Today's Quote

“If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.” Thomas Jefferson

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Taking Care of Your Tools

Well, it is that time of year. The last of the harvest has been picked and the big garden is done for the year. Now, is the fun time...putting away all those tools until next season. So let's talk about those gardening tools. I use a lot of hand tools for several reasons, 1) they don't cost anything to run, 2) they can in places that other tools would be awkward, and 3)I get lots of great exercise using them. I buy good quality tools from places that sell good quality tools. I used to buy those cheap 10.00 hoes and shovels at the big box stores, only to have them break, bend and generally fall apart before the garden season was over. Now, I come off some money and buy tools that will last. For this very reason I find it just as important in caring for your tools before you put them away for the season. So, gather up all your gardening stuff and get out there and let's get it clean. First you need to take a good stiff brush and some water. Scrub, scrub, scrub away all dirt and junk that has accumulated over the gardening season. Then dry your tool making sure that there is no water in all the little nooks and crannies which would cause rust to build up over the winter. I usually take an old towel, dry the tool as best I can and then set it upside down against the garden fence to make sure there is no water stuck right around the handle connection. After I make sure the tool is well dried, then I oil the tool. This is about the only thing that I use vegetable oil for and I have found that it works well. I take a rag and simply rub the oil all over the metal part of the tool. If the tool has a wooden handle then I make sure and oil that also because it will keep the wood from becoming too dry and brittle and make wooden handles last longer. Then I hang my pretty, shiney, and clean tools up in the tool shed until next spring. So, the moral of the story is to buy good quality tools to start with and then take care of them each season. Happy Cleaning!

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