We are lucky to have a stash of hand tools that we can use to work our beds, chop our weeds and turn our soil. Over the years, the fees from many Rosedale gardeners before us funded the purchase of those tools and the shed where they are stored. We all need to do our part to keep our tools and the shed in good condition. This keeps our investments low and our garden safe from accidents. Here is how you can help:
Team Storage Space on Shelves
The tool shed shelves are organized by teams. If you are part of a team that has to store your supplies somewhere, then we can dedicate a shelf or area for you. If you are a gardener that has misc garden equipment or supplies you no longer want or need, sorry- you’ll have to take those home.
Teams that currently have dedicated storage space on the shelves in the hand tool shed are:
- Garlic Team
- Food Donation Team
- Irrigation Team
- Compost Team
- Fence Team
- Path Maintenance Team
Misc Garden Tools on Shelves
There are a few shelves that are dedicated for tools and supplies that are used by multiple teams in the garden. These shelves are for:
- Miscellaneous hardware and hand tools- e.g. hammers, files, nails, screws, measuring tapes, etc.
- Chemicals- e.g. paint, stain, linseed oil, pesticides, etc.
- First Aid and Safety Equipment- e.g. gloves, safety glasses, first aid kit
- Trash bags
Hoes, Hard Rakes, Misc. Long-handled Tools, Leaf Rakes & Small-Headed Sharp Tools
As you enter the shed, these types of tools are found on your left. Please keep these tools organized so that like tools are together on the wall pegs. There is a bucket for long-handled tools with short sharp heads that do not fit on the wall pegs. Please make sure the sharp end of the tool is in the bucket on the floor, and the handle is in the air. As you hang the tools on the wall pegs, think about which end of the tool you would want to hit you in the head- the sharp pointy end, or the dull flat end. Hang the tools so the sharp end of the tool is pointing AWAY from your head.
As you enter the shed, the broad forks are on the right near the back end of the shed. These wide tools are best stored so that the sharp tines are on the floor and pointing towards the wall. This prevents someone from accidentally stepping on a tine and having the broad fork falling onto the person.
Shovels, Pitchforks, Sledge Hammer & Soil Tamper
As you enter the shed, the shovels and pitchforks are on the right on the wall pegs. Shovels best fit the wall pegs with the sharp end pointing at your head as you face it, but it is safer to store the pitchforks withe the sharp tines pointing away from your head. The broad short manure and snow shovels and short spades have their own dedicated wall peg so that there is plenty of room for long-handled shovels on the tall wall pegs. The sledge hammer and soil tamper are best stored near the door on the 2x4s on the floor so they are nested out of the way. These are heavy dangerous tools so they should be stored so they will not fall on anyone.
A Sharp & Clean Tool is a Safe Tool
Believe it or not, sharp tools are way safer than dull tools. Dull tools glance off of the target, making it more likely that you’ll loose control of the tool and hit yourself or some other unintended target. Dull tools make you spend more energy to accomplish your goals. This can make you more tired, and when we are tired and loose control of tools, accidents are more likely to happen. Sharp tools on the other hand, cut cleanly, easily and swiftly exactly how we want them to cut or how we want them to dig. We spend way less energy using sharp tools and this keeps our bodies limber and ready to handle any unexpected items that may be in our way as we cut, whack or dig. So, we all need to keep tools sharp. Here is how:
There are flat files hanging in the left rear part of the tool shed to sharper blades. Be sure to use gloves whenever you are sharpening tool blades and stay outside using a firm table or surface. Wear safety glasses or sunglasses to make sure the metal shavings don’t get in your eyes. Remember- safety comes first.
If you are not up for sharpening tools yourself, then use the red flagging found in the same part of the tool shed to mark the tool as unsafe. Then someone from the tool team can take care of the problem.
Cleaning tools also makes tools safer. When dirt, mud, debris and water get on the tool blades, rust sets in and the wood starts to crack. When blades are rusty and handles are cracked, tool blades are likely to break or fly off the handle. This is very dangerous. So every time you use a tool, you need to clean it. Again, EVERYONE needs to clean their tools. Here is the cleaning process:
- Use the black wire brush to scrub off al dirt, mud, soil, and plant debris from the blades and handle; the black wire brush is sitting on top of the orange bucket
- Open the orange bucket and dip the blade in the sand-oil mixture to oil get the last soil off and oil the blade; the orange bucket is on the left in front of the door
- Hang the tool back up in the appropriate labeled location
- Sweep the floor to remove any dirt or mud on the floor
- If tool handles are loose, cracked, broken or otherwise DANGEROUS- then use the red flagging to mark the tool
Kids & the Tool Shed
We all love kids. They are fun, funny and bring a bright hopeful light into our lives. However, the tool shed can be a dangerous place for a kid. There are so many hazards in the tool shed- sharp pointy blades and tines, heavy thick soil chunks of metal, nails, screws, rust, twine…you get the picture. Let’s all enjoy kids at the garden when they come, but please do not let kids under 6 years old enter, play or get tools out of the tool shed without an adult by their side.
We have several tools that are kid-sized that kids can use. We’ll find a safe place where those kid-tools can be stored so we can keep all our little friends safe.
If you have any questions about tool safety, tool care, or the hand tool shed, please be sure to ask someone on the Hand Tool Team.