If you plan to refurbish a major shop tool or other equipment, take some photos before you start. They possibly can save you some head-scratching during the reassembly process. Take pictures from a number of angles, and take close-ups of areas where you think you might have some questions later. The more complex the machine, the more photos you should take.
Keep a tiny pencil sharpener in your nail pouch to keep a nice sharp point.
Saw blades should be stored separately. Keep each blade secured between two pieces of plywood, fastened together by a nut and screw that goes right through the center of the blade. Blades that are chipped, bent or in any way damaged are discarded at once.
A sharp pencil is essential for making accurate cuts. To keep the pencil point sharp, rub it back and forth a few times against a sanding sheet. This will give the pencil point a chisel shape which is excellent for marking.
When drilling blind holes in iron or steel, fine metal bits usually fall into the hole. To remove them, you can use a strong magnet and a soft iron or steel rod that is smaller in diameter than the hole. Push the rod to the hole bottom, then press the magnet to its upper end. Keeping the magnet to the rod, pull it out of the hole and brush away the bits of metal. Repeat until all of the metal bits are removed.
When using a screwdriver, the most common mistake people make is to use the wrong size driver. You should always try to match the size of the screwdriver blade to the size of the screw as closely as possible. Mismatches will frequently result in the screw stripping, excessive wear on the screwdriver blade and a more difficult and time consuming job for you. Fortunately, finding the correct match is easy because screwdrivers are available in a complete variety of sizes and types.
Make sure the compressor's output matches the pounds-per-square-inch requirements of the tool to be used. Check and change the oil regularly. After a day of use, empty the air tanks and drain any water build-up inside the tank through the drain tap at the bottom of the tank.
To keep your retracting tape measure working smoothly wipe the metal blade with a small dab of car wax, then wipe with a clean cloth. This will help protect the blade's finish and keep it retracting smoothly.
Having a trigger-type oil-can close to your drill press is handy when drilling metal. To make oiling more convenient, find a container that will hold an oil-can that you have available. Then cut two small slits in the upper part to accept a worm-gear hose clamp. Slip the clamp strip into one of the holes and out the other. Then wrap the hose clamp around the post of your drill press, about 5 in. down from the upper assembly. Drop the oil-can into the holder. From then on oil will always be just an arm's reach away.
Ratchets have a square shaft that holds the socket. The size of this shaft determines the drive size. Heavy-duty automotive work generally requires the strength of a 1/2-in. drive tool which has a longer, thicker handle to provide maximum leverage. A 3/8-in. ratchet is a good all-round size. 1/4-in. ratchets are smaller and ideal for lighter tasks in tighter work areas. Drive adaptors are available that convert sockets from one drive size to another. You should avoid using a small socket on a 1/2-in. drive ratchet, because the excess torque can damage the smaller tool.