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How do you protect metal on tools in high humidity?

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Forum topic by drobertson posted 09-30-2014 02:01 PM 1474 views 2 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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drobertson

57 posts in 2578 days


09-30-2014 02:01 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tool protection rust question

Hi Everyone

I have been following the ideas on LJ for years and really appreciate everyone’s contributions.

Now I was hoping I could get some specific advice. My shop is in the garage behind my house down here in Port St Lucie, Florida. I seem to have the opposite problems that many of you have. Instead of freezing in my cold shop I am sweating on my wood as I work, but at least the winters are nice.

My main problem is with keeping my tools from rusting. It is always extremely humid here and we are not terribly far from the ocean. Corrosion is a horrible problem. I just can’t seem to stop tools from constantly rusting.

My goal is to find something that will protect my tools in this environment, but not be oily. I use these tools fairly regularly and I don’t want oil ruining a finish on a piece.

In the past I have tried lightly heating the tools, dipping them in melted beeswax and lightly wiping them down after. I have also tried protective marine polishes. So far nothing has worked that well.

Any ideas?


22 replies so far

View longgone's profile

longgone

5688 posts in 2770 days


#1 posted 09-30-2014 02:50 PM

Put a dehumidifier in your shop. My shop doesn’t need one but I have one in my storage shed and it works great. I store extra lumber, some tools and show supplies in there with no rust problems

View JohnChung's profile

JohnChung

372 posts in 1536 days


#2 posted 09-30-2014 02:52 PM

Living near the sea is an issue…... Salty air one big issue.

This maybe overkill but in this case it is necessary to built a dry box for your tools. Google on humidity and rust. Humidity at a certain level stops rust.

http://www.cotes.com/dehumidifiers-with-rust.html

I use dry boxes to store my precious metals….. Sorry tools. It works well

View drobertson's profile

drobertson

57 posts in 2578 days


#3 posted 09-30-2014 03:08 PM

I don’t think a dehumidifier would be able to keep up with my shop. The shop is in a garage without A/C in Florida. We work with the fans on and door open very often. The garage is also far from air tight. A dehumidifier would be working to remove all the moisture from Florida.

The idea of a dehumidifier in a dry box might be a good possible solution. I could build a large tool cabinet that is moderately air tight and add some level of dehumidification (is that a word?).

Right now I am mostly hoping that someone says that “product X” works miracles.

View timbertailor's profile

timbertailor

1591 posts in 886 days


#4 posted 09-30-2014 03:15 PM

I spend a lot of time cleaning tools with oil.

Here in Houston, there is no getting away from the humidity. Makes everything about woodworking more difficult.

I hear stories of people using particle board and MDF for work benches and I just have to wonder how nice it would be to live in a place where these materials are not affected by our weather here by the coast.

Yeah, a dehumidifier is not an option for high humidity areas. An air conditioned space is the real solution. I would install one in a heart beat but I have to deal with an HOA that will not allow it.

Good thing I am moving to a 5 acre lot soon!

-- Brad, Texas, https://www.youtube.com/user/tonkatoytruck/feed

View bigblockyeti's profile

bigblockyeti

3668 posts in 1182 days


#5 posted 09-30-2014 03:22 PM

I use Bostik Top-Cote on all my exposed cast iron surfaces and I run a dehumidifier in my shop.

View drobertson's profile

drobertson

57 posts in 2578 days


#6 posted 09-30-2014 03:23 PM

@timbertailor It sounds like we are in similar situations. I am always on the edge of trouble with my HOA also (really don’t like developments). The only way I get away with as much as I do is that I do small projects for people around me all the time. I think I keep just enough people liking me to prevent a major fine of some kind. :-)

Congrats on moving to 5 acres. I grew up in Maine and had all the land you could ever want. Regrettably life changed that and now I live in a housing development in Florida.

I guess you work with what you have.

