It’s white, it’s fluffy, and it’s stacking up. Deepening layers of snow and ice seem to be saying that winter has settled in. And that means it’s time to give our hard-worked tools and equipment some TLC and put them into storage until spring. They do a lot for us, so it seems right to return the favor. I gather a few simple items and get to work.
The saw mill, borrowed from a friend, is already covered with a tarp, but gasoline has a short shelf life and should not be left in equipment that will not be used for three months or more. I empty out the fuel and will be taking it to our town transfer station where they have a depository for such things. I fire up the engine and leave to run dry while moving on to the next thing on the agenda.
The chain saws are next. They get winterized in much the same way; empty the fuel and run them dry to clear fuel lines and carburetor. I do this outdoors away from any containers of fuel. I then take off the bars and chains, clean them and check the spark plugs. I clean the power heads and air filters.
|Hand tools are cleaned and ready for spring|
And on to the next things: gardening hand tools. These are in need of serious work. A wire brush proves to be the tool of choice to scour off the dirt. I file the edges of shovels and hoes, sharpen axes, hatchets, pruners and loppers, and tackle rust spots with course sand paper. A light coating of oil on metal surfaces will keep them rust free for the winter. Wooden handles are buffed with rubbing alcohol and then get a coating of paste wax.
It is necessary to sort the tools; some are broken or too damaged for further use- a shovel with a split blade and another one with a cracked handle, along with some worn out snow shovels. These will go to the dump along with the used fuels.
It’s a good feeling to know that our tools and equipment are cared for and will be ready for us when spring arrives. -G.H.