It is not enough to buy the essential tools; you must know the best ways to take care of your woodworking tools if you want them to last for a lifetime. Yes, tools and equipment can stay for that long if you know how to care, maintain, and store these stuff properly.
The importance of taking care of your woodworking tools is making sure that you get the most efficient results for every wooden project that you make. Proper care and routine maintenance will return you the favor in any home improvement or repair projects. It is the best way to be safer and more successful for every project that you make. More importantly, well-maintained tools save you money because you don’t have to buy tools all the time.
Since woodworking tools are sharper than people, most woodworkers assume that such devices don’t require care and maintenance. However, it is the opposite, especially for tools and blades made from steel or metal. So, let us talk about the best ways to take care of your woodworking tools and make sure that you can use them for a long time.
The Importance Of Tools Maintenance
Maintenance of woodshop equipment means keeping it up, and working just as they did when you took them out of the box. It is the minimum prerequisite to run a good, safe shop. A successful tool repair scheme will also make you much further. Taking a few extra measures to look after the work surfaces, cutting edges, alignment mechanisms, and moving parts will work wonders for your tool efficiency.
Throw in a few inexpensive power tool upgrades, and you can boost your woodworking machinery’s efficiency beyond new conditions. Below we’ll show you how easy it can be to keep the tools in your shop simple, real, safe, and run smoothly beyond the basics.
How To Take Care Of Your Hand Tools?
Examples of standard household tools often left out in areas such as basements, garages, and tool sheds are hand tools such as screwdrivers, wrenches, hammers, pliers, levels, and wire cutters. Tools are durable, but they are not indestructible, and they can take their toll from exposure to the elements.
Consider it a habit to clean the tools before returning them to storage after use. Wipe them with a rag or old towel to make sure they’re free from dust, dirt, to debris before placing them in their right positions. It is also a chance to look for any damages or defects. Check for splinters, breaks, and cracks on the handles of your tools. Also, ensure metal parts do not show any signs of corrosion or rust. If you see any, repair any instruments showing signs of damage.
Inspect And Repair
Cold chisels, log-splitting wedges, and other striking devices can be very dangerous if not correctly handled. These instruments are commonly used for repetitive surface striking. Ultimately the metal head is mushroom-shaped and extended to form a lip or ridge around the bottom. With continued use, further spreading occurs and the metal lip can continue to thin, crack or curl until it breaks. It could result in a dangerous projectile if the metal head breaks from the handle when in use.
Grind the edges of metal periodically with a powered grinder to stop this hazard. Don’t use repair or replacement equipment. Broken instruments may cause injury. Do not use inappropriate tools because you will only increase your risk of harm to yourself. Rusty and dull tools are more prone to accidents. When inspecting your hand tools, here are some things that you need to pay attention to.
Splintered, Cracked Or Loose Handles
In the event of damage to a wooden handle, it is prone to break during use, with the potential to injure someone. If there is not too much damage to the handle, you can sand it down fine. However, if the handle is too rough, sand over the grain first. Sand until you run your hand along with it smoothly enough, without sensing splinters or chips. Fulfill the process with a linseed oil coating. But if the splintering is massive, you must replace the tool. Always inspect the online India Hand tool kit.
It means that by usage, the striking edge which has to be sharp has become malformed. In this condition, when you’re using a hammer, the head will break on impact. Happily, by keeping tools sharp, you can solve this problem. Whenever you find a question, it is useful to sharpen them. Make it a habit to sharpen tools every six months, at least daily.
Rust and corrosion
Using the device may be dangerous, depending on the degree of rust or corrosion. Try removing the rust alone, or replace the tool. It is quite easy to get rid of rust in case there is no significant harm.
Sharpening Of Tools
The sandpaper, water stones, or diamonds can be used to sharpen your tools. Going in with sandpaper is the easiest and cheapest way. The thing is it doesn’t have a structure to it, and it bounces off. Place a piece of wood or glass under the sandpaper, then sharpen the sandpaper on your arms.
The sandpaper runs out smoothly, but it becomes more costly than other choices eventually. The water stone costs a little more than sandpaper, but it lasts longer. It would be best if you damped the block, then sharpen the tools on it.
Diamond sharpening stones are the perfect method to hone, in the long run. When you get into diamonds, there are no cheap options but it is worth the price. In the long run, it will last, always stay flat, and work efficiently.
