As I am just starting out, I don't know all the ins and outs of caring
for tools. In the past, I have just let tools sit in garage. As
result, I have found rust of a few of my tools, such as screw drivers
I have slowly gotten into woodworking. Slowly as in have some money
for tools OR wood, but not both. So I am at that stage of collecting
tools (the best part of woodworking, right?), and am wondering what is
the proper way of caring for tools? This includes hand tools and
power tools? What about cast iron table saw tops?
Thanks in advance,
Lot's of different things to consider but, for me - I use both a non silicon
wax and a product called Boeshield to protect my tablesaw, jointer, etc. I
also cover them at the end of the day and try to remove any sawdust from the
flat surface. Hand tools, generally get Boeshield or WD-40 and lightly
wiped. Everyone has their individual preferences so you should get some good
One of the keys for me is to make sure each tool has a home. By that I
mean a dedicated shelf, cubby, slot, nail on the wall or case where
each tool gets returned to when I'm finished with it. I like my tools
exposed and visible, personally, so I can quickly get to them and
quickly see if something is missing. Trouble starts when you've got a
pile of tools all banging together getting pushed this way and that to
make room for something else you've acquired. Organize!
If you were to have seen my garage, you may have a heart attack. But
it IS better. Slowly trying to get organized. Right now, it is the
stack of 2x4's and lumber on the floor that is always in the way that
is the big blocker for getting things organized.
All my father's tools were always in boxes banging and scratching each
other. And of course, like father like son. But now that I am older
and wiser, I am trying to actaully take care of the tools I have
inherited and new ones I am collecting.
When I was in the appartment stage in my life, things had to go in tool
boxes. For small tools, I still do that -- model making, electronic,
etc. I now have things up in my workshop area on peg boards. I can see
them, and they are ready at hand. I also have a small tote box that get
loaded up with stuff when I have a household project, then the tools
get returned to the bench.
I make it a point to have any edged tool -- chisel, saws, etc., hanging
free so that it doesn't damage the edge. Boxes for small stuff, cans of
paint, etc. Everything in its place, as one poster said.
Specialized stuff like bike to automotive tools do have a separate box.
I like the plastic ones, as they cushion things a bit. Sportsman's "Dry
boxes" for tool sets in the car. They have a rubber "O" ring that keeps
moisture and dirt out.
The guy who dies with the most tools wins...
Sounds like you have a moisture issue. Keep your tools in air-tight
boxes or cases when not in use. Wipe them occasionally with a rag
that has a few drops of kerosene in it. There are special sprays you
can use on the saw table tops, or you can polish it using Johnson's
paste wax. I polish my cast iron tops once a month, although weekly
is better. You can put a 3 watt bulb under the cast iron table to
keep it slightly warmer than the surroundings--that will help drive
A tool in the garage cycles between warm and cold often: the tool gets cold,
say overnight, then the weather heats up, and the humidity rises
simultaneously. The tool retains the cold longer than the air, and the
humidity of the air condensates on the tool.
Also never leave anything in a spray can in a cold garage. The can will be
useless. An open top container, depends on whats in it that counts.
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