Tool Handle Restoration
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Ken's garden tool collection.
Your garden tools can look as good as these!
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Photo 1: Sand the handles smooth
A random orbital sander makes short work of the sanding job.
Keep it moving so you don't create a flat spot.
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Photo 2: Rub on boiled linseed oil
Dip a rag into a container of boiled linseed oil and wipe it onto
the sanded tool handle. Let the oil soak in for a few minutes.
Then wipe off the excess with a dry rag.
Here’s a tip sent in by Ken Werner, one of our field editors:
“Each spring I sand our gardening tool handles with 120-grit
sandpaper and then rub a coat of boiled linseed oil on them.
The handles stay smooth throughout the gardening season.
Then I do it again before putting the tools
away in the fall.” The tools look terrific,
and the smooth oiled surface resists cracking
and is much easier on the hands.
If you’re more like Oscar than Felix and
your tool handles have never been sanded,
they’re probably as rough and worn as ours
were. In that case, use a random orbital sander (Photo 1).
You’ll still have to hand-sand the spots you can’t reach with
the sander, but it’ll save you a lot of effort.