sharpening tools

For today’s lesson, we will venture to the Knight in Shining Armor’s workshop, where he loves to hang out when he’s in between dragon slayings.

The Knight says that rusty tools are bad. If not taken care of, they’ll just keep rusting. Rust is more than just nasty looking red stuff. It actually eats away at the metal itself. So he de-rustifies his tools, sharpens them, and then paints them to keep them from rusting again. The following tutorial uses a hoe, but most garden tools can be taken care of in the same way.

A nice sharp hoe is a good thing to have, especially if you are a kid that has been told to hoe five acres of beans. The Damsel shudders to think how daunting that task would be and suddenly understands why fighting dragons seems like no big deal to her Knight.

First, you must remove the rust from the surface of the tool. A kitchen scrub pad will work, or steel wool. Make it wet, and add a little dish soap.

Scrub the metal until the red rusty evilness is gone, and you’re down to bare metal. Rinse.

Next, if you’re the Knight, you sharpen the hoe on your bench grinder, because you have pretty much every power tool known to mankind and you might as well use them. Plus it makes pretty sparkles.

If you don’t have a bench grinder, you do it the old school way, which is to stroke a metal file at an angle across the edge of the hoe. Create a sloping knife edge along the front side of the hoe’s edge, then turn it and file it on the back side too, just a bit.

Here’s how that edge might look after you finish sharpening it:

Now git yourself some nice rust-inhibiting spray paint…choose a color that scares weeds…

and masking tape.

Mask off the hoe where the wood meets the tool’s business end.

Spray the metal in nice, even strokes. When it’s dry, remove the masking tape, and you’re done! The Knight in Shining Armor would like to mention that hoeing weeds is all about cutting the weeds’ tops from their roots, and you don’t have to cultivate the ground. You can if it makes you feel happy, but that’s sort of a different task. Take it from the boy who hoed 5 acres of beans and lived to tell about it.

11 thoughts on “sharpening tools

  1. I guess that’s why he didn’t blink at having me hack down our old weed lawn in the back for days with that weird ol’ scythe thing. (:

  2. So, does the kitchen scrub thing and dish soap work with a rusty railing? I sware our house looks like white trash lives there and that’s a big part of why. I shutter to think of the elbow grease that it will take though.

    By the way, since blue scares weeds is there another color that scares away more rust?

    • Yes, that would work…I can see why that would sound hard. Art says solvent will make it easier, but I didn’t mention that in the regular post because most of my readers are looking for more “natural” solutions. But yes, you could scrub it all off and then paint it. Would be spiffy.

  3. hey damsel! I’m writing a recommendation on my blog for people to read your blog because I enjoy it so very much. but i wanted to post a link to your post about cooking with dried beans. remember that one, and how, “bean fear stalks the land”? but i can’t seem to get my hands on it, after searching all over your site. is it gone?

    • Megan! Thanks for the comment…I’m so glad you like the site. Thanks for posting something about it on your blog…that makes me happy.

      Here’s a link to the “bean fear stalks the land” post. LOL!

  4. Pingback: Real Self Reliance » The Self Reliant Digest #13 – The Return Edition

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