Taking Care of Your Tools
Today I thought we would look at taking care of the equipment and implements we use in our work, creations and art.
The other day as I sat down to work on a ring, this happened. Oops!
The plastic casing has broken, and wires are exposed, the small piece of metal that acts as a connector / conductor has pulled away from the housing and is lost. This tool is very broken, and no longer safe to use. I have had this tool for about eight years and never thought to look inside, a little maintenance may have averted the need to purchase a new one.
Not only is it necessary to keep your most important tools, your hands, healthy, it is also important to keep the implements and equipment you use healthy as well.
Once a month check you tools. Really look at them, evaluate their health and assess the best way to repair or give the tool some much-needed attention. Is something broken or starting to wear or fray? Are there nicks, chips, divots, dings, or other things that may prevent you from achieving that perfect look or other task you are attempting while creating your goods?
If so, you may want to think about replacing or perhaps repairing them.
A simple sheet of sand paper can be used to polish pliers’ jaws and the heads of your hammers. This removes surface imperfections that may mar or interfere with the finish of your piece.
If your tool is battery operated, take the batteries out after you have finished using your tool. Store the batteries in cool dry place, or tuck them in your refrigerator. If your tool has a battery or power pack be sure to charge it regularly, a low battery charge may force your equipment to work harder than it has to and may damage the internal mechanism of the tool.
When possible tools should be kept away from each other, this eliminates much of the wear and tear on tools you are not using; they won’t bang in to and damage each other. Try to dust your tools during the inspection, little bits of this and that can gum up the joints or movable parts and damage the tool or cause it not to work properly.
Inexpensive plastic cases can be purchased, or plastic containers from your favorite Deli or Market can also be used as storage. Clean them out and place your tools inside. Keep the lid and you can keep them dust free.
Keep your tools in good working order and they will last you a lifetime.
~The Alchemists Vessel