Tool Care Tips  
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Tools and Epoxy

After a while it seems that everything you touch has an epoxy covering or fingerprints.

The best guards against problems are duct tape, paste wax and oil. Remember, the epoxy will not adhere (well) to waxed and oiled surfaces.

F Clamps and bar clamps

Clamp pads on the clamp faces. The epoxy adheres poorly to the plastic and the pads help keep the clamps from sliding. Wax the bars to make spatter easy to remove. Cover the handles with duct tape. It enhances grip and when removed, the glue comes off with it.  Oil the hand screws.

Wooden clamps

Oil the screws well. Put duct tape on the clamp faces. It may be necessary to put a couple of staples in to keep it from curling off of the faces. I like "Duck" brand tape for the faces as the glossy surface leaves a nice finish if the clamp is placed over a glue joint and releases from the glue very easily.

Staple gun

Take your new staple gun apart. Wax all of the staple magazine, spring slider, drive plunger, etc. Reassemble. Cover the handle with duct tape. Failure to do so, will make it MUCH harder to clean after it gets gummed up with epoxy.  

Remove the staples and spring slider assembly after each glue session. It is easy to get glue on the staples when adding during a glue-up session and then come back to a no-working gun. 

If after a while the slider spring no longer seats when a new stick of staples is installed, it is probably due to the spring being coated with epoxy and now cannot fit. If it was waxed previously the glue will come off with a wire brush. If not, take it outside and heat it gently with a propane torch to burn off the glue and clean with a wire brush. If overheated, the spring will lose its "springiness". Re-wax after cleaning.

Planes

Sharpen often. If you need to use with wet epoxy, disassemble and clean with solvent at the end of the work session. Do not wax outside. The sole of the plane contacts the glue joint and can transfer off causing adhesion problems. Taping the sides and handle is probably a good idea, but not very practical on a block plane.

 

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This page last updated 04/27/01                        2000, 2001 Mark Bronkalla