Landscape Contractor / Design Build Maintain

JUN 2014

LC/DBM provides landscape contractors with Educational, Imaginative and Practical information about their business, their employees, their machines and their projects.

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44 LC DBM I n f o r m a t i o n R e q u e s t # 4 2 4 I n f o r m a t i o n R e q u e s t # 4 2 5 PREVENTATIVE Care for Tools For maintaining your tools all season- long, here are some lesser-known tips gathered from industry experts. Walter Glenn, writing on , has some advice on the "oil-dip" cleaning tech- nique – stabbing tools in a bucket of oil-in- fused sand to clean and oil their surfaces at the same time. He warns against using motor oil and suggests linseed oil since any residue can be transferred to the soil. Instead of tossing used silica gel packs into the garbage, toss them into toolboxes and storage com- partments on your vehicle and at your home base. In a tool care guide prepared for Cornell University's Co- operative Extension , master gardener Charles Howard agrees with the need to maintain factory angles, or bevels. 1. If the cutting blade is extremely dull or has been notched, it may be necessary to take the pruners apart to repair the damage. 2. Sharpen a 'by-pass' pruner on just one side of the blade, and an 'anvil' pruner and a 'double-cut' pruner on both sides of the blade. 3. Impulse hardened saw blades can- not be sharpened. 4. Maintain the factory angle on the cutting edge. A.M. Leonard Horticulture Tool and Supply Company has these tips on sharpening pruners: Proper bevels include: Axe – 40° · Hatchet – 35° Shovel or Hoe – 40-70° Other advice from the guide includes: • Coat metal parts with an "oil sock" (a cloth- stuffed, tied sock dipped in vegetable oil – squeeze excess oil and store sock in a zip- close bag). • Straighten metal pitchfork tines with a three- foot-long, one-inch galvanized pipe driven two feet into the ground. • Handles dipped in or sprayed with a rubber coating not only have increased grip and com- fort, but also are easier to spot on the ground. 044.indd 44 5/23/14 10:29 AM

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