Saturday, June 16, 2012

EDC: Maintenance.

I had read a post on another blog that made reference to an anecdotal story about asking an Air Force Maintenance Chief about airplanes. The Chief had this little piece of wisdom to share "A plane is like being in love with a crazy woman. If you don't keep your eye on her and love her she'll either mess around on you or kill you." when asked about what caused most planes to crash "Now either the Pilot making a bad call on the weather or lack of good maintenance....somebody starts cutting corners and lives are lost."

Poor maintenance leads to poor performance. For the "EDCer" or Security Professional I advise a weekly ritual for gear inspection. Clean your kit, inspect for damage, perform function checks and then pack everything back where you found it. This will be from the perspective of a Security Professional so some items will not apply to a Civilian EDC.

Things to consider bare in mind your equipment list may vary depending on personal kit and or position of employment. adjust accordingly.

DISCLAIMER: I am not a professional smith, nor am I a metallurgist, nor am I certified to perform maintenance on these devices by any reputable source. Do your due diligence to ensure that any suggested methods will not damage your equipment also be sure you know HOW to do this safely and properly.

Pocket Knife:

Take the knife and do a function check. Ensure the blade flicks open and locks nice and firmly. check for blade wobble, Inspect for rust or damage, clean and lubricate pivot points if needed, tighten pivot screw if need be. On a lot of lower quality knives the pivot screw can loosen from regular use so tighten if needed,  touch up the edge if needed, after maintenance is complete perform function check again and then put back where it belongs.

Multi Tool

Open the tool and do a function check of all tools. Ensure that the tools open and are not damaged, Inspect for rust or damage, clean and lightly lubricate if needed, touch up knife blades if needed, after maintenance is complete perform another function check and then put back where it belongs.

Inspect the body of the light for rust or damage, do a function check and then do a self blinding test, if not bright enough to blind then replace batteries. clean if necessary after maintenance is complete perform another function check and put back where it belongs.

open baton, inspect for rust or damage, do a function check and if necessary disassemble (be sure you know HOW to do this before you try it.) especially important if Baton came into contact with sea water or damp environments recently.DO NOT LUBRICATE. Friction lock batons by there name require friction lockup to function properly. reassemble, function check 3 or 4 times. collapse and place back where it belongs.

Cell Phone
Inspect phone for damage, if in a protective case remove and inspect inside of case for moisture. ensure battery is charged. if spare batteries are carried ensure a full charge in those as well. clean surface of phone. ensure charger is packed

Gear Bag:
Organize contents for the coming week, remove any garbage or useless items, 

Duty Belt:
Inspect belt and pouches for fraying or damage. check pouches to ensure the belt loops have not loosened or snapped, if dirty wipe down with a clean rag.

Inspect for damage, empty pockets, clean uniform, iron if necessary, clean boots, polish boots to a shine, deal with any loose threads, hang up

Miscellaneous Electronics
ensure batteries are stocked, rechargable ones are full charges, power adaptors and necesarry cables are packed away neatly, inspect items for damage and take appropriate action if need be.

Medical Kit:
Check expiration dates on medications, inspect bandages or other packaged items for damage to packaging ensuring the items are sterile, replace anything that was used.

In general take care of your equipment and your equipment will take care of you. Perform consistent regular maintenance to ensure things stay in tip top shape. 

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