Care of basic tools

builder using a power drill

DON’T leave steel measuring tape extended, especially with blade on edge, on workbench or floor in case something falls onto it; damaged tape will be virtually useless

DO hang up saws by handle or frame when not in use and put blade guard over cutting edge; if left lying about teeth may get damaged. Lightly oil blade to prevent rust. Sharpen teeth, or replace blade, regularly.

DO tie chuck key of electric drill to lead with string, but allow enough length to turn key without having to untie it. Service drill regularly as worn parts will impair efficiency.

DO keep hammer heads clean and free of any traces of adhesive; rub hammer face squarely with fine glasspaper round block of wood. Bang loose heads back into place and/or use wedging pins.

DON’T use hammer on wood-handled chisels; side of hammer head can be used on plastic handles. Ideally use mallet to prevent damaging handle. Never use chisel as screwdriver or you will ruin edge. Maintain good cutting edge by regular sharpening.

DON’T use screwdrivers as levering devices or for raking, chipping or digging holes. If shafts are bent or blade ends not squarely cut they will not turn screws efficiently.

DO check plane blades are correctly adjusted. Hold bottom of plane squarely up to light; blade should be parallel to bottom so it cuts evenly across its full width

DO rest planes on their side to avoid damaging blade or bottom and keep regularly sharpened. After use, store in dry place to avoid rusting.