How to Keep Equipment in Good Working Order in Your Workshop

It is essential to keep tools sharp and properly set – often they will be even better than new if well cared for. Having sharp tools means they will perform better and the work will be easier. In­deed, you may have to sharpen tools when you first get them, especially if they are second-hand.

Sharpen wood chisels regularly and do not use them on other materials. Wood planes need regular adjustment and sharpening. Only when they are correctly set do they work well. Chisels, planes and other blades are usually sharpened with an oilstone.

Saw blades are sharpened with a file -a boring, though not difficult, task. It is easier to take your saws to a good local tool shop to do the job for you.

Good Working Order Workshop

As well as sharpening, blades may need regrinding from time to time to remove nicks and other damage or simply to resquare them. This can be professionally carried out at a tool shop.

Always work on a flat, steady surface when sharpening tools. Do not remove more metal than is necessary to obtain the correct cutting angle.

When working

Do not force tools to do jobs they seem to be resisting. Either they may not be sharp enough or you may be using the wrong piece of equipment – or possibly the right piece of equipment in the wrong way. Even an electric drill should be treated with respect. It is easy to overload and damage the motor of a small electric drill, especially when using a circular saw attachment; so if the motor loses speed or the motor pitch lowers, stop what you are doing and let the motor recover properly.

Another reason a piece of equipment might be struggling with its job is that there is an obstacle in the way. Take care to remove all nails when working on old wood: they can damage tools such as saws and chisels.

Avoid using tools for jobs they were not intended to do, as tools are fragile and can easily be damaged by the wrong use. For the same reason, do not lend carpentry equipment and to friends, no matter how difficult you may find it to say ‘no’; your tools are for your use only.

After use

Rub tools after use with an oily rag to clean them. The best oil for the purpose is sewing machine oil.

Keep tools carefully stored and pro­tect their cutting edges with plastic edging. Take care of your measuring and air tools too. Tools should always be kept in a dry place and, if you are not going to use them for some time, it is a good idea to cover the metal parts with a light oil.

Filed Under: General How To's


About the Author: Marie Mayle is a contributor to the MegaHowTo team, writer, and entrepreneur based in California USA. She holds a degree in Business Administration. She loves to write about business and finance issues and how to tackle them.

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