Good woodworking tools are an investment – if you take great care of them, they will definitely return the favor.
If you are like most wood crafters, you’ve most probably invested so much in your tool collection – both in the time and money you’ve spent in selecting and acquiring them. But how much time have you dedicated to caring and maintaining your tools?
Keeping your hand tools properly cleaned, maintained, and stored will save a generous amount of money and time in the long run, and make your DIY woodworking projects much more rewarding. If you have disregarded proper tool care and maintenance because you think it involves a lot of complicated procedures and consumes a lot of time, then we’ve got some good news for you.
In just a few steps, a little investment, and a lazy afternoon, you can keep all of your tools working efficiently for a long time to come.
Care and Maintenance of Woodworking Tools
1. Keep Your Tools Sharp
Generally, most woodworking tools are designed to do just one thing – cut wood.
If you’ve worked with blunt tools before, you understand how frustrating your project can be.
The quality of the finished wood craft product depends on how sharp your tools are. Here are some of the ways you can sharpen the edges of different types of tools:
- Saws: There are three operations involved when sharpening saws – shaping and jointing the teeth, setting the saw, and filing the teeth.
- Gouges, chisels, planes, and the likes: These hand tools require regular sharpening. The method used should hone the tool to a perfect edge and grind it to the correct shape. A simple grinder is perfect for small woodworking hand tools.
- Drill bits: Buying the best bits you can afford is possibly the most effective solution for a dull drill bit. But even the best drill bits still need some sharpening once in a while. Drill Doctor sharpening system works well for different types of drill bits.
- Router bits: These bits need to be replaced when they get damaged or dull. Always go for high-quality bits – they tend to last longer and work more efficiently.
2. Store Woodworking Power Tools in Their Original Packaging
Unless your workshop/garage is climate-controlled, it is always recommended to store your power tools in the original cases they came in, usually hard plastics. This way, your power tools will be better-protected from the moisture in the air.
3. Keep Your Tools Dry
There are so many ways to store your beloved tools – from sheds and garages to tool cabinets and chests. Basements, garages, and sheds have high humidity issues, especially if they’re not air-conditioned. If you keep your tools in such places, consider investing in a dehumidifier. These systems are not as expensive as your collection of woodworking tools, are they?
Alternatively, you can use rust collectors or silica gel packs to keep moisture and rust at bay. Just toss them in the toolboxes and tool drawers and you are good to go. Be absolutely sure keep them away from children and pets.
4. Hang Your Tools
Even if your shed or garage is cool and dry, it is best that you hang your tools on the wall instead of keeping them on the floor. Moisture can creep through tiled and concrete floors and damage them.
5. Keep Moving Parts Running Smoothly
Power woodworking tools are designed to handle heavy projects. If you want them to last longer, you have to maintain and care for their mechanical parts. Make sure that your machinery and tools are kept in optimal working conditions by lubricating moving parts and bearings as well as upgrading mechanical parts when necessary.
6. Keep Your Tools Smooth and Clean
When working with wood, friction is always the enemy. This means that cleaning your tools and keeping them free from resin buildup and other debris is extremely important. Ensure you have an efficient dust collection system for all your woodworking debris.
7. Inspect Your Tools After Use
A minor tweak can develop into a serious damage if it goes unnoticed after a long period.
After a long day’s work, it is recommended that you go through your tool or machinery to ensure its working properly and safely. If not, make the necessary adjustment immediately.
Care and Maintenance is Always Better Than Repair and Replacements
In the long run, it is much cheaper and easier to have a regular tool maintenance program than repairing and replacing woodworking tools that you’ve neglected. Nonetheless, always get your woodworkers supply from credible and reputable vendors. Quality tools always last longer!