Tag Archives: heat shrink

Clean Tools are Happy Tools

I have several topics I want to cover in September, but I did want to get a quick post in about cleaning tools before the end of the month.

I have been down in the shop several times over the last week, but that time has been devoted to getting stuff back in order after remodeling my shop space. As I am going through all of the stuff (I say stuff but what I really mean in many cases is crap) that was filling my workshop, I am finding that I have been holding on to things I know I don’t need. One such category is Telco materials. Yes, I also worked for Pacific Bell for a while as a repair tech. I have accumulated lots of miscellaneous connectors and even some communications tools that I will most likely never use again, not that I’ll get rid of the tools.

While reminiscing over this accumulation I discovered something else… I have been neglecting some of my tools! I felt so guilty about it that I had to stop, clean them and make sure they were is good working order. Many of the communications and networking tools like toners, amplifiers, and meters just needed fresh batteries, but some tools like screw clamps needed a full cleaning; digging out debris from the threads and a good scrubbing with some Scotch Brite. A few things needed a full tear-down so I could clean them properly.

One tool that needed the full treatment was an old Black & Decker 7″ circular saw I inherited from my great uncle when he passed away in 1989. I figure he bought it around 1979 or thereabouts, so this saw has been in service for 30+ years. This tool, like any other, deserves my respect and attention. It was an in expensive saw back in the day but that doesn’t change the fact that it still does its job without complaint.

My tear-down consisted of removing the blade of course, the guard and and clamping rings. This is when I cringed; there was a thick build-up of debris and oil behind the guard. I am embarrass to say it, but I don’t think I have removed that blade in 5 years, maybe more. I cleaned off the mess and wiped the area clean. The disassembly continued by separating the housing and inspecting the inside of the body and handle. Here is where I was pleasantly surprised. It was mostly clean in here, a little compressed air and a wipe-down and all was well. The commutator and brushes looked good, as did the wiring and switch.

The gear section was opened to check the gear case grease which was also in good condition. I was about to bolt everything back together when I noticed a nick in the power cord. Not really bad, no copper showing, but I could see the white shielding of the neutral wire in the two conductor cable. I don’t have any extra power cord or plug ends on hand, and the damage wasn’t at the point that it would be a structural hazard so I decided to heat shrink that section of the cord. I disconnected it from the switch, slipped on some heat shrink and got it nice and snug, then reconnected everything.

After getting the saw back together and buttoned up I gave it a short test drive on some 1/4″ ply. She sounded happy to have had some time at Dad’s Tool Spa.

More shop and tool cleaning on my schedule for September.

Till next time,