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inspectorD 04-24-2006 07:14 PM

Yard tool maintinence.
Yard tools are an important item this time of year. Anyone with any ideas on maintinence, this is the time to post them.

One thing I have is a box with some sand and motor oil in it to dip my metal yard tools in after use, like my shovel . They stay in good shape this way.
Also check your handles for cracks and use some already boiled linseed oil on the wood handles, keeps them flexible and strong so they don't dry out.

Anyone else have some tips?

I'm no gardener, I just dig where I'm told.

Square Eye 04-24-2006 07:34 PM


Boiled linseed oil is known to cause fires!!!!!!!!

After you wipe down your tools with boiled linseed oil, do not throw the rags in the garbage can, don't pile them up on the floor either! As the rags dry, the evaporation can cause a spontaneous combustion situation. I use boiled linseed oil on my old tool handles when I restore, well, clean one. When I am done, I have a 5 gallon bucket with a lid, 1/2 full of water in my shop at all times, that's where I put my old flammable rags. When the rags won't sink anymore, I dump them on my burn pile. If you do not have the means to burn your old rags, hang them on a wire OUTSIDE. let them dry for a few days then put them in a plastic bag and throw them in the outdoor trash cans.

Seriously, boiled linseed oil is dangerous to have around if you aren't careful.

PaPaDan 04-24-2006 07:40 PM

No tips to offer right now, but thanks for the oil/sand tip. I will do that from now on.

inspectorD 04-25-2006 07:32 PM

Now what!! Square Eye....are you calling me an arsonist?WHO DO YOU..... Never mind...
Seriously folks, I didnt think before the linseed comment.
He's right(as always)DONT put any rags in a pile with anything on them, I dont care if it was soap!! You really cant remember sometimes or even dont know what else could be on them from before, gas, oil, kerosene,linseed oil or paint thinner. Always go to the caution side.

Square Eye you always said "Pull up a chair to the FIRE!!!"
You didn't mention any place imparticular!!


asbestos 04-28-2006 06:49 AM

Not just linseed oil, any drying oil will spontainously (spelling?) combust. Oil finishes of all kinds. A house here that was 90% finished burned down from a garbage bag full of rags used to put sealer on the timberframing. Also a large warehouse had a major fire from a similar cause. Just read the label and follow what it says.

woodworkingmenace 05-01-2006 12:18 AM

Just wondering if you bother sharpening your shovels, before or after the season, in order to get a better "jab" at the dirt? I have known people who didnt, and had a terrible time trying to shove the thing into the sod, so much easier with a sharp point or bevel...

I used to coat my tools with WD-40, but, dont anymore... Seems it didnt stop the rust in my basement...(yea some of the hand tools get it too, because of the washing machine down there), I just wipe them down and use the polishing part of my grinding wheel to put some polish on them...the red looking stuff, it seems to help... with the cutting edge, like nippers and other things like that...never did it with shovels or large items..

Ok, my two cents worth..


PaPaDan 05-02-2006 05:43 PM

I always take a weekend in the middle of winter to clean and sharpen all outdoor tools and equipment. WD40 is not an oil for lubricating or protecting anything. It is meant as an water displacer and penetrant. It will evaporate over time and not protect anything.

michigan roman 01-26-2007 10:25 PM

i garden alot and thusly was getting rusty bow rakes - shovels etc that i would forget out in my garden . plus if i didnt get to revarnishing the handles each year theyd start to let in water / weather / open grain etc .
then i started painting the entire tool , head and handle , with whatever brush on or spray paint i was using that day . like if i was painting and at the bottom of a can , or using a spray can and had just a bit left ide grab whatever yards tools were handy and just coat the entire thing .
now i sleep peacefully all winter knowing my yard tools arent rusting , tried the oil method and not for me , and all summer dont worry about forgetting a tool in my garden when it rains because the paint shucks it all off .
i suggest visible paints when you have a choice to make it easy to spot tools . plus the paint , if on thick , last many years - ecspecially on handle .

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