"General Tricks of the Trade"
- Keep Tools from Rusting: Place a couple pieces of chalk in
your tool box or storage container. Chalk absorbs moisture.
- Keep Wood from Splitting:
Blunt the nail point with your hammer before you use it. Wood is less
likely to split with a flattened tip. Or push a nail or screw through a
bar of old soap. We don't know why, but it helps them go in easier
without splitting the wood.
- Loosen Rusty Bolts: Try club soda or ammonia. Should
loosen them right up.
- Loosen Old Glue: Old glue usually loosens up with a little
bit of household vinegar.
- Keep Tape from Drying Out: Store your rolls in a old
coffee can. Pop on the plastic lid and it should keep them fresh.
- Increase Nail Holding Power: Nails driven in at an
angle don't tend to pull out as easily as nails driven straight in.
- Keep Your Brooms from Warping: Be sure to hang brooms
after you use them to keep bristles sturdy and warp-free
"Cleaning Powder Actuated Tools"
the time between cleaning your power-actuated tools, do not
apply oil or solvents as these will attract residue and increase
jamming. Always store your tools in a dry location.
"Rotory Hammer Tips"
cause motor failure in electric rotory hammers and breakers of which
gravel and dirt in the motor are the most common. Most of this
debris comes from placing a tool in a dirty case, tool box, or laying
it directly in the dirt. The result of debris in the motor is
abrasive on the dielectric coating of windings and causes shortings and
often necessitates replacement of armatures and fields.
weather warms and the problem of frozen batteries decreases we now
enter the season that puts the greatest stress on batteries. . . .
"Summer." The deep cycle batteries we use in most equipment (Trojan
T-105) are most efficient at 80 deg. F. Hotter weather increases
water consumption and decreases battery performance. In the
upcoming series, we will look at inspection, testing, watering,
cleaning, storage, equalizing, charging, and discharging of
batteries. For now, let's start at the beginning with the
- Low mineral content water (if in doubt, then use distilled
- Volt meter (multimeter)
- Hydrometer (measures specific gravity)
- Post cleaner (small wire brush)
- Baking soda (mixed with water to form a paste)
- Corrosion Guard (available from Standard Battery)
- Goggles and disposable gloves
Steps to take
- Look for cracks in the battery case.
- The battery box should be dry with no corrosion. Fluids or
sulfates indicate leaking, overfilling, or topping off water levels at
the wrong time.
- The top of the battery, posts, and connections should be clean
and free of dirt, fluids, and corrosion. Corrosion acts as an
insulator preventing amperage flow and the oily residue on top of the
battery acts as a conductor to slowly drain the battery. Prove the
latter to yourself by setting your multimeter to DC volts and placing
the positive probe anywhere on the top of the oily battery at the
positive end (not on the terminal). Do the same on the negative
end and you will find you are reading the battery's rated
voltage. This means the battery is sitting there constantly
drawing power and slowly going dead just because it is dirty.
- Look closely for loose or damaged parts. Battery cables
should be intact. Broken or frayed cables can be extremely
- Replace any cable that looks swollen or feels harder to bend than
the others as this is a sign of internal corrosion. Like a garden
hose with a kink in it. this will reduce or block current flow.
With a very small investment in time, we can realize a large return on
replacement cost, less down time, and greater customer
satisfaction. This applies not only to our rental units, but also
well. A better informed customer will understand why they are not
getting the life from their batteries and what they can do to decrease
down time and replacement costs. As a company, we are known to go
that extra mile and this is another opportunity to show that our
reputation is well deserved.
If you have more of your own to add, please drop us a