Hand Tool Care Hand Tool Safety
Most people don’t think about the need to care for and maintain hand tools, but there are things you can do to make them work better and last longer.
Tools with wooden handles
Keep tools dry
Hammers, axes, hatchets and other striking tools with wooden handles should be kept as dry as possible. They should never be stored with the head on a floor. Condensation can soak into the wood fibers and expand the wood fibers against the sides of the metal holes, crushing the fibers. When the fibers dry, the handle will be loose, which is a particularly bad thing with striking tools that are used with high velocity for high impact. A loose head can become separated from it’s handle at high speed, and cause physical injury to the user, or to property.
Keep tools sharp
Striking tools with sharp edges should be kept sharp. You might think that a sharp tool is more dangerous than a dull one, but the opposite is true. A dull tool requires more strength and energy to have the same effect. This extra energy expenditure causes fatigue and frustration, and leads to more accidents, plus, it slows the speed of work. Sharpening these tools is best done with a file in a vice. The file is bust used with long even pushing strokes going in one direction, and only against the blade with the cutting stroke. The reason for this is that pulling the file against the work on the non cutting stroke will dull the file.
Cutting tools like handsaws should be checked for handle tightness. Sharpening a handsaw can be a little difficult if you are not familiar with the process. It requires setting the teeth, a process of bending the teeth to the proper outward angle, filling all the teeth to the same level across the top, reshaping any teeth that no longer have a sharp tip as a result of such filing, and then sharpening the teeth to the original angle.
Some saws now available in this country are made after the Japanese style, which means that they cut on the pull stroke, and have no “set” on the teeth, which means that there is a more narrow “curf “, that is, the width of the cut made by the blade.
Metal tools like mechanics tools, pliers, and screwdrivers should be kept rust free, and a light coat of oil is great for this. Just be sure to wipe them dry when in use.
Garden tools should be checked for handle tightness, and the same rules as striking tools apply. Keep them clean, and a coating of linseed oil will help to protect them from moisture and rust.
Storing hand tools
An important part of tool care is having a well organized proper place to store them. If you have a lot of hand tools, it would probably be wise to use some of them to build a place to store your tools. Garage storage can be a problem unless you have a specific area sectioned off just for tools,but, no matter where you store them, tools should be kept out of the weather for safety and longevity.
Do you have suggestions for caring for hand tools? We would love to hear from you! Leave your suggestions in the comment area.
Our lives are cluttered enough as it is. We have more things to do than we can do. We have more people to see than we can see, and we have more meetings to attend than we can attend, and keeping up with all of this can be stressful enough without having to deal with the stress of cluttered homes and offices.
We all have a tendency to be a little messy. Sometimes we don’t put things away. Sometimes we just don’t have the energy or the time, but until we take that initial step, the problem will continue to grow. Once we are well organized, there will be a place for everything, and everything will be in it’s place. What you are reading now, may be that first step! Once you develop a mental habit of organizing, you will feel better about yourself and your surroundings. You will feel more energetic, less fatigued, and better prepared to face the other challenges of daily life.
How do we get clutter?
Clutter can be the result of several things. We may be too tired to clean up after ourselves, we may be so pressed for time that we are not able to sort through the things we have. We may just have so many possessions that we feel we have nowhere to put them, or no time, or energy to put them away even if we had a place.
The ironic fact is, that the clutter may be causing the tiredness to begin with!
The dangers of clutter
Clutter can be dangerous in more ways than you can imagine lets look at both the physical and psychological effects
Physical health hazards
Clutter can provide a hiding place for things you don’t want in your house, like insects and vermin. It can also be a danger if it really gets out of control. I am sure we have all at one time or another felt that our closets should be designated as hardhat zones, and that our living room and bed room was full of trip hazards. That is just the tip of the iceberg though. The real cost of disorganization is the psychological cost.
Mental health hazards
We feel unorganized when our surroundings are unorganized, and that uneasy feeling you get when you go inside your home or office that you would never mention to another living soul, that may be a result of messy surroundings and nothing else! This effects our attitudes and our relationships adversely, so getting rid of the mess may get rid of our poor attitudes. Clutter in your home or office may be a mental health hazard!
How to get started
If you are an organized individual, you probably know how to handle this sort of thing, and you probably wouldn’t be reading this to begin with, but for the rest of us mere mortals, we may need a little help with with the missing important parts of the puzzle, like, how to get started to begin with! Maybe you could use a few delutter tips. Try this one, and a lot of the rest will fall into place:
Start with something small, and see it through to the end. If you start with a big heavily cluttered room, you will probably tire of the project mid way, and more doubt and dread will cloud your mind. You will likely end up sitting in the middle of a room with tons of stuff to be sorted, and no energy to do it. The task will appear more difficult, plus, you will have piles of clutter to come back to when one of life’s little interruptions calls you away. Pick a single closet, or maybe start with your car, and when that is done, you will feel better about your chances of success.