Event May 2013 – Tool Maintenance

A warm autumn afternoon in the courtyard of GELC on Saturday 25th May was the perfect setting for our Tool Maintenance Day. Over 20 people came out to hear Brain Cox, Andy Stretton and Joel Meadows share their vast knowledge of tools and how to maintain them.

Brian began the afternoon by explaining the intricacies of looking after saws. Brian explained the differences in quality of saws, and gave us some tips about choosing the right saw for the job. He told us the tools necessary to sharpen them and how to store them.




Andy stressed the importance of buying good quality tools and the need to keep them clean between use. Andy’s tools, chosen and cared for in this way, belied their age and frequent use.

Andy demonstrated how to clean and maintain a lawnmower. He covered changing the oil, gapping the spark plug, cleaning the air filter and draining the tank and carby of fuel before storing the mower between seasons.  Andy also demonstrated similar cleaning procedures for the whipper snipper and chainsaw and covered sharpening the chainsaw.

Another thing Andy covered was drill sharpening.  He demonstrated using a jig to achieve consistent results and varying the sharpening angle for drilling different materials.





Joel Meadows (and assistant Micah) covered scythe and knife sharpening which are vastly different procedures. While knives are sharpened with water (or oil) stones, the scythe is sharpened by peening the blade with a hammer then touching it up with a stone regularly while in the field. Joel also demonstrated how to use a scythe by trimming the weeds on the nature strip on Burke Street.




We left feeling full of knowledge and confidence to care for our own tools.

Following are some links that cover not only the various sharpening jigs available, but also detailed information on how to sharpen various tools







We’ve all got some tools around the house – spades, forks and secateurs for gardening, saws, chisels and drills for woodworking, powertools such as chainsaws, brushcutters, lawnmowers etc.

But often these tools aren’t maintained to a high standard with the result that they are hard to use and do a less than satisfying job.

This Saturday (25th May), the Goldfields Sustainability Group will be holding a tool maintenance demonstration and Q&A at the Maryborough Men’s Shed at 88-90 Burke St to help you learn how to get your tools working for you.

Topics to be covered include sharpening of drills, saws, secateurs and various blades, maintenance of mowers, brushcutters and chainsaws, including checking and changing oil, mixing fuel and sharpening blades and of course how to prepare your tools for storage so they are in good condition next time you need them.  There will also be a scythe sharpening demonstration.

The event will start at 2pm so come on down a little early and say hi.  No need to bring your tools as it will be a demonstration-based event, but please bring a gold coin donation to cover expenses.

And for anyone in the community who has tool sharpening skills (especially razors and carpenters hand saws) that you would like to share, please give Richard a call on 0401551603.