How to prevent Condensation/rust on TS and other tools

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Forum topic by bbc557ci posted 07-08-2013 02:25 PM 3919 views 2 times favorited 26 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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595 posts in 2043 days

07-08-2013 02:25 PM

Plan is add/attach a garage to the house in about a month or so, and plan to use a large portion of it for a work shop. I’ll be putting my TS, jointer, planer, etc. in the garage along with most hand tools, and hope to get some shop time in after work and on the weekends. I’ll add heat to the garage when I’m out there working but don’t plan (can’t afford) to heat it 24/7. I’m in central NY State and winter can be a real stinker, and I’m concerned about rust on the tools. If I throw covers over the tools will that help? Do I have to wax bare metal every time I’m done using the tools?

Input and suggestions from other northern based LJ’s would sure be appreciated !!

Thanks – Bill

-- Bill, central where near the "big apple"

26 replies so far

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127 posts in 1934 days

#1 posted 07-08-2013 02:58 PM

I live in the Chicago area, and had a detached, unheated garage that served as my shop for many years.

It had cracks in the foundation which let in moisture, and no insulation, so on those in-between cold days, with high humidity or snow melt, there was an entire cloud of moisture in there (true). My Table Saw would rust on the surface, everywhere except where the miter gauge was sitting, so the next winter I just covered the steel with a piece of half-inch plywood, and that seemed to solve it. Adding some weight on it to make sure there wasn’t any air-gap helped, too.

Wax would probably help, too, but I never did that.

View Charlie's profile


1100 posts in 2255 days

#2 posted 07-08-2013 03:45 PM

bbc557ci, I’m in Western NY (near Niagara Falls/Buffalo) so I feel your pain. :)
My shop is not heated/cooled, but it IS insulated. So in winter I heat it up when I’m using it but then it goes back to being a large walk-in cooler when I’m not using it.

Here’s what I do and it’s working well for me:

I don’t put covers on anything. You could, but make real sure they’re breathable so you don’t TRAP condensation under the covering. So… no covers.

All cast iron gets treated with G96 gun treatment (treatment…. not cleaner… treatment). Spray it on, let it sit about a minute or so. Wipe it off. (First time treatment I think you do that 2 times). Then I let the tools sit and let the G96 dry. It looks dry almost immediately after wiping it off, but…. it’s just the way I do it. Let ‘em sit an hour or 2 (or 3 or whatever… no rush).
Wax exposed cast iron with Johnson’s paste wax. I don’t really do this for moisture protection. The G96 should be handling that, but waxing does add a little protection and it makes stuff slide easier. I just did everything in the shop yesterday for the first time this year (been super busy).

Stripped everything using mineral spirits. Wiped down good. G96 treatment. Go on about my business for a couple hours. Then 3 coats of Johnson’s paste wax. This REALLY does not take long at all.

After that, I just wax when it feels like the wood is dragging more than I’d like. So no, you don’t have to wax every time you use something. And I only use the G96 once a year unless something gets spilled or sprayed on a surface and I have to get it off with solvent.

This year I was having issues with wasps flying in the shop as I had all the doors open (3 of them) so I was knocking them down with wasp spray INSIDE the shop. No nests. Just moving wasps. I tried to be careful but musta got some on my jointer. Whatever is in it…. well I could see where it landed on the jointer. So that’s what got me started with stripping, treating, and rewaxing everything when really only the jointer needed attention.

NOTHING RUSTED ALL WINTER and I attribute that to the G96 more than the wax.

You’ll get a lot of opinions on this I’m sure, but I’m relating what works for me and I think we’re close enough geographically and our shop situation is similar enough (except mine is detached) that my method might work well for you.

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595 posts in 2043 days

#3 posted 07-08-2013 04:03 PM

Charlie, is the G96 actually to treat/protect guns, as in fire arms? (I coat my few collectibles and more current pieces with synthetic motor oil, works well but always looking for something better to keep them well protected) If it’s a fire arm type product I should be able to pick it up at Dick’s or Gander Mtn., right?

A friend of mine told me to just cover the tools with an old sheet or cheap blankets. But seems that temperature changes would still cause condensation, then rust.

-- Bill, central where near the "big apple"

View distrbd's profile


2252 posts in 2416 days

#4 posted 07-08-2013 04:45 PM

I discovered a wax that is made for “Aeronautical, industrial” use but in reality people mainly buy it for waxing their cars or’s called collinite Insulator wax#845.(or 840)I use it on my car and also on cast iron table tops in my shop.
I know a lot of people believe car waxes in general are not suitable for bare metal specially if there is silicone in them but this stuff is different ,I don’t know for sure if it contains silicone or not but after using it on table saw,jointer ,scroll saw for a couple of years I just like how slippery the surfaces are and the rust protection it provides.
Another quick point about moisture ,radiant heaters are in my opinion the best type of heating for a woodworking shop,whether it uses gas or electricity is not the point ,radiant heaters heat up the objects not the air.rapidly heating a cold shop can produce condensation ,(I learn this the hard way after using a forced air propane heater for 1/2 an hour ,there was a pool of water on all cold cast iron surfaces).
I still use that heater but only for 5 to 7 minutes to get rid of the initial shock of walking to a cold garage in the middle of a cold Canadian winter.

