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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Cleaning Garden Tools, Part 1

Because we were forecast to have several days of drizzly rain, I thought of what I could usefully do in the house.  One thought was to move the stereo cabinet over to the TV and use the speakers to improve the TV sound quality (a cheap home theater).  The second was to do maintenance on my garden tools.  The garden tools seemed more timely.  Mainly, because I've never really done that before.

So I piled all the shovels, hoes, rakes, etc into the wheelbarrow and brought them all into the basement.  I brought everything that had unfinished wood handles, a blade, caked dirt, or rust (and that doesn't leave much - an aluminum soil rake, a plastic and aluminum leaf rake, and a big breaker bar).  Also, I'm leaving all the pruners for real sharpening "later".
There are 3 main things to do.  First clean all the tools of dirt and rust.  I know, we ALL clean the dirt off each time we are putting them away.  Right...  Second protect all the bare wood handles.  Third, sharpen all cutting edges and oil the metal.

So, today I cleaned all the tools.  I laid a few at a time on the workbench.
I was surprised to discover that a wire brush does not remove caked dirt very well.   A narrow metal putty knife works much better and is flexible enough to follow curves.  Below, I'm removing dirt from my poacher's shovel.
After all the dirt was scraped off, I took the wire brush to all the metal surfaces and then washed them with a wet rag.  And of course, dried them with another rag.

Tomorrow, protecting the bare wood...


Andrea and the Celestial Kitties said...

Oh of course everything has to be cleaned after every use! shocked! Shocked am I at the state of these ones! (please don't look in our garage.... hee hee)

Shaggy and Scout said...

I left an additional note for you down on the party post..........
-S&S's mom Lynne

Sorry to use your space here, Mark, but Megan doesn't seem to have a blog and I wanted to answer her comment. :)

Mark's Mews (Ayla, Iza, and Marley) said...

Mark here: Lynne, I will even forward your comment to Megan email in case she doesn't see it.

Tina T-P said...

Whoa, that looks like way too much work to me. But don't forget to spray the metal parts down with something like CorrosionX - it will protect against rust and help keep the dirt from sticking.

Nice gathering last night Mark - Lots of nummy looking foods - thanks for hosting - I hope no one stayed too late, he he he... :-) T.

The Cat From Hell said...

We do ours every spring too. And we sharpen them!
The party last night was awesome! I had a blast!