A salutary tale – sequel to the gardening tools instruction session

Look before you leap! Then, if you look also think or, alas, your world may change irreversibly.

Inspired by yesterday’s demonstration of the ease with which one can clean and sharpen gardening tools, today I had a look at my own secateurs and my telescopic (failed function) bypass bush/tree lopper and thought I would work on them.

On the latter the nuts were clear so I unscrewed them – without looking at the reverse side, and therefore without thinking about the possible consequences.

The equipment was quickly and easily disassembled and with sandpaper I gave the parts a superficial clean. Then with an aged stone (when I left home to go to Art School over 50 years ago my father gave me a box of tools and the stone was one of its contents) and WD-40, I set about sharpening the blade. It wasn’t easy. One side of the stone had a well worn concave depression and was the wrong size, so I used the flat reverse. But it certainly wasn’t as easy as it looked yesterday. Eventually I cleaned up, reinserted the bolts and set out to tighten the screws. If only I had looked on the reverse beforehand.

The back of the bolt was a smooth slightly convex shape and this meant it was impossible to retighten the nut sufficiently because that end kept moving with each turn of the nut. There was no way to get a good grip on this to stop it moving as the nut was tightened. Consequently, I was never able to finish the reassembly and was left with a blade about half a centimetre apart from the other side – a useless gap.

Never again could there be a close bypass. The loppers were no longer functional so they have been consigned to the rubbish bin.

By the way, after extensive efforts to tighten the nut I fixed it sufficiently tight so as to not be able to undo and start again with a different plan of attack. Yes, I was stuffed!

It should come as no surprise that when I looked at the secateurs, I decided not to pull them apart and simply clean with sandpaper and with difficulty use the stone on parts of the blades. With the angles on the stone, and the size of the stone relative to the curves of the secateurs blades, resharpening was almost non-existent. Yesterday I had Lesson 101, maybe I need lesson 102!

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3 Responses to A salutary tale – sequel to the gardening tools instruction session

  1. Ross. (Roscoe ). Thomas says:

    I have a tool that could possibly help with tightening the nuts further if you want to give it a try.
    Cheers Roscoe


  2. Betty Modric says:

    What a bummer!


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