A shovel is one of the most useful gardening tools that you can have. It has endless applications, but there will come a time when it will experience lesser functionality. To prevent this from happening, you need to put an emphasis on proper care and maintenance. With this, you need to learn how to sharpen a shovel, which is a prerequisite in its restoration, a better alternative to buying a new one when you can still save the old shovel, see the best shovel here.
Sharpening a shovel is necessary to keep the blades in their best condition. The blades can be easily prone to wear and tear with regular use or with exposure to external elements. When the blade is dull, this won’t be able to cut through the soil in an effective manner. This can be frustrating. The good thing is that you do not have to throw the shovel. You can sharpen it by following the suggestions that we will mention in the rest of this post.
Step-by-Step Guide on How to Sharpen a Shovel
Here are the easy steps that you need to follow to in sharpening a shovel:
- Start with removing the dirt and grime that you can find on the surface. You might want to wet the shovel first to make it easier to take out the dirt. A steel wool or wire brush will also help.
- Position the shovel in such a way that it will be stable, making it easier for you to proceed with the sharpening. The best way to do this is to attach it to a table with the use of a clamp, making sure that its concave side is facing up.
- Now that the shovel is in position, start with the sharpening. You can use different materials, such as an abrasive stone and file. In the case of the latter, a 10-inch flat mill file will do the job. Apply moderate pressure in long strokes as you sharpen the edge of the shovel.
- Take a look and feel the edges of the shovel. If it is shiny and smooth, this is an indication that you are done with the sharpening. Otherwise, you have to repeat the process.
- To finish, apply a thin coating of honing oil on the edge of the shovel. Let it sit for a while, wipe with a clean cloth, and your shovel is now ready!
Basic Maintenance Tips
To keep the shovel in its best shape, below are some maintenance tips that you have to keep in mind:
- Proper storage is important, especially if you know that you will not use the shovel for a long time. Clean the shovel before storage. If possible, wrap the head to prevent exposure to external elements that can lead to rust and corrosion.
- Before storing the shovel, make sure that it is completely dry. Use a clean cloth to wipe off any liquid from the surface. Moisture is the enemy. If it is wet when stored, this can encourage rusting.
- Maintenance should not only be about the head of the shovel. You need to pay attention to the handle as well. If it is made from wood, it will be a good idea to wipe it with linseed oil.
- If the shovel is already rusty, there is an easy way to save it. Fill a bucket with five gallons of sand and spill one-quart motor oil on the top. Dig in and out of the sand for several times to get rid of the rust.
By now, we hope that you are already familiar on how to sharpen a shovel. It requires minimal effort and a short time on your end. This can help you to save money as you can restore an old gardening tool rather than opting to buy a new one.