View CharlesA's profile

CharlesA

3020 posts in 1259 days


#7 posted 09-30-2014 03:25 PM

I can’t compare to salt-air Florida, so take this with a grain of salt, but I have found Boeshield T-9 very effective at keeping the rust of cast iron. One of the mags did a test about 4 years ago, and T-9 was the most effective. Worth a shot.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View drobertson's profile

drobertson

57 posts in 2578 days


#8 posted 09-30-2014 03:30 PM

I took a look at the Boeshield T-9 you suggested. It looks like it is worth a try. Thanks for the tip.

Do you happen to know if that contains any silicone? Nasty things happen to my finishes around silicone.

View CharlesA's profile

CharlesA

3020 posts in 1259 days


#9 posted 09-30-2014 03:34 PM

No—it is silicone free.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View GrandpaLen's profile

GrandpaLen

1643 posts in 1734 days


#10 posted 09-30-2014 03:37 PM

Camphor Blocks in the tool boxes and tool drawers.
My grandfather and my father always used them and that’s what I use, since it worked so well for them. Your shop will smell a little like moth balls but that helps control the spiders and bugs from entering. ;-)

http://www.rockler.com/how-to/camphor-blocks-metal-tool-box-rust-prevention-device/

I get them from our local pharmacy, or you can order them from Amazon.
http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=camphor+blocks&tag=mh0b-20&index=aps&hvadid=3527160341&ref=pd_sl_41jtkgvxig_p

For cast iron table tops use your favorite auto ‘paste’ wax, the same way as you would on your automobile, just be sure it contains NO silicone products.

Best Regards. – Grandpa Len.
Work Safely and have Fun.

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View drobertson's profile

drobertson

57 posts in 2578 days


#11 posted 09-30-2014 03:51 PM

Thanks GrandpaLen, the Camphor idea looks very promising. It seems to work by preventing oxidation rather than extracting moisture. In my case I think fighting humidity would be a losing battle.

It will be interesting to see if my wife puts up with the smell. She does projects in that shop also and hates smelly things. Maybe I can sell her on the keeps bugs away idea.

Your idea also gets the award for cheapest and easiest to try. I can easily get Camphor this afternoon at the store.

View JohnChung's profile

JohnChung

372 posts in 1536 days


#12 posted 09-30-2014 04:03 PM

@drobertson build an air tight box and place desiccant into it. Humidity will drop dramatically.
In Asia, we use thirsty hippo.

View Dano46's profile

Dano46

80 posts in 2631 days


#13 posted 09-30-2014 04:17 PM

bigblockyeti, that’s exactly what I do. My shop is in my basement, and I need that humidifier running constantly.

-- You can't trust a dog to guard your food.

View timbertailor's profile

timbertailor

1591 posts in 886 days


#14 posted 09-30-2014 05:29 PM



@timbertailor It sounds like we are in similar situations. I am always on the edge of trouble with my HOA also (really don t like developments). The only way I get away with as much as I do is that I do small projects for people around me all the time. I think I keep just enough people liking me to prevent a major fine of some kind. :-)

Congrats on moving to 5 acres. I grew up in Maine and had all the land you could ever want. Regrettably life changed that and now I live in a housing development in Florida.

I guess you work with what you have.

- drobertson

Thanks Doc. I can not wait to build the work shop to my specifications and most important of all, have A\C.

Living in the “country” will be different, but I am looking forward to it.

Having a dedicated space like I see so many of the LJ’s have will finely become a reality.

I guess I can stop hoarding locking caster wheels now.

-- Brad, Texas, https://www.youtube.com/user/tonkatoytruck/feed

View Loren's profile

Loren

8301 posts in 3110 days


#15 posted 09-30-2014 06:23 PM

Camelia oil for hand tools. That’s what they use in Japan,
which has a lot of humid areas.

It’s not the same as the camelia oil sold as a hair product
in Asian groceries.

I live in So. Cal and I’ve never had problems with hand
tools rusting so I don’t use anything, tolerating the
minor problems that do come up when a tool is
unused for awhile.

showing 1 through 15 of 22 replies

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