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Thread: Yard Hand Tools

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2008

    Question Yard Hand Tools

    Is there a specific type of oil I should use to recondition the wood handles on some old tools? I was told I could use any oil, including inexpensive cooking oil.
    Also, after cleaning off any rust with steel wool, should I put anything on the metal to protect it? If so, what? Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Denver, CO

    Default Re: Yard Hand Tools

    I use a couple of the oldest and inexpensive finishes in the book that both still work very, very well and can be bought cheap at a hardware store. Boiled Linseed oil for the wood. Wipe it on in very thin coats and rub it in wiping off any excess. Use a little Mineral oil on the metal parts.......... BTW Mineral oil is great for wood cutting boards as well, but for wooden handled tools I prefer Boiled Linseed oil.

    Veggie and Olive type oils never dry or harden off and turn into a gummy mess just like in your pantry.

    In another life I built reproduction firearms, and, stocks. Stocks were finished with nothing but many, many, many, many coats of hand rubbed Linseed finishes.
    Last edited by kentvw; 11-02-2008 at 02:44 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007

    Default Re: Yard Hand Tools

    First and foremost is to never leave your tools out in the elements, neither rain nor sun. Putting them away between uses will make the factory finishes last a good long time. I grew up on a ranch, and while a number of tools never saw the light of day, they did see plenty of moisture and use without rust or deterioration. Typically, as long as a tool is not left in the rain or stuck in the dirt or pile of poo, they won't rust. Even so, a little rust on a shovel or pitch fork really isn't going to reduce its functional abilities too significantly.

    The quality of the tool when purchased will also affect it's useful lifespan. I personally purchase fiberglass handled implements because they are infinitely stronger than wood and designed to last.

    IMHO, if you clean your tools at the end of use each, let them dry, then store them in a dry environment, then rust will be minimal, particularly if it's a regularly used item.
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