Protecting tools on a patio?

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Forum topic by Pyro posted 12-26-2017 11:43 PM 461 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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52 posts in 361 days

12-26-2017 11:43 PM

Hi guys,

I have a covered deck/patio that currently serves as my shop and I’m wondering how to best protect my tools in a way that is also convenient. Here’s some specifics:

The patio has a real roof over it and the deck is elevated about a foot off the ground so no water is coming into my work space. The space is about 15×10 give or take a few ft. It is enclosed on two sides. I live in Southern California so the weather isn’t real extreme but I am about 5 miles from the beach so there is some humidity but it isn’t like Florida or anything.

What should I do to protect my tools? Currently I cover them each night with a tarp. I could probably build some kind of cabinet system or cover them with moving blankets. Anyone know what is best? Anyone have design ideas for something like this? Thanks!!

7 replies so far

View MrUnix's profile


7043 posts in 2399 days

#1 posted 12-26-2017 11:51 PM

Paste wax and a breathable cover. I have two lathes that live on a covered patio, and here in Florida, we get some pretty wild temperature/humidity swings – to the point where in the morning, the patio is dripping wet from condensation (floor is ceramic tile). Not a single issue with rusting, although I do have to place the machines up off the floor to keep them from being in contact with the dampness. Packing blankets work well, as do old bed comforters. A sheet of cardboard over the raw cast iron (lathe bed ways, TS top, etc…) also helps as it keeps any moisture from forming and will wick away any that may find it’s way there. Most of my other machines live out in an unconditioned garage and they get the same treatment.


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

View Knockonit's profile


477 posts in 402 days

#2 posted 12-26-2017 11:52 PM

I have several tools on my patio here in phoenix, i use grille covers to cover them, most decent ones have a tie down for the wind in event it comes up, and of course, a waxing and or sealing of any exposed metal is a must.
So many different sizes available also, cover my lathes, dust collector, drum sander, planer and jointer.

good luck, little trial and error and it will all come together.
Rj in Az

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

1481 posts in 362 days

#3 posted 12-27-2017 03:02 AM

the vintage Craftsman table saw I just reconditioned lives on my back patio
and the sled I made for it is the exact size as the top of the saw.
I waxed the cast iron top and keep the plywood sled on top of the saw for protection.
for the past week, we have had fog as thick as potato soup and have not noticed any
rust at all on the TS. The lathe lives in the open carport uncovered and it is beginning to rust so I will be
going to Lowe’s to pick up a painter’s canvas drop cloth to make a cover for it.
I think that plastic or non-breathable material is not a good choice.


-- I started out with nothing in life ~ and still have most of it left.

View Rich's profile


3879 posts in 789 days

#4 posted 12-27-2017 05:14 AM

One of the magazines did some testing (I forget which one) and found that CRC 3-36 Multi-Purpose Lubricant and Corrosion Inhibitor performed the best of the products they tried. There’s a review here for it as well.

Right now it’s about $28 for a gallon on Amazon.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View Pyro's profile


52 posts in 361 days

#5 posted 12-27-2017 01:29 PM

Thanks for all this info guys. I think I’m going to look into the grill covers or make some out of canvas. I’ll rest a lot easier knowing I don’t have to worry quite as much. Thanks

View rwe2156's profile


3170 posts in 1680 days

#6 posted 12-27-2017 02:59 PM

My recommendation is keep your hand tools in a sealed box with a dessicant of some kind. I have used either a cube of camphor or DampRid. There are other products available. The box can be as simple as a plastic storage box. After each use, lightly coat with Jatoba oil.

Machines are a bigger problem. Coatings such as Boeshield or wax and simply covering with a moving blanket will help, but not eliminate rusting.

Ultimately, if you plan to pursue ww’ing on a more seriousl scale, I recommend close in the patio to make a bonfide shop space where you can store project parts protected from humidity swings.

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

View MinnesotaSteve's profile


54 posts in 1091 days

#7 posted 12-27-2017 03:15 PM

This shellac suggestion has really worked well for me…

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