An item which is often packed away for storage is the humble toolkit. Whilst tools may seem rugged and sturdy to perform the tasks that human hands cannot, it is nonetheless the case that you’ve got to keep an eye on the condition of your tools so that they last a long time and are safe to use. This equally applies whether you are a reluctant DIY man doing the occasional half hearted job at the weekends, or a full time craftsman putting in your daily graft.
Since many tools are metal, there is one obvious killer that stands out above all others – rust. In keeping tools in storage, the primary consideration is ensuring that rust cannot build up and infiltrate your gear. Rust is caused by air moisture, and in a previous article we wrote about general methods for lowering the air moisture of your storage units to keep your belongings in prime condition, and much of the same can apply here.
First of all, you will need to think about a good storage container for your tools. Remember that the priority here is to keep tools cool and free of moisture, rather than roadworthy, so the usual heavy duty plastic and metal containers may not be ideal in this case. You may find better results here with a wooden container, since wood is slightly porous and can get a small airflow through the container, reducing moisture and heat buildup that could otherwise accumulate in an airtight box.
Also, as pointed out in our recent article about dealing with problems of damp in storage, you must ensure that anything you are storing is going to be completely dry when it goes in. Self storage is not a suitable place for drying out wet items, as all it does is make everything else in the unit damp and prone to decay. Give your tools as much time as they need in the days prior to storage to get completely dry so that the preparation isn’t all in vain by bringing damp items into the storage unit.
Like many things that could be stored away, you might need to give your tools a quick pep up once out of storage. Invest in a good sharpening stone and all will be well on that front. As long as you treat your tools with the same care as any other items when put into storage, you should be well on your way to keeping them in their prime.
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