With the coming of winter comes the need for putting away the garden tools. The manner in which they are put away determines what you find in the spring. 
Additionally the fall is a great time for identifying defects and shortcomings in your tools.  

Look for long cracks in the handle that weaken the structure. If the handle is sound structurally use a 80-120 grit sandpaper to smooth and open the pores in the wood. If there is factory varnish still on the handle that will have to be sanded off as well. When the handle is sanded and smooth apply linseed oil or a similar oil product. 

On the metal edge, clean any dirt from the tool. Use a wire brush to remove any rust. When the rust is gone check the cutting edge of the tool. Now is the time to sharpen any edge that needs to be sharp. When it is sharp carefully apply oil to the metal to prevent more rust. You can also apply a coat of spray paint if you prefer color. 

Fall is also a great time to look at your stock of tools and address any holes you have. You are more likely to find deals on these in the fall. The best advice I can give you when looking for tools is to visit the local flea market or yard sale. Look for old tools the metal is commonly better. Whether or not the tools have handles is irrelevant. You are after the older quality metal. 

The tools that are my go to project savers are many, but there are only a few core tools that you would have to make life easier

Spade shovel


Steel rake 

Clippers or loppers 
You can do a fair amount of work with just the above tools. Over time even this base amount of tools will grow quite a bit. 

Until next time..


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