Maintaining The Blades
Use an all-purpose oil, like WD-40 ®, for lubricating tools with adjustable parts after cleaning. Then, gently spray other pieces of metal tools while avoiding the handles. Wipe the excess clean with a rag before storing it. This practice helps to combat rust and corrosion. If your devices already show signs of rust, then you can use a variety of rust removers.
You may also use WD-40 ® to start spraying tools, and then clean them with steel wool or a hard wire brush. Then wash them with moist, soapy water and wipe them with a cloth or rag once more until all traces of rust are gone. And thoroughly dry them out with a fresh, dry towel. Apply a light WD-40 ® coat and wipe the excess oil away before storing it.
Don’t forget to wear heavy gloves when cleaning or removing rust from tools with sharp edges. It would also be more helpful if you can wear safety goggles whenever you use a wire brush in eliminating dust.
Care For Your Hand Tools
Handles should be smooth enough to float over your hand. If the wood is very rough, then in a shoe-shine fashion first sand over the surface. Top off with the grain by sanding. Wipe a dry handle down to rejuvenate and protect the wood with a heavy coat of linseed oil.
Once per season, bladed tools, such as shovels, pruners, and other lawn and garden tools should be sharpened. Use files to sharpen tools for digging, and sharpen nicked or dull cutting tools. To dig tools, file the working edge with a coarse file into a 45-degree angle. Hone all cutting tools with a medium-grit sharpening stone and retain the sharp point. Wet the sand with water for faster cutting, or lubricate it with honing oil according to the type of stone you have.
Store Your Tools Properly
For hand tools, a sound storage system is a must. To keep your equipment secure and in optimum condition, use a toolbox, storage cabinet, shelving unit, or a combination of all of these. Ideally, the storage units will be stored outdoors, with limited exposure to changes in humidity and temperature. Recall holding tools in their respective positions or hanging on assigned hangers after completing a job. Use a small tool bag for the tools you most frequently use, such as tools for simple housework jobs.
The rest of your arsenal of tools can stay in your main toolbox. You should have space where you can check your equipment and do the maintenance tasks you need, such as a worktable. To secure the table, cover it with newspaper or plastic sheeting to make it easier to clean up once you’re done with the job. Hang the lawn and garden equipment on a wall like shovels and rakes to keep them off the ground and protect them from moisture.
Tips In Avoiding Rust On Your Hand Tools
When it comes to handheld tools, rust is the number one enemy. It makes you work slow, ugly, and in poor condition. Most of the time, rusty tools will prevent you from doing the most beautiful wooden objects. So, as a part of proper storage, here are some more tips in avoiding rust on your woodworking hand tools.
- Always Keep Your Tools In Dry Places – It seems obvious, but garages and basements and other enclosed spaces, particularly if they are not heated or air-conditioned, may have problems with humidity. If you keep your tools in such a place, especially if you keep them on shelves or pegboards, consider investing in a dehumidifier to keep the humidity down. They’re not expensive, especially compared to your investment in your equipment.
- Hang Your Tools – Aside from saving space, hanging your tools, it would encounter less moisture. It is because putting them on your workbench, or the floor can make it creep up since floors moist easily.
- Use A Tool Box Or Use Original Cases – If you can’t hand handheld tools, it is better to put it in a toolbox or its original case. This way, you can offer the best protection from humidity and other factors that can ruin your hard-earned woodworking tools.
- Silica Gel Packs Are Helpful – These silica gel packs are small, but terrible in keeping moisture at bay. Throw them into drawers or toolboxes, and help keep the rust away. You can also buy rust inhibitors for the same purpose as for drawers and shelves and even anti-rust liners.
Stick To The Manual
Each instrument comes with a manual. Make sure you follow every manual about storage, cleaning, and maintenance. Both regular hand tools and power tools are essential. Consult the manual frequently, and do not be shy about highlighting necessary details and using color labels to mark it.
How To Take Care Of Your Power Tools?
Like with your hand tools, power tools like electric drills, saws, sanders and nailers require regular maintenance. Power tools are more susceptible to problems caused by poor maintenance, accumulation of dust and debris, and general malfunction, due to their mechanical and electrical parts. Below are some helpful tips on how to clean and store your tools properly.
