The Hastings Mail - - WHAT’S ON -

Sticky sap gums up secateurs mak­ing them hard to use and may po­ten­tially trans­mit disease from plant to plant. Some secateurs can be taken apart for clean­ing and sharp­en­ing. Lay out the pieces in or­der so it’s eas­ier

to put them back to­gether. (Tak­ing pic­tures of each stage of dis­as­sem­bly is help­ful too.) Give them a wash in warm soapy water. You might need a sol­vent to re­move hard­ened sap – try meths or iso­propyl al­co­hol. I needed steel wool to re­move the dirt-in­grained star jas­mine sap off these two pairs. The red-han­dled tool is a di­a­mond file. It’s small enough to fit be­tween the blades for a quick touch up with­out tak­ing the secateurs apart. Use a whet­stone for re­ally blunt blades. Oil the sur­face and sharpen only

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