Here in my part of the country, on the Missouri River in South Dakota, winters can be brutal on tools and equipment. Within a matter of days, conditions can swing from cool and foggy to frigid and dry. Over the years — more or less by necessity — I've come up with ways to protect my gear from the subzero temperatures and extreme changes in humidity. In this story I'll share my tool-care tips; most require little more than taking the extra time to store and prepare equipment properly.

A house under construction harbors a lot of moisture; if you bring a very cold tool inside, moisture will condense (or even freeze) on the tool just as it will on eyeglasses. If the tool is electric and the switch or armature gets wet, it could short out when you turn it on. And with guns, the internal parts tend to stick if the housing frosts...

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