Keep Your Power Tools Clean
If left unchecked over time, dust and grime will bring your power tools to a grinding stop. Once each job is done, wipe them clean with a rag and then store them. Using a damp cloth, deep clean periodically. Using lightly oiled cotton swabs or other slender devices to get into exhausts and intakes and other hard-to-clean areas.
The easiest way to clean the dirt and dust from inside equipment is to use an air compressor or a can of compressed air to blast air into the vents and crevices. Replace the filters as defined by the manufacturer’s instructions for tools that use filters.
Friction is the enemy in woodworking, and that makes it extremely necessary to keep your tools clean and safe from pitch and resin build-up. While your first line of protection against woodworking debris will always be an effective dust collection system, you will always need to keep power tool surfaces clean and adequately lubricated to come into contact with the wood.
Cleaning Saw Blades
Especially when you’re seeing pitchy softwoods, it doesn’t take long to get your table saw blade filled with a pitch and resin coat. The sticky residue causes extra heat build-up, friction, and drag, all of which affect not only the woodworking experience but also the cut quality. A few Pitch and Resin Remover squirts and a simple blade-change polish can keep your circular saw blades smooth and clean.
Cleaning Router Bits
The bits to the router are another likely candidate for regular cleaning. Sometimes there’s only a small amount of clearance between the cutting edge of a router bit and its frame, where resin build-up can add significantly to the friction produced during cutting. So keep your router parts bright and shiny, you can use the same cleaner you use for your saw blades.
Stationary Tool Surfaces
Your table saw, jointer, band saw, and planer surfaces are for supporting the piece of work and allow it to move through the cut smoothly. Such materials need to be kept clean and corrosion-free to keep them up to standards. Most woodworking experts recommend light lubrication to improve their efficiency. A tool care kit provides all you need to restore your tools’ work surfaces to their original stain and corrosion-free state, remove pitch and resin.
Store Power Tools Properly
Keep your power tools safe from dust, humidity, and other harmful conditions by adequately storing them after use. Hold them, if possible, in their original cases or put them away in storage drawers or tool chests, preferably in a garage or basement with reasonably controlled weather. It not only protects them but also keeps them organized so that when you need it, you can quickly find the tool you need.
Care to keep all of your devices in instruction manuals. The supplier delivers them to you so that you can use your appliances safely and competently. They will also have valuable information on how to look after the tool, find replacement parts, and other essential information pieces. Place manuals in your workspace or storage room, either in a toolbox drawer or a cabinet, so they’re readily accessible.
Inspect for Wear or Damage
Inspect the power tools regularly for any signs of wear or injury. Pay particular attention to power cords. If you see frayed insulation or exposed wires, have a specialist patch the cable or remove it immediately, unless you have the experience to do it yourself. Damaged power cords can cause electrical shock damage or can cause a fire.
Test the prongs of the string, too, to see whether they are twisted or loose. Please patch or restore if any. Please unplug the electrical devices to prevent the danger of electrical shock while washing them or doing any repairs. Unplugging them while not in use, is also a safe idea.
Lubricate Moving Parts
Keep lubricated moving parts for prime output. It not only keeps the workings of a machine working smoothly but also diminishes the risk of producing rust. While popular machine oil is a good option, check your owner’s manual to see whether a different form of oil is suggested or needed for the tool.
Here you have a perfect opportunity to develop your woodwork while gracefully aging your tools at the same time. Power tools are built to stand up to heavy use, at least decent ones, but if you want them to remain that way for a lifetime, you need to take care of their mechanical components.
Make sure all of your equipment and machinery are kept in good working order and adequately lubricated to protect your investments. Along with the primary considerations, there are a few mechanical enhancements that will boost the efficiency of a power tool beyond the like-new condition in many instances.
Lubricating Bearings & Moving Parts
The lubricant you use to hold the moving component and bearings of your devices in good shape should be suitable for the job. The bearing lubricant penetrates bearings to secure and seal internal components, reduce the build-up of heat, and prolong the tool’s life.
For good, trouble-free operation, lubricate all bearings and moving parts regularly, from all your stationery and handheld power tools. You can also enhance the efficiency of a blade lubricant stick on your band saw, scroll saw and coping saw blades. The lubricant stick, made with a unique blend of wax and oils, increases blade life, and helps avoid clogging.
