Garden tools are among the most used and abuse tools around, thus, they also need regular maintenance and repair. Keep your tools in good condition will not only considerably extend their life but it will also lighten your gardening tasks.
One part of good maintenance is to clean all the garden tools right after each use, before storing them. Shovels, hoes, rakes and similar metal tools are extremely susceptible to rust especially after being used on damp soil, so clean the metal parts and thoroughly dry them before storage. You may also wipe the blades with an oil-soaked rag, or keepa pail or sand moistened with oil in your garage. Work your blades, shovels, or hoe up and down in it a couple of times just before hanging it up. The sand scrapes the dirt off and also polishes the metal at the same time. The oil, on the other hand, coats the metal parts lightly to protect against rust. Replace the batch of oily sand each spring time.
Garden tools with moving parts such as pruning shears and hedge clippers need regular lubrication particularly on pivot points and hinged segments. Lightly oil these tools and wipe off any excess to avoid the greasy build up that will attract dirt.
Protect and preserve garden tool handles by rubbing the rough spots with medium grade sandpaper or steel-wool, or by wrapping it withwaterproof plastic tape. At least once a year, buff the handles with fine steel wool, then wipe on two coats of boiled linseed oil. Allow the oil to soak well before wiping off the excess with a dry fabric. Protecting and maintaining these tools handles will avoid causing blisters and injury to you hands due to cracked, splintered, or rough metal parts. Damaged tool handles can be replaced by buying replacement parts at your local hardware or garden supply shop. If you are inexperienced with replacing tool handles, it would be better to bring the damaged tool to the shop, too. Perhaps you can ask someone to give you an added service of replacing the handle with a new one right after buying the needed parts.
To make you garden chores easier and more efficient, shovel blades, clippers, hoes, scissors, and similar tools should be periodically sharpened using a file or carborundum. As much as possible, try to keep the original shape of the blade by applying light strokes across the cutting edge. Garden scissors and clippers must only be sharpened from one side - the one that has a bevel, with the file traveling from the heel to the blade point at every stroke.
© 1/28/2011 Athena Goodlight on Factoidz