Thursday, 30 September 2010

It's that time of year ... ...

Well it's arrived, autumn and all it's joys, don't get me wrong I actually prefer autumn and winter, winter more so, but the wet weather and the cold (when it arrives, probably soon) can cause issues around the house and garden, so I thought I'd give a little mention to WD-40 and good old 3-in-one oil, both of which can save time and money, here's how.

Say hello to my little friends -

WD-40 & 3-in-one, very handy.
I've used these 2 things for many years, and for various things and they have never let me down, they are great at what they do.
So what to use them for ? well it's pretty easy, and I'm guessing for most people this will be old news but I'm going to mention it anyway. Do you have padlocks in the garden ? maybe on a gate or a shed ? well as you may or may not know being exposed to the rain and the cold can cause problems with the locking mechanism itself, making the lock hard to open, this in turn might mean you bending or breaking a key in the lock and then it's pretty much useless, so with that in mind get a tin of WD-40 and make sure the little red straw is attached and then squirt a little in these 3 places 1 - the lock, where the key goes, 2 - in the 2 parts of the lock on the other side of it, the hole where you push the pad lock in to close it, and where the u shaped part is joined to the lock (basically you want to squirt lubricant anywhere there is a moving part) you don't need much, and be careful not to get too close in case it sprays out, this will sting if you get it in your eyes.

Once that's done make sure to put the key in and lock and open and close the padlock a few times to get the lubricant in as much of the lock as possible, this will help protect the lock from the rain, and also help it when things start to freeze, and if for some reason after doing this you can't get the lock open one day a little squirt of WD-40 on the moving parts of the lock should free it easily, this will also work for other locks, like bicycle locks for example, and even some older types of car door locks, you can also use a small drop or 2 of 3-in-1 oil for this as well.

One of my bicycle locks - 

Even a little squirt on a combination lock will help protect it.
It's not just locks either, WD-40 is good for all sorts of things, got a squeaky door or gate hinge ? a squirt of either will solve it, you can also use a little drop of oil or WD-40 on slide bolts as well.

One of our gate hinges - 

A little rusty I know, but they still work and they are sturdy despite the rust.
A slide bolt, we have a few of these on each door (front and back) as well as on our garden gates -

Slide bolt, I find the oil works better for these.
Do you have double glazing ? most houses have it now, least I think they do, but did you know that you are meant to lubricate the hinges from time to time ? I've always used WD-40 for this, first clean the hinges of any dust and dirt, then a little squirt on the parts that slide (see picture below) and this should be done at least once a year, again you don't need to cover it in loads of the stuff, just a little will do, then just open and close the window a few times to make sure it covers all the parts, you will notice a difference.

Here's a picture - 

Like it says in the picture :-)
It's best not to use oil for this because oil tends to collect dirt and dust more and may cause problems, so remember WD-40 is the best, and you can pick up a can for a quid (£1) yes you guessed it from a pound shop :-)

What else can we do ? well if you have a garden you may have a pruning knife or a set of secateurs for, well pruning and such like, there are other garden tools as well that this is good for, shears and lopper's.
Once you've sharpened them give them a good clean with some steel wool or fine emery paper and then get your 3-in-1 and a rag or cloth of some sort and squirt a little oil onto it, then rub the oil all over the blades of your chosen garden implements, you can also use a little to keep any moving parts working smoothly, this will keep the blades rust free over winter and when you come to use them in the spring they will be ready to go.

My secateurs - 

Just oiled.
My pruning knife, which if I'm honest does more cutting of things (like string) than actual pruning -

My pruning knife.
This is well worth doing, and for a couple of pounds for the oil etc it's not expensive, it could be if you don't look after your tools, and you can also use a little bit of oil on chisels and other tools, especially if they are out in a shed, giving them a wipe over with a little oil will help prevent rust and keep them in good condition, I have a set of chisels that I've had for nearly 10 years, giving them a wipe of oil now and then has kept them looking almost like new, I also use a little squirt of WD-40 on the tail stock of my lathe to stop the thread  up, and 3-in-1 oil is great for lubricating bicycle chains.

So for a little effort you can save money and time, just wish WD-40 worked on my joints :-)

Thanks for reading.

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