Worn out drive belts cause increased vibration and slippage-not to mention the risk at the most inopportune moments they have to split. For example, when it’s time to adjust the belts, you have a chance to improve the efficiency of most tools by upgrading to a power twist link belt.
Here is one more example. The band saw tires are among the mechanical components most neglected in woodworking. Sometimes the typical rubber band saw tires are left on long after they have lost strength and started cracking. The cost of the performance of the instruments is increased noise, reduced blade life, and inadequate monitoring. Unlike rubber tires, urethane bands never saw tires dry out, meaning you’ll retain a new tire’s exceptional, vibration-free blade tracking for a long time.
The tires maintain their form and match tightly to the wheel. You don’t have to tape them down, and it’s fast and easy to replace them if they ever wear out. It’s worth the effort to do everything you can to minimize vibration. In poor tool efficiency and less than ideal cut surfaces, friction shows up-and it takes its toll on moving parts and bearings.
Keep Batteries in Shape
For contractors and homeowners alike, cordless, battery-powered tools are compact and straightforward and have become very common. To keep them working effectively and reliably, it is essential to maintain their batteries. Through fully charging and then fully discharging their capacity once every few weeks, the batteries stay working at peak levels.
Don’t allow the batteries to sit idle for more extended periods. Consider using one battery every two weeks. Care for batteries by washing up contacts with alcohol and cotton swabs. Store batteries that you won’t need at a warm, clean place away from excess heat for a while.
Maintaining Sharp Blades
Within a woodshop, most tools are built to do one thing-cut wood. One of the essential aspects of tool maintenance is, of course, to keep the cutting edges as sharp as possible. Your health and the quality of your woodworking depend on doing a good job here. There is a lot you can do to give yourself the “edge” when it comes to cutting and machining parts, from sharpening systems for hand tools to simply outfitting your equipment with the right router bits and saw blades.
Circular Saw Blades
Most woodworkers who have been in it from manufacturers they trust for a while shop for bits and blades. Circular saw blades are usually from carbide and tool steel of the highest quality to hold an edge by continuous use. There is no alternative to paying for a skilled sharpening service to put a new edge on a circular saw blade-investing a little more on blades that can go a long way without sharpening is probably cheaper in the long run.
Usually, router bits need replacement when they get slow or hurt. Staying away from the discount bits and bit sets is a big excuse. Regardless, choose router bots that use the highest quality carbide and machine steel. It guarantees operation for years without having to get replaced more often.
How about bits from the drill? Buying the best set of bits you can afford to start with is once again the best solution to an annoying drill bit problem. When used correctly, a decent set of Forstner bits will stand up to a lot of use until they lose their shine. After a certain amount of repeated use, even the best drill bits can get dull.
If you are the kind who likes to fly through drilling operations, leaving nothing but smooth, clean-edged holes in your wake, a sharpening device that works with the most common types of drill bit would be a good investment in maintenance equipment.
Keep Your Tools Aligned
The performance and accuracy of woodworking tools and equipment are of paramount importance to keep the tools in proper alignment. When mounted and modified, standard woodworking machines typically remain in sync for an extended period. Yet inevitably vibration and repeated use will cause even the best tools to go out of adjustment.
Table Saw Alignment
It helps to have a device to help keep items connected to the core of your store. The blade must be positioned to run parallel to the miter slot, and fence for a table saw to make smooth cuts and to prevent safety risks.
Upgrading your table saw’s fence and miter gauge is one of the easiest ways to improve its performance. Many contractor-grade saws are outfitted with high-quality essential components – the bed and the motor are fine – but sometimes an exceptional quality fence and miter gauge aren’t part of the bargain. Adding an accurate fence system and a precision miter gauge will significantly increase the accuracy and reliability of many table saws.
Band Saw Alignment
Your band saw’s ability to make an accurate cut without wander can be improved by an upgrade to its blade guiding system. Simply adding a set of ceramic guide blocks will significantly improve the tracking performance of most band saws.
Store your tools right and clean them periodically for proper care of the hand tools. When they get rusty, sharpen the devices too. Also, you must regularly lubricate your machines and check them. Finally, you have to always follow the manual. Take care of your tools, and they will last for an extended period. There’ll also be a smaller risk of failure and injuries. Find out if you can use cheap woodworking tools.