If there’s only one thing that is needed for woodworking, that would be the tools. Imagine how a woodworker creates woodwork with his own bare hands. That’d be absolutely impossible, wouldn’t that be?
The condition of the tools can significantly affect the quality of your woodwork. If you have low-quality, damaged tools, it would probably be almost impossible to create a masterpiece of work.
Because tools are so important, it is inevitable for a woodworker to protect them from rust, corrosion, and all other forms of damages your dear tools can possibly have, and maintain them to be in a good, functional state for a longer time.
So, here are several ways on how you can protect and maintain your tools for longer use and better quality work.
Store the Tools Properly
How and where you store your tools can affect their condition. Aside from organization, proper storage of tools is important so you will be able to protect your tools and keep them safe from damage. One of the most common types of damage woodworking tools is usually getting rust, and rust, as many knows, can develop when there are constant moisture and wetness in metal.
Thus, it is very important to keep your tools away from water and moisture. Here are some proper tool storage ideas that you can use to protect and maintain the good condition of your tools.
Pegboards can make a good storage system for woodworking tools. Pegboard is a tool organization system, where tools are hanged on the wall. It is very beneficial for two obvious reasons: organization and protection.
They can make a woodworker so organized, that he will never have to use his hands for searching the tools he needed ever again. With just a single glance, you can instantly see what you need.
However, pegboards can be a little bit of an irritation to look at for some people. It’s like the chaos of random files you see on your computer’s desktop. If you’re not too familiar with all of your tools, you’ll surely be left dazed in no time.
To make pegboards even more organized, try to group common tools according to patterns and sequence of sizes. In that way, you will be able to identify tools more easily.
Boxes or Chests
You can purchase a huge toolbox to put all your tools inside, or you can buy smaller ones and put similar tools together in one small box. Purchase boxes with handles for portability.
Drawers or Shelves
Drawers and shelves are just somehow similar to boxes. They aren’t portable, though. However, multiple small drawers are a good storage system when it comes to organization and neatness.
Your tool storage system is not enough to assure the protection of your tools from damage. Here are more of the things that you must remember in storing your tools:
Keep the Tools in Dry Place
As said, wetness and moisture can cause rust and damage to your tools. Most people store their tools inside their garage or basement, which are generally enclosed and thus are humid. If you still plan to place your tools in these kinds of places anyway, then you need to have at least a dehumidifier to keep the humid and dampness down.
Use Rust Collectors
Ever noticed small white paper packs that usually come with your newly-bought gadgets or appliances? Those are silica gel packs. They keep moisture at bay and thus keep rust away. Toss some packs inside your tool boxes or drawers for rust-free tools.
Avoid Placing the Tools on the Floor
You can store your tools in anywhere you want – put them inside a drawer or hang them up a wall – but as much as possible, avoid placing them directly on the floor. Concrete floors easily soak up moisture.
Clean the Tools after Every Use
After a day of work, you’d probably refuse to clean your tools right away, but if you want to keep them in good shape, you must anyway. Come on, cleaning your tools will just take a minute or two. That won’t hurt at all. And sure enough, the small amount of time you spent cleaning will mean very little compared to the time you’ll spend in repairing or the money you’ll spend in replacing the tools once they get damaged.
As said, tools just take a few minutes to clean. Some can even be polished with just a few wipes of cloth. If the tools happen to be terribly dirty, don’t hesitate to give them a good wash. Wet them with water, lather with soap, scrub with a brush and rinse with water. Wetness can rust the metal of your tools, so make sure you have them perfectly dried. Spray WD-40 and spread the substance all over your tools using dry, clean rags. WD-40 is an oil- penetrating, water-displacing spray that helps keep the rust away. Don’t coat the substance too much on your tools, though.
Not just your tools, the storage of your tools also needs to be cleaned. What’s the purpose of cleaning your tools when they’re going to get all the dirt again once they’re put back on their storage, right? Clean your tool boxes or drawers every once in a while. Empty the storage, wipe them down and the most important part, dry them out perfectly.
Inspect and Repair the Tools Regularly
Regularly inspecting your tools is not only important for the longevity of your tools, but also for your safety while using them. Take time to inspect for the following damages your woodworking tools can possibly have:
Loose, Cracked, or Broken Handles
A damaged wooden handle of a tool can be a risk to your and others’ safety. Failing to inspect this beforehand can be very dangerous. They might break while in use, and they might cause serious injury.
If the damage isn’t that bad, you can repair it easily with a sander, a tool used to smooth surfaces with sandpaper. If the repairing is too troublesome for you, you can always have it repaired by some experts. If the damage is worse, though, you might just want to replace the tool.
Mushroomed heads on Edgy Tools
Through use, a pointy tool can be malformed, usually turning in a mushroom form. Aside from the quality of your work, this is bad news for your safety. If used in such condition, the mushroomed head can shatter from the impact. This can, of course, be solved in an obvious way – by keeping the tool sharpened. Whenever you notice the pointy part of the tool starting to flatten, sharpen it immediately. It is, moreover, ideal to sharpen the tool every five months or so for a habit.
Corrosion and Rust
Aside from affecting your woodwork, corrosion and rust can be a threat to your safety on some level. If corrosion and rust don’t seem to be too much for you, remove them still. If you wait for the problem to worsen, you’ll just tire yourself later in cleaning the bigger problem of corrosion and rust.
Your tools constantly help you in every work you’ve got. It doesn’t hurt to pay them the care, protection, and maintenance they deserve. After all, you’ll get back all the benefits.
Hello! I’m Mike Maclennan and I live in Phoenix, Arizona. I work in the construction and home remodeling industry. Having used many tools over the years, I’ve decided to start this website and share my personal tools review. Thanks for reading my articles and I hope you’ll find the best tool for your needs.