Monday, January 23, 2017

Reduce, re-use, recyle and garden tool maintenance

I had been using an old wooden cupboard outside under the eaves for my gardening "stuff".  As so often happens these days a lot of the cupboard was made of chipboard.  Once that starts to get a bit damp it disintegrates.  My dear hubby thought there would be enough of the solid wooden parts to make up a few shelves in our hot water cupboard to create some shelving space.  He set to, measuring demolishing and stacking all my gardening stuff into a precarious pile.
I very cleverly stayed inside sewing because there it was nicely cool in the air-conditioning.
Once the shelves were completed I gathered my tools together and started to clean them.   I have wanted to do this for a long time.
 I had two buckets, one with hot soapy water, and one for rinsing water.  All the tools went into the hot soapy water first.  After scrubbing off residual dirt I began to take them apart.  The better quality tools came apart right down to the bare bones.  I scrubbed off the rust with steel wire wool, and sandpaper.
After another good wash and rinse the pieces sat out in the hot sun to dry thoroughly.
Some tools, like this saw, didn't come apart more than this. Well maybe someone else could have taken it apart further, but it seemed to me that just removing the blade would do a good enough job, and it did.  All the sharp edges were sharpened with a file.
The next job was to oil every piece of metal and then re-assemble them.  I kept the pieces of each tool separate, and everything went back together very easily.  I have seen this done so many times on gardening shows and thought it was something I needed to do someday.  I am so glad that I did.
Now I tend to get very involved in my gardening and when packing up and I am hot and sweaty the last thing I want to do is clean my tools and pack them away neatly.  I guess that is going to have to change.  My tools are now all nicely cleaned, sharpened and oiled, and in order to keep them that way I have an oily rag handy to wipe them off every time.
Have you ever cleaned your gardening tools?

12 comments:

  1. Hi, you did a great job. It's something I too need to do. I am not an avid gardener and am even less inclined to clean the tools. But both must be done as I do enjoy looking at something growing :-) May I ask where you find the oil for oiling the tools? Do you get it from the garden center or from the hardware store?

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  2. Joyful,
    I hear you! I just used the same oil I used for my sewing machine - called three in one. It is a pretty standard light oil.

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    1. Thank you. I remember that oil. I will have to look for some at the fabric or sewing machine shop.

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  3. Bet they feel like new again. I have done it but not for some time I'm afraid - probably well overdue. I'm afraid I don't do anywhere near as much in the garden as I used to.

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    1. Your new garden is much smaller than the old one! It is probably almost self maintaining.

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  4. Oh, my tools need cleaning too!!! I regularly wipe over my tools but I haven't taken them apart or sharpened them for a long time. Best do that! Clean, sharp tools are lovely to use! Meg:)

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    1. Oh they are! I picked up some clippers yesterday and noticed the difference immediately.

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  5. Something I haven't done for a long, long time...and some of the tools are no longer sharp, which is annoying! Great job Gill!

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    Replies
    1. Sami,
      Yes I had been noticing that my loppers would just bend certain branches instead of cutting them!

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  6. My tools get cleaned up by my hubby, Bill. Once a growing season, unless needed again. You did a great job.

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  7. Ah I don't clean my tools and need to ... one day I will get to it.

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