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198 Treadmill

by howerlder on September 16, 2013

Pruning and maintaining your trees and plants in your garden is a gardener’s ongoing duty. With such responsibility comes the care of their tools. No matter what type of tool or tools you own, quality and expensive or affordable, they will need care. So how do you go about caring for your gardening tools?

To start, tools need to be sharp so that you can use them effortlessly and so that they do not damage the tree or plant you are pruning. To keep your cutting tools sharp, file the cutting edge of the tool. Practice makes perfect. Even a badly sharpened tool is easier to use that a dull tool. To make short work of your filing projects, install a vise on your workbench. With the tool securely gripped by this second set of “hands” you’ll be able to quickly and safely file the business end of your tool. If you regularly file your tools, it will take but a few strokes to keep a fine sharp edge.

To file, use a mill file. Start with the top edge of the tool. File away from you, using long even strokes at the same angle as the original bevel. Lift the tool between strokes. File the opposite side lightly just to remove roughness or burrs for a clean, sharp edge.

Tools made of more expensive metal will hold their edge longer than those that are inexpensive

Next, if your tools have wood parts, these too need care. Wood handles on long and short tools need to be sanded and oiled at regular intervals, usually once a year is enough. Wipe off the handle to clean, and use little if any water. Use fine sand paper to smooth the surface. Remove the dust and rub linseed oil into the handle. Let it soak in. Use as much as it takes until it doesn’t absorb any more. Wait about a half hour, then dry off any remaining on the office equipment machine surface. If your tools are made of fiberglass instead, wash them with soap and water, then dry.

How should you store your tools? If your tools are made of metal, which most are, place them in a 5-gallon bucket filled with coarse sand to which oil (motor oil or vegetable oil) has been added. You can store tools in the winter in the sand. Once ready for use, remove them and wipe them off. Each time you use your tools, clean as much dirt as you can, then dig the tool up and down in the sand a few times to clean off remaining dirt and coat the head with oil. The oil coating prevent rusts.

Once a year, clean metal surfaces with a wire brush to remove dirt and light rust. If the rust is a bit worse, you can sometimes remove it by soaking the tool in white vinegar; otherwise, use steel wool. The extent of the rust determines what grade to use. Start with the least coarse grade you can to remove the rust. Once the rust is removed and the entire surface is clean, you can apply a rust-proofing primer. Steel wool and repaint any rough areas.

Of course to prevent rust during usage, always hose off your tools and then dry them. Use a general purpose oil to quickly wipe blades and metal surfaces to condition between uses. You can clean blades of tools like pruners with oil and make sure to oil the working parts so that they clip freely. Your pruners may need to be disassembled first before cleaning and sharpening them. Many gardeners color the blade to be sharpened with a black felt tip marker and sharpen evenly until all traces of the marker have been removed.

Sharpen only beveled edges and always shape blades to maintain the original shape of the bevel.

Tools like pruners need to be cleaned after every use for other reasons as well. Cleaning them each time helps to help prevent tree diseases from spreading. Many gardeners disinfect their honmac pruning tools after each tree you prune. To disinfect your tools, a solution of one part bleach to nine parts water can be applied. Then follow this by cleaning your tools with soapy water and thoroughly drying them afterwards. Always make sure to they are dry before putting them away to detour rust from developing. Finally, if you’re not skilled in the use of tools like chain saws, especially, always put safety first and hire an expert in the tree trimming service.

Keeping your tools in good working order will not only be beneficial to your plants but will make your end of the job easier as well and save on having to replace them.

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