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Does Steel Wool Last Forever?

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Forum topic by Eric posted 2209 days ago 1135 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Eric

873 posts in 2386 days


2209 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: steel wool

Okay, so I just bought my first bag of steel wool (grade 00000). It seems as if it would be hard to tell when you’d have to throw out the steel wool you’re using. Can you theoretically use one batch of steel wool your whole life? I’m also assuming I need to protect my steel wool from the elements and keep it in a dry place, to prevent rust.

Thanks for any tips you have!

-- Eric at http://adventuresinwoodworking.com


4 replies so far

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Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 2424 days


#1 posted 2209 days ago

The major problem with steel wool is moisture which causes it to rust. If you keep it dry then it has an indefinite shelf life.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

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Blake

3436 posts in 2477 days


#2 posted 2209 days ago

It will load up with residue with use. Depending on how you are using it, it works best with some kind of liquid medium (like WD40 to clean rust off steel) to carry away the particles. So it gets pretty gross after a few uses. It also breaks down very quickly with use and doesn’t “cut” as well after just a little while. It is just like sandpaper. It is a disposable product. Why do you ask, is it very expensive in your corner of the globe?

-- Happy woodworking! http://www.openarmsphotography.com

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15667 posts in 2821 days


#3 posted 2209 days ago

Here is a steel wool fun fact:

When you were a kid, did you ever take a piece and touch both posts of a 9-volt battery to it? (Hint: be prepared for fire.)

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

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edp

109 posts in 2563 days


#4 posted 2209 days ago

I gave up with the steel wool about 3 years ago (for wood projects). The down side of the stuff is that it has a tendency to leave slivers behind, trapped in the wood. Not necessarrily a bad thing until that area comes into contact with moisture. When that happens, you have created iron oxide. Better known as rust. Not exactly the appearance most of us are going for in our woodworking. I purchased a carton of the purple scotchbrite pads instead. Now this stuff does seem to last forever. In the approximately 3 years I have been using it I have yet to consume the first half of the box. And….yes, I do use it constantly. It is my final prep before stain. My rub between coats of lacquer and my final rub out on the top coat when the gloss is just a tad too high.

Ed

-- Come on in, the beer is cold and the wood is dry. www.crookedlittletree.com

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