea.  But I end up working in the shop doing woodworking and blacksmithing projects.  So I end up fixing garden tools when I need them.  I think yours is a better plan.
 
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