Rusty Starretts?

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Forum topic by PeteMoss posted 2040 days ago 862 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View PeteMoss's profile


206 posts in 2096 days

2040 days ago

Based on your experiences, I am wondering if Starrett combination squares are prone or immune to rusting/tarnishing. I ask this because I am considering purchasing one to replace a Stanley model that I have now. I have kept the Stanley on my garage shop wall and it has rusted or maybe more accurately tarnished so badly that I cannot see the marks on it anymore in several places. The shop is non climate controlled except for an electric space heater that I use from time to time. This probably makes it a little bit tougher on tools.

I ask because I don’t want to spend the money on a Starrett and have it do the same thing. Thanks everyone.

-- "Never measure......cut as many times as necessary." - PeteMoss

10 replies so far

View Kindlingmaker's profile


2654 posts in 2152 days

#1 posted 2040 days ago

Scotch brite will bring back the luster to your square with the graduations being below the surface of the metal. Starrett WILL rust. A periodic coat of wax to your measuring tools will help greatly to prevent them from being unreadable.

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13337 posts in 2299 days

#2 posted 2040 days ago

I wax my hand tools its keep them from rusting.

-- CJIII Future cabinetmaker

View PurpLev's profile


8476 posts in 2274 days

#3 posted 2040 days ago

yes they rust just like the rest of them…

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

View PetVet's profile


329 posts in 2113 days

#4 posted 2040 days ago

Rust they will, but they will also last a lifetime. I have my father-in-laws that are at least 50 years old, and they clean up nicely and are still extremely accurate.

-- Rich in Richmond -- Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

View marcb's profile


762 posts in 2299 days

#5 posted 2040 days ago

Dip the parts is petroleum jelly thinned way down with mineral spirits.

Not only lubricates but works extremely well as a RP. This came from a thread on here from last summer.

View woodworm's profile


14124 posts in 2216 days

#6 posted 2040 days ago

Three years ago I bought the economy one (12”combination square kit with combination, center and protractor head ) at Woodcraft for $24.99, its still in very good condition and happy with it. Now it is on sale for $14.99.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View Quixote's profile


206 posts in 2264 days

#7 posted 2040 days ago

Marcb, it’s really cool to see that someone remembered that solution…

I’m about to reset my tank for a new batch and I’ve opted not to go for the WD-40…


-- I don't make sawdust...I produce vast quantities of "Micro Mulch."

View PeteMoss's profile


206 posts in 2096 days

#8 posted 2039 days ago

Thanks for you replies everyone. I decided to go down and try to clean this one up with some Scotchbrite. Just for kicks I tested it by doing the the mark a line, flip it over and they should match routine. Not even close. I think I am going to cut my losses and buy something. Not sure what yet, but I will definately heeed the advice that has been given and try to protect it in one of these ways. Thanks again.

-- "Never measure......cut as many times as necessary." - PeteMoss

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1470 posts in 2751 days

#9 posted 2038 days ago

Pete, I had good luck cleaning up a combination square with Barkeeper’s Friend, a powdered cleanser made of oxalic acid that’s great for getting through rust and tarnish.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

View marcb's profile


762 posts in 2299 days

#10 posted 2038 days ago

My wife loves Barkeepers Friend because it doesn’t scratch (wanted to throw that in to alleviate fears)

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