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Forum topic by glatzenator posted 08-27-2011 06:21 PM 1228 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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42 posts in 2532 days

08-27-2011 06:21 PM

Topic tags/keywords: garage workshop wet rust

Hey all,
I just moved into a house with a detached garage in the back, perfect for setting up shop. Or so I thought. During the past few days we’ve gotten a lot of rain and I noticed a good amount of water coming in through the sides. Turns out the sill plate sits at ground level and the siding has rotted away. This is a rental house and the landlord doesn’t see it as a problem since he had just been using the building for storage, so any repairs on the structure would be at cost to me. Woodworking at this point isn’t a moneymaking venture for me, just an expensive hobby that I love way too much…

So I have two questions about this: first, what do you do to keep your tools from rusting in a damp environment? I figured I’d start by wiping them down with WD-40 whenever I finish using them, but is there more I can do? I don’t guess that “damp-rid” stuff is any good for a drafty un-insulated garage.

Second, is there anything I can do to try and keep water out, given the sub-par construction? it’s just one wall that’s the problem. I thought about sandbags but it’s not a flood or anything, more of a persistent leakage… any insight is appreciated!

5 replies so far

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3278 days

#1 posted 08-27-2011 06:43 PM

I previously had a garage with rotted plates on the slab and I replaced them rather easily and inexpensively. I used lag bolts to attach a 2×6 to the studs parallel to the floor and about 12” off the slab.
I then used 2 jacks under the 2×6’s to raise the entire 20 ft. wall of studs up off the rotted plate. I had to cut a few nails with a sawzall but it was not difficult. Easily removed the bad plate.

I then placed a new treated plate on the slab after putting a heavy line of silicone caulking. After lowering the jacks the studes were firmly on the new plate and I nailed it solid. It only took about 90 minutes and stopped the leak problem.

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 3555 days

#2 posted 08-27-2011 07:42 PM

With rented property your kind of stuck in a catch 22 situation.It depends on how long you aim to be there? if a short time! Then perhaps you should try to rent premises nearby suitable for a shop .The status quo is not an option damp is the enemy of the wood and machine shop owner or even renter sorry I have nothing better to add. Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

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Rick Dennington

5815 posts in 3164 days

#3 posted 08-27-2011 08:28 PM

+1 for Greg’s idea about replacing the 2 x plates. Like Alistair said…depends on how long you’re gonna be there. But if for a good while, I’d got one step further….. I’d dig a trench along the wall (s) that are letting the water in, and put in a 4” drain hose w/ holes in it….like a French drain. You can get the hose at any home center like Lowes, H.D., or a lumber yard…..I’d also put a good layer of chip rock in before put the drain hose in for better drainage, of course…..Use WD 40 to wipe down the machines, and set a fan in the shop.

-- " At my age, happy hour is a crap and a nap".....

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3259 posts in 2645 days

#4 posted 08-27-2011 08:29 PM

The best way to stop a leak is give the water some place to go besides inside. Direct it around the garage and away to a lower place. A swale is needed here.

View Bernie's profile


422 posts in 2806 days

#5 posted 09-05-2011 05:51 AM

I see you have 2 problems here and good advice on the 1st (water coming in and you already have good advice). The only thing I would add to your 1st problem with water coming in is to take whatever sawdust you produce in your shop, lay it across that leaking wall, and replace it when it is soaked or you have too much new sawdust.

As for your 2nd problem of rusty tools, I also occasionally have to deal with this issue and here is how I manage the problem. WD40 is not an option (the oil will stain your wood as you slide it across your worktables). Go to an automotive store and look at their products. I use a product called “Nevr Dull” which is a metal cleaner in the form of a wadding. This removes most of the dirt and rust. For the real stubborn areas, I follow up the cleaning process with a product called Flitz (a bit pricey but worth its’ weight in gold). I bought my bottle about 10 years ago and need to replace it after it’s next use. The place I bought it from has gone out of business and I know I’ve seen it someplace. I may even have to google it to find it but it’s a great product. One last step is to use a very fine metal sand paper. Look at your table top and follow the final prep scratches from the factory!

Once you’ve removed the rust and dirt, you need to protect it. I use a Butcher Block wax or Bowling Alley wax which are wood friendly waxes. There are other wood waxes… find one your comfortable with.

-- Bernie: It never gets hot or cold in New Hampshire, just seasonal!

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