Taking Care of Hand Tools

Posted by Tool Pan on 5/24/2015
If you’re a mechanic then you’ve got lots of tools lying around, including hand tools. Keeping these tools in good repair is important; no one wants to spend money replacing tools that were damaged from being used and stored incorrectly. Here are a few tips.

Dealing with Rust

Rust, over a long enough period of time, will permanently damage metal. Keeping your hand tools free from rust is vital. Here’s how to take care of rust.

Prevention: Dust attracts moisture, and moisture causes rust. Keep your tools in a dry place, like a toolbox or drawer or wooden box. For extra protection, add a canister of silica gel or strips of vapor corrosion inhibitor, like the ones made by Bull Frog. They emit a gas that deposits a protective layer on metal surfaces. In damp basement workshops, keep a dehumidifier running. 

After rust has started: Light spray a rusty surface with a penetrating lubricant such as WD-40. After that, scrub the surface with a heavy-duty Scotch-Brite pad. Sandpaper or steel wool will scratch the metal, so avoid these materials. Before putting the tool back into storage, wipe off any excess lubricant.

Repairing Wood Handles

If your hand tool has a wooden hand that has cracked, you can glue it back together without much effort. If you can take the handle off the tool it’s even easier. You can use epoxy or yellow wood glue. The wood glue tends to work a little better. 
If your handle was cracked all the way through, take apart the two pieces and clean them with a toothbrush. Do not sand them. Put a thin coat of glue on both faces, filling in any cracks with the toothbrush. Put the pieces together so they can dry- use rubber bands to secure them tightly. If any glue oozes out, wipe it off. You can take off the rubber bands in an hour.