How do you maintain your tools and equipment?

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Forum topic by CharlieW posted 01-29-2013 05:02 PM 2049 views 1 time favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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28 posts in 1920 days

01-29-2013 05:02 PM

I’m just curious how all of you maintain the surfaces of your tools and equipment? What products do you use, how often do you perform maintenance on them? Not talking about calibration or alignment, just lubrication (where applicable) and maintenance of surfaces. Thanks!

19 replies so far

View RussellAP's profile


3103 posts in 2255 days

#1 posted 01-29-2013 05:04 PM

I use paste wax on metal surfaces like TS BS and jointer. The other tools get used so often that the dirt falls off of them when they come on, lol. For hand tools, I don’t sweat it, and for small power tools, I just buy new when it fails and they all do.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View RussellAP's profile


3103 posts in 2255 days

#2 posted 01-29-2013 05:07 PM

The kind of wood you work will have a lot to do with how you maintain your tools. If you work in hard wood like oak and walnut, you have a lot of dust, but mainly nothing is sticky, but if you work in pine, cedar, or some resin rich hardwood like padauk, your tools quickly become a mess. A good compressor with an air hose is a good investment. Take them outside to blow off after use. Don’t let it set or you can’t blow it off.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.



280 posts in 1972 days

#3 posted 01-29-2013 05:11 PM

I also wax my castiron tablesaw, castiron bandsaw and planer surface. Additionally I keep feed rollers on the planer cleaned and I do a roll-back as we called it in the Navy everyday I work in the shop. I don’t like stepping on small pieces of wood or trip hazards with all this hardware. My grandkids like to visit their PaPa in the woodshop too, so I like a clean place and clean tools.

Use it, clean it, ready for next use!

View DKV's profile


3940 posts in 2473 days

#4 posted 01-29-2013 05:14 PM

These would be invaluable in renners tips of the day…

-- This is a Troll Free zone.

View grfrazee's profile


388 posts in 2108 days

#5 posted 01-29-2013 05:46 PM

Paste wax on cast iron surfaces. Some 3-in-1 oil on smaller things like turnscrews or rollers to keep them from binding. Light sanding if things get rusty.

-- -=Pride is not a sin=-

View stevenmadden's profile


174 posts in 3058 days

#6 posted 01-29-2013 06:07 PM

CharlieW: I wipe down my tools with jojoba oil after each use ( ). I first started using this on my hand tools after each use; it worked so well that I tried it on my table saw and bandsaw. I used to get rust on occasion, which had to be scrubbed off with steel wool (or something like it). I haven’t seen a bit of rust on anything since I started using the jojoba oil.


View Earlextech's profile


1160 posts in 2659 days

#7 posted 01-29-2013 07:16 PM

Paste wax on cast iron surfaces, mica work tops and finished furniture. Never anything but baby oil on finishing equipment or threads on any tool.

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "Finished"!

View BinghamtonEd's profile


2297 posts in 2338 days

#8 posted 01-29-2013 07:16 PM

Paste wax on the TS, BS, planer, and router table, and on various unfinished metal surfaces of certain hand tools. 3-in-1 on moving parts. I have a strict schedule that goes by the “whenever I remember to do it, which is usually when I start noticing it needs it” philosophy.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View Kreegan's profile


1452 posts in 2115 days

#9 posted 01-29-2013 08:41 PM

I use Johnson’s paste wax on my lathe ways, bandsaw table and table saw table. I put it on approximately monthly, depending on the level of use for the tool. The lathe gets used more, so it’s more like weekly. Basically whenever I notice the tailstock and banjo not gliding easily. I use white lithium grease in a spray can for pulleys and wheels and such. Again on an approximately monthly basis.

For my hand tools, I use camellia oil on my planes, chisels and spokeshave. A spritz or two on a towel whenever I put them away. The towel is pretty well impregnated with the oil at this point. For my saws, I put a little paraffin wax on the blades occasionally, basically whenever it occurs to me to do so or when they’re binding a little much.

I bought some of those silicon dessicant packs. I keep some in my tool boxes and on the shelves near my planes and such. Not sure how much good they do, but they make me feel better.

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3277 days

#10 posted 01-29-2013 08:58 PM

I am on the paste wax list also. Have been using paste wax for over 40 years with never a problem.

View Deycart's profile


444 posts in 2226 days

#11 posted 01-30-2013 02:18 AM

I live in the damp north west and I used to put paste wax on everything. Tools that just sat on the shelf having not been used would rust in about 3 months. Then I switched to the T9 Spray. That worked OK, but the coating tended to be very waxy and dust would stick to it. Now I mostly use 3 in 1 oil and have had no problem after the switch.

View CharlieW's profile


28 posts in 1920 days

#12 posted 01-30-2013 11:18 AM

lots of consistency in how folks care for their tools, good input all, thanks!

View Don W's profile

Don W

18686 posts in 2536 days

#13 posted 01-30-2013 12:19 PM

I use a lot of fluid film

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Manitario's profile


2629 posts in 2852 days

#14 posted 01-30-2013 08:20 PM

I use a LeeValley product called Waxlite on my cast iron surfaces. All my hand tools are stored in a cabinet and they sit on a foam mat that has a built in rust inhibitor. I keep my shop heated though, so rust is not a huge problem for me, thankfully.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2659 days

#15 posted 01-31-2013 03:14 AM

No one has mentioned it so I had to chime in. I think it’s important to vacum/blow the dust out of the motor and “guts” of your power tools on a regular basis. It will improve their longevity and I find cleaning works as well as lubrication on my TS height and tilt adjustment.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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