My tools are dripping wet

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Forum topic by lumberjoe posted 01-30-2013 07:51 PM 1692 views 0 times favorited 30 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2899 posts in 2212 days

01-30-2013 07:51 PM

It’s been COLD here lately – like in the teens and twenties. Right now it’s about 55. I figure it’s a good time to get started on a project or two. I open the garage door, and everything is soaked. Not from dripping water, but condensation. My cast iron already has rust spots (including my brand new bandsaw which I haven’t really even used yet). This didn’t happen last year, but I really didn’t start buying tools until mid march.

Any good tips on preventing further rust? I coat the cast iron with Johnsons every time I use a tool, but I don’t think that is good enough


30 replies so far

View PurpLev's profile


8534 posts in 3612 days

#1 posted 01-30-2013 07:58 PM

aaah, the niceties of leaving in NE (or any place which gets hit with high humidity at times).

scrub, clean, coat with paste wax… rinse and repeat as necessary.

For an extra step of protection I actually cover all my machines with a moving blanket to keep the humidity levels between blanket and cast iron to a minimum. so far after a few years it seems to be doing well. still have some light rust from time to time (usually on the BS which due to it’s structure is hard to fully cover sometimes) which scrubs off easily with a green pad, but nothing major and nothing often.

definitely enjoying the granite TS top ;)

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Bill1974's profile


124 posts in 2949 days

#2 posted 01-30-2013 08:10 PM

There isn’t much that can be done to eliminate this problem. Your best bet is to keep your garage warmer and/or keep the door closed when the weather changes like is has. An option would be to use a fan to warm the garage as the temperature is rising so the tool get change to warm up as the weather warms up. A heater in the garage and some insulation are the most practice options, this would also allow you to work more comfortably when is cold.

When ever you get a sudden change in temperature it’s going to happen. Any time your tools (or anything for that matter) is significantly colder then the air around it you will get condensation. Look us dew point for an explanation, if you are interested.

View bhog's profile


2236 posts in 2654 days

#3 posted 01-30-2013 08:21 PM

I had the same problem yesterday.Went out last night and was shocked at what I saw.Had rubbed down table saw and jointer with johnsons 4 days ago.We got up to 70 yesterday after it being cold for a bit. So today hit t.s,jointer,and shaper with some wd and steel wool followed by a super coat of paste,and covered em up.

-- I don't drive a Prius.

View Sodabowski's profile


2373 posts in 2797 days

#4 posted 01-30-2013 09:34 PM


bold + CAPS = FULL FAT, which means “of utmost importance” ;)

-- Thomas - Pondering the inclusion of woodworking into physics and chemistry classes...

View b2rtch's profile


4851 posts in 3012 days

#5 posted 01-30-2013 09:44 PM

You could use a dehumidifier, but your best bet is to keep your shop warm. ( it could get expensive)

-- Bert

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2899 posts in 2212 days

#6 posted 01-30-2013 10:25 PM

Heating the shop is not an option this year. I just finally got it cleaned out and more than doubled my size. Thomas, I am diligent and heavy handed with the wax. I wiped everything down and went nuts with the paste wax. I covered the bandsaw and table saw with blankets. Fortunately, my table saw wasn’t bad. I left the cross cut sled on it last night and that covers almost all the cast iron.


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3259 posts in 2639 days

#7 posted 01-30-2013 10:30 PM

It happens everywhere but more often in some places. I have only experienced it once in my shop in SW Oklahoma. That was years ago (when it used to rain here) but it can still happen. I am surprised it hasn’t happened this week with the kind of weather we are having. Clean and wax. Covering should help some. Control the air flow into the shop and condition the air if possible. Sorry to hear about the problem.

View lumberjoe's profile


2899 posts in 2212 days

#8 posted 01-30-2013 10:39 PM

I started woodworking mid march last year, so I guess I missed the window. This sucks. Instead of buying more tools, I’m going to look into climate control


View b2rtch's profile


4851 posts in 3012 days

#9 posted 01-30-2013 10:47 PM

Before you do anything else, insulate and then insulate some more.

-- Bert

View JoeinGa's profile


7735 posts in 1971 days

#10 posted 01-30-2013 10:49 PM

Watch craigslist for a dehumidifer….

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View toolie's profile


2120 posts in 2592 days

#11 posted 01-30-2013 11:36 PM

There isn’t much that can be done to eliminate this problem.

short term solution: cover your CI surfaces. this will retard, or completely eliminate, rust due to cold temperatures. i have an unheated uninsulated 12×20 one car garage shop. i keep sheets of masonite on most of my CI surfaces. also converts my TSs into light duty assembly tables. for things like jointers, i cover them with anything – blankets, sheets, comforters, those wildly overpriced and not worth it HTC tool covers, almost anything. heck, i’ve placed a TS outfeed table made of plywood work side down on a CI TS and prevented rust formation. i haven’t waxed my jointer in 3 years. COVER YOUR TOOLS!

-- there's a solution to every just have to be willing to find it.

View ChuckV's profile


3110 posts in 3491 days

#12 posted 01-31-2013 12:23 AM

Thanks for posting this. I also live in MA and this is exactly the kind of day that causes these problems. I hadn’t been in my shop all day, so after reading this I went out to check. It looks like my cardboard covers were up to the challenge.

About five years ago, when I was just starting to get some big tools, there was a day just like this in the winter. I was amazed at all the water that had condensed on the cast iron surfaces. Since then, I have kept them waxed and covered and had no problems.

Dehumidifying my shop would include dehumidifying the entire earth. For me, this is the best solution.

-- “Big man, pig man, ha ha, charade you are.” ― R. Waters

View lumberjoe's profile


2899 posts in 2212 days

#13 posted 01-31-2013 12:56 AM

So all the cast is heavily waxed and covered. It’s amazing how fast that stuff rusts. I used a piece of plywood for the bandsaw. I just cut it until the table was covered and then shut it down. That’s pretty annoying and very unexpected. Instead of a productive shop day like I had planned, I chopped up some plywood I was using for a project down the road.

Chuck, same here. I have the draftiest 20×20 2 car garage in existence. I was planning on drywalling/insulating and putting in a ceiling at some point. That some point is going to be sooner rather than later.

The good news is I found a gas line while I was cleaning! I need to find out if it is still hooked up. That will make my heating solution pretty simple.


View Pcwoodchipes's profile


19 posts in 1914 days

#14 posted 01-31-2013 01:03 AM

I live in Fl this is thing we have to live with all the time with the hi humidity and it keep thing with a Rust on your tools. I have to keep them wax and lub down .

-- Gary Panama City Fl In God I Trust

View juniorjock's profile


1930 posts in 3729 days

#15 posted 01-31-2013 01:08 AM

Is the space insulated? You wouldn’t believe the difference in using just R13. That’s what I used in my shop. Its 2×4s on 2’ center. Its all about keeping the drafts out and keeping the warm air from the cold air. It will help in the summer too. Before I insulated, my shop was getting up to about 115 degrees on hot days. It still gets warm, about 80-85, but not near as bad as it was.

Edit: Of course you would need a vapor barrier too. Good luck. Hope you get it figured out. Rust ain’t no fun…....

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