Reply by Planeman40

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Posted on How do you protect metal on tools in high humidity?

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1536 posts in 3767 days

#1 posted 10-01-2014 08:33 PM

Here are my thoughts after 50 plus years of having a shop.

1. I have been using WD-40 for years on all of my tools including machines and they all are rust free. I live in Atlanta, GA where we have to use a knife to cut our way through the summer humidity and I have a basement shop. I went to the WD-40 company website ( and read up on the product. It was invented for the U.S. Navy shortly after WW-2 to stop rust on the machinery in their ships. I guess you can’t get much more salty air than the U.S. Navy! Anyway, WD-40 seeps into the pores of the metal and forces moisture out, then leaves a coat of chemical to repel moisture. Read up on it at the website. Most of us spray on WD-40 and then immediately wipe off the excess. I spray it on and let it sit overnight or longer to make sure it works its way into every nook, cranny, and pore. I then wipe it down with a paper towel leaving as much as possible. I find no rub-off on wood after it sits for a day or two. I do this about once a year, however I have tools in drawers I have neglected to spray for four or five years that still have no rust. I will say that over a few years, like five to ten, I occasionally have to clean off the tool and start over again as the waxy moisture fighting residue begins to get a touch gummy, but this is a simple thing to do.

2. I like the idea of a “dry box”. I would suggest you try a desiccant (a product that absorbs moisture) like silica gel in the box with your tools. This should work as long as the box is air tight. Just add a soft door seal around the edge of the lid. Silica gel is very cheap and should it ever become moisture logged, you can put it in an oven at a temperature at a touch over 212 degrees for a few hours and that will drive the moisture out, so it is re-usable. Also about silica gel. I use fairly large bottles of the watery kind of cyanoacrylic adhesive (super glue). These are somewhat costly and tend to go bad after sitting on a workbench for a while. What sets off (catalyzes) cyanoacrylic glue is moisture, so to keep thing kind of glue for a long time keep it away from moisture. I keep my CYA glue in a large jelly jar with some silica gel. I have had it sitting on my bench now for four years and it is still like new. Also, if you use CYA glue for very precise applications, put a hypodermic needle on the bottle. Yes, the needle will clog after sitting, just hold a lit butane cigarette lighter under the tip for about one second and it will open up.


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