Friday, July 14, 2017

"7 Minutes in Maintenance Heaven"

(This post was sponsored by 3-IN-ONE-Oil, although the content, ideas, and presentation is all mine)

Did you ever play "7 minutes in Heaven" when you were a teenager?  Yeah, me neither.  But I am here to propose an updated version of that classic game that may be of interest to workshop afficianados like myself.  Intrigued?  Of course you are. Just keep reading.

Now, before your mind starts reeling and your imagination goes into some kind of hormonally supercharged overdrive, let me reassure you that this game is totally G-rated.  I can guaranteed that  is not glamorous or sexy in any way whatsoever. BUT... it is the kind of thing that we all know we could probably stand to do a little more of, because it really does make a noticeable difference in the performance of our tools, and it extends their life, too.  I am talking, of course, about maintenance.

You may be shaking your head right about now.  I know, this may seem kind of a let-down compared to the adolescent version of the game, but stay with me.  You're more mature now, right?

First, some background.  In my twenty years in woodworking, I've proven to myself time and again that there is no way that I am going to thoroughly and regularly tackle every single bit of maintenance in the shop according to a pre-established schedule that will ensure perfect performance from everything all the time.  There's just too much to do!  So, I try to prioritize the most important things, and stay ahead as best I can.  And that's how I developed the strategy that I'm writing about here.  Every few months, I grab a bottle of 3-IN-ONE oil and spend a few minutes running around the shop cleaning and lubricating everything that I can see or think of.  It is comprehensive?  No, I'm probably missing something.  But am I a LOT better off than before?  Definitely.  I can see and feel the difference immediately.  To keep it fun, I came up with the silly name "7 Minutes in Maintenance Heaven".

The remainder of this article will illustrate the kinds of things that I tend to tackle during these sprees.  And once you start looking around your shop, I'm sure you'll see all kinds of things that could use a little love, too.

Jointer adjustment mechanisms?  Done and done.

These drawers had been sticking for ages and were driving me crazy.  No more!

Anything that slides is fair game, like the bandsaw fence, for example.

Bearings of all kinds are fair game, including the ones on these router bits.

I'd love to save this old clamp, so I hit it with some 3-IN-ONE to start the clean up process.

Nailers need special oils that are formulated not to damage their O-rings.  You can thank me later.

The bolt on this multi-tool was frozen up.  Not for long, though.

Even basic hand tools benefit from a few drops of oil. 

My beloved Swiss Army knife was out on the bench, so it got the treatment, too.

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