Sunday, March 15, 2009

In Praise of Clean Tools

Today I finally got a chance to clean the shop.

The old BMW has been up on jackstands for a couple of weeks (and still is as I await one more parts shipment), and typically when I'm in the middle of a job I don't get too particular where I set down tools. So my shop has been a mess for a while, with wrenches, ratchets, an old transmission mount and various other greasy bits scattered across both workbenches. Which, when you're in the middle of a job, is fine.

But clean tools - put away where you can find them - are so much better.

Clean tool are nicer to use and safer since they're less likely to slip out of your hand. So at the end of a job (especially a messy one), I'll put a little mineral spirits on a rag and wipe everything down before I put it away. (Let the rag air dry in the open when you're finished, then throw it away.) It just takes a second, but in that second you can see if anything is damaged or notice the empty slot in your socket organizer (and then go find the missing 12mm socket before it escapes for good.) Then the next time you need your tools, you'll know they're ready.

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