Many people assume that woodworking tools don’t require cleaning. However, this could not be farther from the truth. On the contrary, you need to carry out regular cleaning and maintenance to ensure they are in tip-top condition and don’t rust.
Rust is the enemy of all woodworking tools. When your tools begin to rust, they may not work as well as they used to and could even break. The main culprit behind rusting of woodworking tools is inadequate cleaning.
If you want your woodworking tools to last you a lifetime and continue to give you effective results, you need to carry out proper cleaning methods. This will also help you save money since you will not need to buy any more tools but instead make use of the ones you already have.
So, without further ado, let’s look at how to clean woodworking tools.
Cleaning Hand Tools
We often forget to clean the standard tools like wrenches, hammers, and pliers. However, considering how useful they are for woodworking projects, you should carry out proper cleaning methods for them. Therefore, you should make a habit of cleaning each of these tools before putting them back in your toolbox or storage.
Use a damp cloth or rag to wipe down any dirt, dust, or debris. While cleaning, you should also inspect your tools for signs of damage, scratches, splinters, and cracks. Similarly, carry out a proper inspection of the metal parts of the tools to check for any signs of rust or corrosion. If you check for any of these, you must carry out repair work.
Cleaning Power Tools
Much like hand tools, power tools like a table saw, drills and sanders also need to be cleaned regularly. When you don’t maintain them properly, they become susceptible to improper working. The accumulation of debris and dust can lead to malfunctioning or a grinding stop of these tools.
The general instructions for cleaning are to use a cloth to clean the power tools after each use. Then, take a damp cloth periodically for an occasional and thorough wipe down of these machines. In addition to that, you should also use lightly oiled cotton swabs to clean all of the hard-to-reach areas.
Friction is a major enemy of woodworking power tools. Hence, make sure to keep your tools clean from resin and pitch buildup. Keep the surfaces clean and sufficiently lubricant when they come into contact with wood.
How to Clean Woodworking Tools
Here’s a specific rundown on cleaning primary power woodworking tools:
1. Table Saw
Table saws are most susceptible to rust formation, so it is crucial that you keep them clean. You can easily clean the rust from the blade by using a ball of metal wool and mineral spirits. Avoid using too much of the spirits and use only enough. Then, wipe down with a high-quality lubricant ideal for woodworking tools.
2. Power Drill
A power drill can very easily accumulate plenty of dust over time, which is why it should be regularly cleaned. Not only is cleaning the surface of the drill important, but also the interior, which is where dust most often accumulates. You can use a compressor that will pull out all the dust from the interior and the drill opening.
The blade is the most important part of a table saw, which is why you need to practice extra precaution when cleaning this part. First, you will need to remove the blade from the table saw and then dip it into a cleaning agent. This should soak in the cleaning agent for a couple of minutes. After this, use a toothbrush to scrub the surface of the blade. You should pay special attention to the edges of the blades and scrub there in particular. Lastly, wash the blade and let it dry completely before positioning it back into the table saw.
4. Router Bits
This is another tool that you should be regularly cleaning. The small area between the cutting edge and 5the frame of the router can often end up with resin buildup. This can then make the router not function as well as it is supposed to since too much friction is produced during cutting.
The easiest way to clean the router bits is to use the same cleaning agent you used for the blades. Use a damp cloth and the cleaning agent to get around this area and thoroughly clean it. Consider using a cotton swab dipped in the agent for the hard-to-reach areas.
5. Circular Saw Blade
You should clean out the circular saw blade the same way as the table saw blade. However, if you feel like your blade needs a bit more sharpening, you should consider taking it to a professional sharpening service. Sharpening them yourself can be dangerous and not as effective as when it is done by a professional. They can help extend the life of the circular saw blade.
Storing Power Tools
If you want to ensure that your tools remain in tip-top condition after cleaning, you should consider properly storing them. You should keep them in an area where they are safe from dust, debris, humidity, and any other harmful conditions. You should store them in their original packaging if possible. Otherwise, keep them in a chest or toolbox.
Make sure that the tools are placed in a garage or basement where the weather is not too extreme. Manual woodworking tools should be placed in a cabinet or toolbox drawer so that they are safe and readily accessible.
Our Final Thoughts
You should make a habit of cleaning each woodworking tool after every use. This will help prevent rust and keep them in excellent condition. Every now and then, you should carry out proper inspection and cleaning of these tools as well. Lastly, if your tools have rust, you can use a ball of metal wool and mineral spirits to clean it out.