Care of tools
The care of tools consists of storage, use, and conditioning. The three classifications may be treated as individual subjects, but each also has an important bearing on the other. Improper storage affects the condition of the tool. The condition of the tool affects the successful and safe use of the tool. Satisfactory work cannot be done with tools in poor condition.
Storage of tools
Tools may be kept in a work bench, tool cabinet, or tool box; but regardless of where they are stored, each tool should have its own individual place so that it will be readily accessible. The racks or compartments should be so designed and placed that there will be no danger of one tool's coming in contact with another.
If the racks or compartments are arranged so that tools can be replaced readily after they have been used, the bench top and working area can be kept clear and unobstructed. Idle tools on a bench top or on the floor are a hazard to anyone working there or passing by, and to one another. Keen-edged tools, such as chisels and knives, should be placed in their holders so that there will be no danger of cutting yourself or dulling the tool when picking it out or replacing it.
Use of tools
Tools should be used to do only what they are designed to do. You probably know that it is wrong to use a screwdriver as a chisel or a chisel as a screwdriver, but an untaught or careless person might thus misuse many tools. Such misuse is injurious both to the tools and to the person using them. You should learn what each tool is designed for and how it should be used.
Conditioning of tools
A tool in good condition is a tool at its maximum efficiency. Tools should be kept clean and free of rust. Rust is caused by moisture or dampness; its formation can be prevented or kept to a minimum by occasional wiping of the tools with an oily rag. When rust does form, it can be removed with a fine abrasive such as emery cloth or fine steel wool.
Lubrication of the moving parts of various tools is also a necessity, for all moving parts must be kept working freely. If such parts can be moved only with difficulty, lubrication is necessary.
A sharp tool seldom causes an accident. In most cases where a worker cuts himself, the tool is dull. The reason for this is simple: a tool in proper cutting condition will do its work without undue force or effort on the part of the worker. When exerting a great pressure to make a tool cut, the worker is thrown off balance, and a slip of the tool is more likely. Before using any tool, check to be sure it is in good condition. Never use a tool that is not in good condition.