When I started working with my Uncle Bob last summer, I assumed that construction would be an easy, fun way to make a few extra bucks. However, I quickly discovered that construction work was serious business, filled with risks, difficulty, and rewards. After almost being creamed by a few backhoe booms, I learned how to stay out of the way. However, staying safe around heavy machinery isn't always easy to do. My blog talks about how to use machinery properly and what you need to do to stay safe so that you can return home to your family each and every day.
It's easy to focus on maintenance with large construction machinery since they're large investments. But if you are doing a lot of DIY fixes around your house and yard this summer, it's a good idea to take some time to maintain small hand-tools as well. Professional-grade tools can last a lifetime—with small replacements here and there—if taken care of properly. Here are some tips to help you maintain your toolbox.
Keep Working Parts Oiled
If you have metal tools, like shears, these products can develop buildup at joints and fulcrums. Purchase some oil made for hand-tools at a hardware store and use a drop or two on joints. As you work a metal tool back and forth, the tool should move more smoothly. Wipe off excess oil with a rag. Keeping your tools oiled not only maintains your equipment, but it also prevents you from applying excess force or accidentally snapping a jammed component and injuring yourself.
Besides metal components, don't forget wooden handles—like on your hammer. The wood can expand and contract with weather changes. Be sure to store these items in a cool, well-ventilated area, so they don't dry out or become too damp. If there are any splintered areas, sand down the area and seal the wood with linseed oil or an oil that's recommended by the manufacturer.
Watch Out for Overheating Tools
Gearboxes, like in cordless drill drivers, vibrate excessively which in turn builds up heat. This extra heat can cause tool components to burn out. Overheating tools not only break down, but they also become fire hazards. While grease and sealed ball bearings keep things clean and moving smoothly, they aren't cure-alls for overheating tools. Make sure that you rotate your tools and aren't overusing them at any time.
Also, it's important to keep your work area clear of dust. Dust causes motor fans to work inefficiently, making it harder to keep a hand-tool cool. Work in a well-ventilated area. Sweep up the area once you are done with one aspect of a project before moving to the next step.
Store Your Tools in the Right Place
While heat is certainly a problem, don't forget about water damage. Make sure that your tools are stored in a garage or shed that doesn't have any roof leaks or open doors. Hand-tools like saws, pipe cutters, screwdrivers, and the like can all rust if they are exposed to the elements. It's certainly okay to clean off some of your hand-tools with water, but just be sure to lay these out to dry or hang them from hooks. If you wipe down a tool, wrap it up, and throw it in a toolbox, then the damp metal can develop rust. Again, this not only affects the durability of your instruments, but it can also be dangerous too since components can snap when you are using them.
For more information, contact a company like Goodlett Equipment, Inc.