Tool Maintenance workshop - 14th Jan 2012

OTAGS hosted a free tool maintenance workshop on Saturday 14th january in the pavilion. The funding for this was part of the Local Food grant from BIG Lottery. The session was facilitated by Mike Carswell from Urban Coppice.

Eleven of us learnt how to maintain tools, from garden shears to secateurs (these were the too most popular items for maintaining).  What was surprising to me, was how relatively easy it was to restore a rusty pair of shears if you have half an hour and a few tools.  We used three key things; a stiff wire brush, some wet and dry type sandpaper and a general purpose file (these cost about £5 and last for years if looked after).

For the shears, Step 1 was to take the shears apart - which was very straightforward.
2. Vigorously brush the  shears blades with the wire brush to take off the worst of the debris (rust, plant material).
3. Take some sand paper and rub to take off more resistant rust (this didn't take long at all).
4. File the bevelled edge of the shears. This was the part that needs the skill/know how as doing it at the wrong angle will damage the sharp edge you're trying to restore. Mike showed us how, but I'm sure there are plenty of videos on the internet.
5. Reassemble the shears and put a drop of general purpose oil into the point where the shears join and work it in by opening and closing the shears.
6. Rub an oily rag over the blades if putting them away for winter.

Mike showing us how before we got stuck in.
Laura filing one of her shears blades.

Mike working some oil into shears after sharpening.

Mike also talked to us about taking care of tools like hoes, garden forks and spades.

Thanks go to Mike for a great day and to Laura for suggesting the idea, for organising it and for making delicious soup and bread for lunch. Thanks also to Pete Abel for taking the photos.

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