Taking Care of Your Tools and Equipment
Running a householder’s labor is no small task. From daily tasks to monthly or yearly, there is always something to be done. Over the years, I have come to understand the importance of homestead maintenance.
With so much work, it is important that you take good care of your tools, keep things away when they are not in use, stay organized, and plan ahead. After all, buying tools and equipment is a huge investment, and by taking care of them they will sustain you for a long time.
There is a lot of equipment on our Homestead, from shovels to socket sets. The list is endless, so it is important to take good care of them.
1. Keep them sharp
Saws, knives, shovels, thorns, scissors … these things become dull over time. The use of sluggish equipment can be dangerous, and creates additional work and difficulty.
Shovel sharpening is a very easy DIY task. However, sharpening scissors may not be something you are equipped for. Many hardware stores will speed up the equipment for you, or at least direct you to someone who can.
2. Keep them Rust-Free
I have made a mistake many times. A device is forgotten in the grass, and when I find it again, it rusts. A rusty tool is usually an ineffective tool.
To remove rust from a tool, you can usually use steel wool or a wire brush to remove most of the rust. Sometimes a little sandpaper will work, and other times rust removal may be required.
3. Keep them oiled or overcooked
Know your tools and equipment and what type of care they require. If used properly, oil and grease will prolong the life of your appliance or equipment.
Wood tools usually require an oil coating or a coating of wood butter each time. This will keep the wood from drying and peeling. Some wooden tools, however, apply a clear coat and do not require this care.
A drop of oil on a pair of stiff pliers will loosen them right. And the fat in the tractor keeps everything running smoothly.
The screw on our apple press screw moves safely up and down. However, we must ensure that we use an edible-safe oil on the screw in the event that we inadvertently touch the food to deal with it.
Take care of your valuable equipment
Not every homestead has the same equipment, but everything you do on your homestead is as important to take care of your equipment as it is your equipment.
1. Maintenance on vehicles
Check hoses for leaks, wires for loose connections and tires for damage. Be sure to do oil changes and grease parts as needed. Be sure to check for other liquids that use vehicles.
Vehicles that are left unused during winter sometimes require that the gas tank be closed before the temperature drops before freezing.
Check the tires on your vehicles before driving them. Driving on a flat tire can damage the tire, rim and vehicle. In Wisconsin’s cold weather we need to monitor tire pressure along with cooling and warming.
Flat tires can come from a number of gradual leaks of air, a puncture, a failed seal, or any other issues.
Make sure the battery-exhausted parts are turned off when the vehicle is not in use, better yet, remove the keys. The headlights left overnight on the ATV will disappoint you when you try to start it the next day.
Do not forget the tools of the farm. At the moment, we have no choice but to store some of our devices. However, ideally, they should be stored out of the elements when used.
2. Maintenance of other equipment
We make maple syrup and at the end of the season, everything is washed properly and the stove is shoveled out. The sap vats are turned upside down to prevent dust and spiders from building the house, which will require additional cleaning before reusing them.
We were bee victims in the past, but since we didn’t buy much this year, our hives went into storage to help prolong their lives.
Our food processing equipment, be it for bees, syrups, or butchers, gets stored in plastic tots with lids that are in clips when not in use. Everything must be clean and dry before storing it.
We use food-grade 5-gallon pails for food processing. Each time they are used, they are washed, dried, stacked, and poured over the top bucket of the stack. Once covered, flip the stack upside down to ensure nothing is found in the bucket.
Remember to clean!
One of the most important things you can do at your homestead is make sure after cleaning yourself.
Keeping a clean house is a challenge with a house full of young children. I get interrupted before putting things away regularly, but I don’t regret a few extra minutes to keep things away.
In the event of a complete emergency, leave the items where they lay, but return as soon as possible to finish cleaning.
Tools are easily lost in grass, weeds and mud, so if you think you’ll be back after a break, remove your tool. It is a headache to hunt the wrong means, and running or even stepping on them with a lawnmower or tractor can be extremely dangerous.
It is a safety hazard and a headache and you may have to spend a lot of money to replace equipment that is constantly lost or weather-prone. Also, additional maintenance does more work for you in the long run.
Don’t forget to clean up after garden season or things related to your animals.
Easy ways to get organized
As the old saying goes: Everything is a place and everything is its place.
There are three important points to remember when organized:
- Everything is a place to go,
- Make sure everyone knows where everything goes, and
- Remove items when they are not being used.
With a large family, it is incredibly important that everyone who can use the items on Homestead knows where they go.
Clean bins with eyelids that snap in place, and labels with a marker will help you organize your supplies for larger tasks that you don’t do often. We have bees for bee tools, syrup making and butchering.
Keep tools well sorted. We have toolboxes for specific jobs or locations, such as one for electrical work, one for plumbing, and so on, and things like socket sets are stored on a rail to make the correct size easier.
Keep a list of vehicles or special equipment (such as snowblowers) that require maintenance. It should be said in the list what type of oil and filter is needed, if it uses oil, battery type / number, or any other basic parts or liquids that will use it that you are likely to replace. .
When something goes wrong or needs maintenance, you have an easy list to look at instead of flipping through the manual.
Don’t forget things like records, receipts and plans. You should have a place for all these things so that they are easily accessible. Sort them by topic, such as “chickens,” “garden,” and “tractors.”
The seeds are stored well in an airtight container in a refrigerator or freezer for the next year. By typing them, and keeping track of the need to order or save for the coming year.
Plan ahead for different scenes
An important part of maintaining your homestead is planning ahead. It can take time and experience to be good, but a rough plan is better than any plan. Personally, I have a list of months of the year, how busy that month is, and what kinds of tasks I do during that.
Make plans for any animal that you will buy during the coming year. Do you have shelter meal plan? What supplies will you need, and where will you store it?
Stock up on supplies you will need throughout the year as you are done. I bought canning supplies when we received our tax return and it saved me a lot of time walking back and forth in the store during the canning season.
Planning ahead may involve knowing what you will be eating during very busy months. This may involve making some meals ahead of time so that you do not have to resort to eating outside.
Think about the climate you live in, and have a plan for emergencies such as hurricanes, hurricanes, wildfires, and blizzards. Do you have any plans for your animals or your family for basic needs?
Don’t worry about doing everything at once. Just do what you can do. I recommend that you start with a plan to get organized, and work on it as you are able.
Idea Source: morningchores.com