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Simple Maintenance for Garden Tools I


Old sayings stay around because there's lots of truth in them. A perfect example is "if you take care of your tools they'll take care of you". The secret to having garden tools you can count on year after year is to buy good quality tools to start with, and then maintain them. If you do those two things, your children will still be using your Garden Tools long after you've stopped gardening. Taking care of your Garden Tools isn't hard and it just takes a few minutes and some common household products.

Here's all you'll need to take care of your garden tools: work gloves and safety goggles, a bastard file(8 or 10 inches), wire brush, cloths or rags, linseed oil or water replacement lubricant, drop cloths or newspapers.

The main enemies of all garden tools are moisture (causes rust), and poor or inadequate maintenance that prevents them from doing their job properly or cause them to wear and break. So, the trick to maintaining your gardening tools is to prevent moisture and wear from attacking them. Here are some basic fundamentals for keeping your gardening tools around for a long time.

1. Clean your tools after each use.

2. Store your tools off the ground and in a dry place.

3. Remove any rust that forms on a tool.

4. Keep wooden handles smooth by sanding and oiling them.

5. Keep cutting edges sharp.

6. Before putting them away for the winter, clean them well and give them a coating of oil.

In addition to removing any clumps of dirt and drying off the head, digging tools need to be kept sharp so they're easy to work with. Depending on how much digging you actually do, this can be a once a year job or once a month. If you need to dig through any roots, it's nice to have a sharp shovel.

When sharpening a shovel you only need to sharpen the upper edge of the shovel. A straightforward way to do this is to fasten the shovel into a large vise with the head near the vise and facing up. Start at one side of the shovel and holding your file at a 45-degree angle to the edge of the shovel and pointing towards the middle make four or five strokes. Move your file in an inch or two towards the center and repeat the motions until you get to the middle of the shovel. Once you reach the center, move over to the other outside edge and once again work your way back into the middle of the shovel.