Tool Tips from Tom Wengler of Wengler Home Maintenance
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• GARDEN TOOLS-keeping your garden tools in good shape will keep you on schedule with your projects. Repairing or replacing your garden tools immediately will give you great results when you go to use them. Tighten up screws, bolts and nuts or apply tape to weakened areas of the handle will strengthened the tool. Cleaning up the metal on shovel blades, rake heads, picks, etc will give you longer lasting tools for your projects.

• LAWN MOWER MAINTENANCE-Obtaining a long life out of your lawn mower it is important to periodically maintain it. After every use of the lawn mower clear off grass and debris from around the engine and remove any grass build up from the underneath side of the mower. Several times a season it is essential to drain the oil and replace it with new oil. Also, clean the air filter of build up, change the spark plug and have the blade sharpened routinely. You will get better results out of your lawn mower by taking care of it more often.

• CLEANING UP TOOLS AFTER PAINTING-Painting projects are a process in themselves. There is a lot of prep work that needs to be done prior to painting. Then is the painting itself that can be very time consuming and take a period of time to complete. A very important aspect to this process is your tools. Bad paint jobs, is the result of poorly maintained tools, brushes and rollers. During the painting process have a bucket of water or mineral spirits available to immediately clean up your brushes, pans, rollers etc. Use a wire brush to clean off paint from brushes and use a scrapper tool to remove paint from rollers. Clearing paint from buckets or roller pans is important or you can buy inexpensive plastic liners for easy clean up. Brushes, rollers, roller brushes, pans, buckets, and painting tools can add to the expensive of painting. They can easily be reused from project to project. All you need to do is clean them up immediately after painting.

• PURCHASING NEW EQUIPMENT-Buying new equipment for the home can be very costly. The first thing to consider is do I actually need it or can I just rent it for the occasion. If purchasing is the path then plan to make a list of places to shop for the item, and take your time. This could be a process so have some patience. The more you shop for more knowledge you will obtain and will lead to the correct choice for you. Ask lots of questions to neighbors, friends, and to store associates. Doing some research about the product is very important and going online gives you abundant information and can be done right from your home. Consider warranties on all equipment for parts and repairs. One of the most overlooked item when purchasing equipment is WHO is going to service the equipment and either where it is or from where do they have to come from. Sometimes purchasing many items from one local vendor gives you the benefit of developing a relationship with them where they will be there for you when you really need them. Taking your time, having some patience, and asking many questions will lead you to proper decision making when it’s time to purchase equipment.

• WORK GLOVES-Are mostly overlooked when working on projects. They offer many benefits such as; avoiding blisters, keeping hands clean, can prevent getting cuts and splinters, are affordable, come in many different designs based on the task at hand, and can be easily found in most stores, and are pretty durable. You might purchase several different types of work gloves for the various projects you generally perform and keeping them clean, as well, will lead to working on projects that much more enjoyable.

• LEAF RAKES-There are many different types of leaf rakes on the market today. They range from big to small, from plastic to metal and to a wood product, with the handles ranging differently as well. You should own several types of rakes because you do different things with each rake. Small rakes can be hand held or with a long handle and can get behind and underneath bushes easy with little damage to the bush itself. Metal rakes are durable, are good for gathering small piles of leaves in and around beds of flowers ad bushes. Most of the large rakes are made out of plastic and vary in design. I find they work best in moving leaves quickly and into large groups. I use a combination of two rakes, one to rake onto the face of another and pick up and dump into a bucket or tarp. Take a few minutes from time to time to tighten any bolts, screws or nuts on your rakes. Use tape on your handles will improve your grip and strengthen the handle as well. Keeping your rakes in good shape will save you money and time.

4/5/2009

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