Blacksmiths and metalworkers have a variety of tools at their disposal. The hammers, chisels, anvils, and crucibles smiths work with are all crucial to the metalworking process, so it’s crucial to care for them properly. If you don’t want to waste materials and funds on tool repairs, learn how to care for your tools and increase their longevity. All metalsmiths can follow these steps when trying to maintain blacksmithing tools.
Step 1: Storage
Start by storing your blacksmithing tools under the proper conditions. Manufacturers and crafters primarily use metal to make tools like hammers, tongs, chisels, and more, which means they are susceptible to rust. Keep your storage space dry and free of moisture with the help of a dehumidifier. Hang metal tools along the wall with plenty of access to airflow or store them in a temperature-controlled tool chest.
You should also keep your essential workshop safety gear in proper storage to maintain its quality. Keep safety gear near your workshop entrance so that you can put it on before entering the space. You’ll never forget to wear it if your safety gear is the first thing you see when you enter.
Step 2: Inspections
Regularly inspecting your tools is crucial for spotting any signs of damage before or after use. When we’re focused on the project at hand, we might miss slight tool imperfections such as chips or cracks in the wood. These small damages can worsen over time, especially with the stress involved with hammering and chipping away at hard metals. By inspecting your tools before or after using them, you’ll be able to notice these issues more closely and make repairs or replacements. Regular tool inspections can help you avoid injuries or failed metalworking projects.
Step 3: Cleaning
Cleaning your blacksmithing tools is a smart way to get them back to looking like new. There are special cleaning supplies for metallic tools, including oils. Coating your tools in specialty oils can help protect them against rust and corrosion. Many metalworking tools, such as hammers or chisels, feature wooden handles. If these wooden parts get too dry, they can crack, splinter, and split, making them uncomfortable and dangerous to use. Treat your wooden tools with a cloth soaked in Tung oil or other wood conditioners. These oils help keep the wood moist and prevent cracks from forming.
Blacksmithing tools undergo harsh conditions, from the heat of the workshop to constant pressure from hammer strikes and more. Remember these maintenance tips for blacksmithing tools to keep your equipment strong and help it last longer.