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

View Loren's profile (online now)


10283 posts in 3617 days

#5 posted 07-08-2013 04:55 PM

I have some covers from HTC that are gas permeable one

They have worked well for me when I have to store
my machines under partial cover.

View bbc557ci's profile


595 posts in 2043 days

#6 posted 07-08-2013 05:00 PM

Great minds think alike, or so they say LOL. Tools are in the basement now, not too damp as I have a dehu running that keeps it around 50% humidity, and I’ve been using Collinite 885 paste wax on them, and it worked great. Same stuff I used for years on my boat/gel coat. But I’m pretty sure moisture will be more of a problem once the tools are moved into the garage so not sure how the 885 will hold up.

Thanks for the link. I didn’t know Collinite made a bare metal product. If it’s as good as the rest of their stuff, it just might do the trick.

-- Bill, central where near the "big apple"

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595 posts in 2043 days

#7 posted 07-08-2013 05:09 PM

Thank you, Loren. I’d seen those covers a while back while looking for something else and at that time wasn’t worried about garage/mosture. Might just pick up a couple when the time comes!

-- Bill, central where near the "big apple"

View Charlie's profile


1100 posts in 2255 days

#8 posted 07-08-2013 05:13 PM

Yes, G96 is Gun Treatment as in firearms. And I think I picked it up at Gander Mountain. Make sure it says Gun Treatment though and not the cleaner or oil. They make several products.

This stuff:

Remember you do NOT want anything that contains silicone near your wood working tools.
Silicone = bad… very bad

View Charlie's profile


1100 posts in 2255 days

#9 posted 07-08-2013 05:14 PM

Oh, and the G96 was actually one of the products recommended by Grizzly in the manual for my jointer.

View RonInOhio's profile


721 posts in 2833 days

#10 posted 07-08-2013 05:22 PM

Fine Woodworking magazine did a test of rust inhibitors a few years ago. They tested a whole bunch of them and compared results with magnified pictures.

CRC 3-36 came out on top. I know I have heard good results from many woodworkers.

Its a spray-on aerosol that is widely available at most hardware stores. It is petroleum based, doesn’t leave a sticky residue.

View bbc557ci's profile


595 posts in 2043 days

#11 posted 07-08-2013 05:25 PM

Thanks you all for the input. I’m confident that, between the G96, Collinite wax, and covers that Loren linked me to, rust will be kept to a minimum. And yes, I will likely go with all three….that’s just the way I am.

Charlie thanks again for the G96 link. I generally wipe down and re-oil my fire arms about once a year. So far the synthetic oil I’ve been using has worked really well (Mobile 1 V-Twin 20/50) but maybe I’ll try the G96 on 1 or 2 and see how it hold up. Thanks again.

-- Bill, central where near the "big apple"

View Charlie's profile


1100 posts in 2255 days

#12 posted 07-08-2013 05:27 PM

They spray G96 on firearms and ship ‘em overseas. Salt air environment. Also used for long term storage. Spray it on, wipe off excess, let it dry, box ‘em up. Take them out 5 years later and they look like the day you boxed them.

View bbc557ci's profile


595 posts in 2043 days

#13 posted 07-08-2013 10:22 PM

Thanks again Charlie, that’s good to know. There’s a Gander Mtn. about 6 miles from me.

-- Bill, central where near the "big apple"

View robscastle's profile


4888 posts in 2173 days

#14 posted 07-08-2013 10:32 PM

Here is a tip got from degoose,

Its a small bottle of Camellia oil works like a charm.
240ml (100g) about $20.00

-- Regards Robert

View toolie's profile


2120 posts in 2598 days

#15 posted 07-08-2013 10:38 PM

If I throw covers over the tools will that help?

absolutely the single best thing after waxing to protect CI tops from rust. i’ve used everything – blankets, comforters, plywood, even masonite and they all retard the accumulation of rust the same.

Do I have to wax bare metal every time I’m done using the tools?

no. i do mine every other year with johnson’s paste wax, and i’m 30 mins north of NYC in an unheated and uninsulated shop. i use a tank top propane heater for cold weather work. never a problem with fumes (uninsulated 90 YO garages provide for plenty of makeup air) or moisture.

getting back to covers, i got three of those HTC covers as part of a great CL buy and can state with great confidence that they are no better than anything else. they will, however, lighten your wallet more than other items that will work as well and cost less.

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

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