Rust prevention preferences?

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Forum topic by Spacehog posted 11-16-2015 07:07 PM 771 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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87 posts in 1488 days

11-16-2015 07:07 PM

Topic tags/keywords: bora metalguard rust prevention wd-40 camellia oil 3 in 1 oil

Ahoy out there! I recently saw a small article in a magazine arguing for the merits of Bora Metalguard for rust prevention. I am certainly in favor of preventing rust, and maybe this stuff is as perfect as it claims. However, the 2 reviews I read on amazon made it sound like it was a bit of a letdown. So I figured that I would ask around these parts to see what people’s preferences are for preventing rust. For my part, I like white lithium grease for long term rust prevention like my vise in the garage. For shorter term rust prevention I don’t yet have a favorite, but I find that I use WD-40, and 3 in 1 oil. I’m sure that there are some better products out there, but these have done ok for me. But I want to know about the better products! I sometimes hear about Camellia oil, but it seems a bit expensive for what it is. If I were certain that it out performed the stuff I currently use, I’d probably get some. Same thing for the Bora Metalguard, but I just am not sure.

So what stuff do you people like? Also, have you ever tried something that really let you down?

To clarify, I am not interested in rust preventing practices like covering your tools, or sanding out old rust. I am interested in products that can prevent rust from happening in the first place. So let’s imagine that I have a brand new bench chisel without a spot on it. How do I keep it that way? Assuming that I use it around once a week.

Or, what if I wanted to prevent rust on my drill press? Let’s assume that I use it often for spurts and then leave it unused for maybe a month or two at a time. Should I use something different in this scenario? My shop is in my garage and I live in Ohio which has normal humidity I think.

-- Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might...

8 replies so far

View MrUnix's profile


6580 posts in 2162 days

#1 posted 11-16-2015 07:16 PM

According to the MSDS, that metalguard stuff is pretty much like every other rust inhibitor… “A blend of corrosion inhibitors, waxes and mineral oil in petroleum distillate”, and like Boshield and other similar products, it’s basically just a mix of wax and mineral oil in a solvent. You can make your own for a fraction of the price… just dissolve some paraffin wax in mineral spirits, and maybe add some mineral oil. Or just get some Johnsons paste wax (paraffin, microcrystalline and caranuba wax).

The common theme across all these products is wax. Using something like grease will attract dirt and wood chips, so should be avoided on woodworking tools.


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View Spacehog's profile


87 posts in 1488 days

#2 posted 11-16-2015 07:20 PM

Ah, that is VERY useful MrUnix. Thanks for the post! I’ll see what I can whip up.

-- Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might...

View rwe2156's profile


2881 posts in 1444 days

#3 posted 11-16-2015 07:41 PM

Aside from “the best rust preventive is use”, climate control is the number factor in rust prevention, IMO.

For those of us let fortunate (myself included) who do not have climate controlled shops, just keeping the doors and windows closed helps immensely because it dampens the huge swings in temp that cause condensation on a cold machine.

I use Boeshield mainly and just monitor machines, particularly ones I’m not using as frequently.
When I do see rust I go after it with a scotchbrite pad and any type of mild rust remover.

Even though I know I can make my own, its handy to keep a can handy.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View HokieKen's profile


4734 posts in 1101 days

#4 posted 11-16-2015 07:53 PM

I use CRC 3-36 lubricant. For cast iron table tops it gets followed up a few times a year with a coat of paste wax. I started using it for all of my micrometers, tools and steel blocks when I was a machinist. It worked so well, I didn’t even consider alternatives when my attention shifted from working metal to working wood.

FWIW, I think Fine WoodWorking did an article and named it the best (or one of the best) corrosion preventative. I’ve never read the article but have seen it mentioned various places online.

I use the 3-36 on everything except the raise/tilt mechanisms on my table saw. I use a PTFE “dry” lubricant there. The 3-36 (and most corrosion inhibitors) are petroleum based so I don’t use it anywhere saw dust can accumulate and “gum up the works”. I am particularly diligent about spraying my squares and calipers down regularly.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View groland's profile


183 posts in 3375 days

#5 posted 11-16-2015 08:02 PM

I took a look online a few months ago regarding rust prevention. I read a posting from a shop man in Erie, PA, very near where I live, who said they used aerosol shellac on their shop tools in his shop and it did a really good job of preventing rust.
I have an old Delta band saw and its bed was in pretty bad shape, so I decided to try this out.
I removed the table from the saw and used several applications of Naval Jelly to remove as much rust as I could with steel wool and some small wire brushes. Then, with water, I washed and dried off the Naval Jelly residue.
Then, using 220 grit paper and my random orbital sander, with a spray of WD-40 as a lubricant, I went over the metal to clean and shine it.
I washed the WD-40 residue off with mineral spirits and dried the table.
I washed the mineral spirits off with denatured alcohol and dried the table.
I then sprayed on a couple of coats of Bullseye aerosol shellac I bought at The Home Depot.
After the shellac dried, I put a coat of wax on the table and reassembled the band saw.
It has been about four months since I did this and I can detect no return of any rust. The top looks as good as when I finished my treatment.
I’d be interested to hear if others have had success with this method.
I live in a very damp, clammy climate and keeping tools rust free is a challenge!



View conifur's profile


955 posts in 1115 days

#6 posted 11-16-2015 08:11 PM

I have bough just all of my stuff for the shop used and had do do some serious rust clean up on the cast iron, nice thing CI cleans up easy. I have used shellac very successfully as well as Pentrol, it is an oil based paint additive, it has the instructions on the can for using it for metal, you wipe it on, let dry for 24 hours and buff it.

-- Knowledge and experience equals Wisdom, Michael Frankowski

View JeffP's profile


573 posts in 1355 days

#7 posted 11-16-2015 08:56 PM

you-tuber Izzy Swan has done interesting experiments using wipe on poly (very thin coat and wipe off early).

He compared it to other rust prevention methods on various items and found it to be far superior. I haven’t tried it yet.

-- Last week I finally got my $*i# together. Unfortunately, it was in my shop, so I will probably never find it again.

View TiggerWood's profile


271 posts in 1569 days

#8 posted 11-16-2015 09:01 PM

I have always used WD40. Can leave a machine sit for years and never get any rust. For surfaces that touch wood, I use paste wax.

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