Keeping your tools sharp and free of rust is the best way to make sure they’ll work the next time you use them. To protect your tools, it’s a good idea to keep them as dry as possible and prevent condensation. Here are some ways to make sure your tools are properly stored and protected.
Moisture condensation is a challenge if you store your tools in an unheated garage or shop. Investing in moisture-absorbent silica gel packs can help; just toss them in the drawers where you store your tools and replace yearly. If you notice rust on any tool, buff it away with fine steel wool, re-sharpen the tool, and coat it with paste wax. Rusty tools are dull, which means you’ll have to apply more pressure, which means you may cut yourself. Extremely rusty tools may lose integrity and crumble or break when you apply pressure, and tools with adjustable areas, such as crescent wrenches, may seize up and become unusable.
Sharp edges banging against sharp edges means that your tools may wind up cutting one another. Try lining the bottom of your tool drawers with rubberized drawer liners or foam to keep tools from bouncing around. You can cut pieces of foam to provide an organization option that protects your tools. This foam may collect moisture, so be sure to add some silica gels to the drawer before you line it with foam. Large, deep drawers can be built with multiple layers of foam if needed, and very thick foam can be custom cut to hold some of your more valuable tools. If you don’t have drawers, you may need to hang your tools.
Hanging your tools is a great option for many DIYers. Firstly, everything is visible and easy to get to. Secondly, if youhang your tools on pegboard, you have airflow built right in and hopefully will have less risk of rust. Finally, you can hang your tools and trace around them with permanent marker to make sure that you know where things are supposed to go back and you’re aware of what’s missing. If you’re going to hang your tools, put them where you can reach them. If you have a deep workbench, put the pegboard on the side instead of at the back so you can reach what you need easily.
Managing your tools properly means that you can find them and that they’re usable when you need them. Try to be proactive at the end of each project by putting things away and applying corrosion protection as needed.
Here’s another article you might like: Go Green: Ways to Make Your Home More Environmentally Friendly