All Replies on Will a finish garage woodworking shop stop rust?

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View Beginningwoodworker's profile

Will a finish garage woodworking shop stop rust?

by Beginningwoodworker
posted 01-27-2013 12:59 AM

16 replies so far

View Dallas's profile


3392 posts in 1332 days

#1 posted 01-27-2013 01:10 AM

Yes, if it is properly heated and vented.

You can stop a lot of rust on your iron tools by waxing with a coat or two of Johnson’s Paste wax.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View jim C's profile

jim C

1456 posts in 1943 days

#2 posted 01-27-2013 01:15 AM

heating will get the humidity out in the winter
Cooling will get the humidity out in the summer.

-- When I was a boy, I was told "anyone can be President", now I'm beginning to believe it!

View Eric in Central Florida.'s profile

Eric in Central Florida.

3696 posts in 2420 days

#3 posted 01-27-2013 01:15 AM

I’m always fighting that darn humidity Charles.
I sand the iron surfaces and then put on a coat of paste wax like Dallas says.

-- Retirement suits me fine !

View James 's profile


47 posts in 1791 days

#4 posted 01-27-2013 01:16 AM

I believe it will help. My first shop was an old wooden garage, and I had the same problem (rusting of my equipment)
I had to always keep my tools covered with those blankets that you find in the moving vans.
When i moved and I built a small shop i did insulate it and walled it with Particle Board that i found at A Salvation Army Store. I don’t seem to have the rust problem anymore.

-- James G'ville,MS Rev 22:2 .............. and the leaves of the tree [were] for the healing of the nations.

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13347 posts in 2518 days

#5 posted 01-27-2013 01:21 AM

Dont under the soffit and roof have to be vented?

View ScrubPlane's profile


187 posts in 1040 days

#6 posted 01-27-2013 01:29 AM

My shop is in a garage as well…first in Michigan and now in Maryland. Rust is always a problem though it was worse in MI due to the higher humidity levels.

Your best solution is regular preventative maintenance with regular applications of anti-rusting agent such as Boeshield’s teflon or CRC’s 3-36 sprays…each of which has been highly rated in Fine Woodworking. In Michigan’s high moisture climate I needed to apply once every month or two while two to three times a year does the trick here in MD.

Should you find rust developing…quick removal with Boeshield’s ‘Rust Free’ and a coarse 3M scouring pad will do the trick nicely.

I hope this helps…John

View MT_Stringer's profile


2309 posts in 2076 days

#7 posted 01-27-2013 01:36 AM

Insulated, heat and AC garage has worked for me. And we have our share of humidity in Houston.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View Tedster's profile


2301 posts in 1056 days

#8 posted 01-27-2013 01:42 AM

The roof ventilation you’re referring to is necessary to prevent ice dams from forming. It involves soffit vents, clear passage between the joists, and a ridge vent to let the air escape. The principal is that heat rising from the living space will melt snow, which runs down the roof and is then re-frozen when it reaches the unheated roof above the soffits. Ice builds up and creates a dam. Not only does the dam itself cause roof damage, but the continued melt-off will pool at the dam and get under the shingles, causing even more damage. You can learn a lot more about it at Here’s the search results for “ice dam” –

-- I support the 28th Amendment.

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13347 posts in 2518 days

#9 posted 01-27-2013 01:46 AM

We dont have much snow in Alabama, but I will still use a roof vent to the roof cool.

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1262 posts in 793 days

#10 posted 01-27-2013 02:00 AM

I am in north east Indiana and have a partially finished shop. the only time rust is really a problem with the spring and fall change due to a lack of ventilation and the temp of the floor. I just cover my machines with blankets when not in use often. but like now they are fine.

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2199 posts in 2003 days

#11 posted 01-27-2013 02:05 AM


-- jay,

View AandCstyle's profile


1651 posts in 1102 days

#12 posted 01-27-2013 02:28 AM

Sounds like adequate justification for a new shop to me. Oh, and by the way, tools in larger shops are less prone to rusting than in smaller shops. :D

-- Art

View GT350's profile


284 posts in 826 days

#13 posted 01-27-2013 03:00 AM

I feel fortunate, we don’t have rusting or snow and ice problems unless I leave something out in the rain.

View jamsie's profile


90 posts in 2083 days

#14 posted 01-27-2013 11:23 AM

I live in Donegal Ireland, and beleive me, when it rains, it rains! For about nine months of the year!
And yes, an insulated shop is good. But make sure all your tools are covered.

-- Jamsie

View William's profile


9335 posts in 1687 days

#15 posted 01-27-2013 11:59 AM

I am in a large shop, but there is no insulation at all, only cinder block walls.
When I first got into wood working, and didn’t know better, rust was a major headache for me.
After I learned the trick though, I have little problem with rust now.
The trick is, any (and I mean ANY) surface that is not covered with a protective coating of something, such as paint, gets Johnson’s Past Wax.
I rub it on (be generous), let it dry, and buff it off.
If in doubt about any surface, wax again. I do this to all exposed surfaces at about one month interevals, or if I happen to notice a spot of rust.
I have an old random orbit sander with 220 grit sandpaper on it. If I notice rust, I hit the rust spot with the old sander before waxing. After sanding, use a rag with mineral spirits to wipe the dust from the sanded rust off before waxing. If not, the rust is under the wax still working its magic.

Is all this a pain in the rear?
Yes it is, but once you form a habit of doing it, it becomes routine and it is a lot less hassle tha dealing with rusted tools.


View hairy's profile


2109 posts in 2377 days

#16 posted 01-27-2013 05:51 PM

It hasn’t for me. I do the paste wax on cast iron. I also have mechanic tools in a tool box. I put dessicant packs in the tool box drawers. I have to give them a rubdown with WD-40 occasionally.

My garage is detached, vented and insulated, my unit heater is at it’s lowest setting, 48 degrees. I crank it up to 60 to work out there this time of year.

-- in the confusion, I mighta grabbed the gold ...

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