If you’ve paid attention to your calendar and love obscure holidays, you may be ahead of the pack and know what today is. But if you don’t know, it’s March 11, which means today is one pretty fantastic day:
National Worship of Tools Day!
While we love to splurge on new bench tools, you should also keep the ones in your workspace in working order. Here are some simple ways to extend the life of your tools to keep your workflow moving, just in time for National Worship of Tools Day:
Taking time to thoroughly clean what you use most at the bench will help protect against long-term damage. It doesn’t have to take a long time, but getting in the habit will go a long way.
This includes checking any blades or smaller pieces that contribute to your machine working correctly. It also won’t hurt to polish those blades and use a soft wire brush to clean between the teeth. Add in dusting time to sweep away filings as well as general cleanup.
Whether it’s to extend the life of your tools or reduce friction and heat buildup, proper lubrication is crucial. Friction from using the tools can slow down gears, dry out belts, and more. Use tool-appropriate lubricants to reduce friction, prevent dust particles from getting in shafts and joints, and more.
Keep the Habit Going
Cleaning an item once or twice is great, but forming the habit of adding maintenance to your work routine is key.
Want a more detailed listing of how often to care for your tools? Create a schedule for yourself to ensure you stay on top of maintenance. Here’s an example from our bench team of some small things you can do frequently to keep your tools happy:
Handpiece: Check both outer and inner springs. They shouldn’t bend more than 45 degrees. Replace springs as needed.
Flex shaft: Check the motor brushes and shaft to ensure they are working properly. Oil the sheath. A well-running flex-shaft is like a smooth-running engine.
Ultrasonic: Check water levels. Collect the sludge in the tank for refining. Wipe it clean.
Every Other Week
Bench: Clean your bench. Collect and separate sweeps. Use a refining bag for clippings and a trash bag for dust.
Polishing Unit: Empty and clean out the bags. (The three filters in this unit need to be changed every six to eight months, so schedule accordingly.)
Dust Collector: Wash the pre-filter, which is wrapped around the unit.
Files: Use a wire brush to clean and collect debris from files.
Plating Solutions: Clean and filter the solutions. Remember to keep a cap on the solutions at all times.
Every Other Month
Dust Collector: Wash the large filter.
Steamer: To clean the unit, blow it out to 5 psi and release. Check the glass tube and washers, which can thin out from running water through the machine, and replace if needed. Wear safety glasses and gloves when performing this maintenance task.
So, how are you gonna celebrate National Worship of Tools Day? Have any tips and tricks for extending the lifespan of your bench tools? Let us know in the comments below!