Year+ Long Tool Storage

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Forum topic by Paul posted 03-16-2010 03:59 PM 2872 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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660 posts in 4363 days

03-16-2010 03:59 PM

Topic tags/keywords: resource question

Next year, I may be out of country (Army National Guard Chaplain) for the year. I have just two major power tools (10” Grizzly Table Saw and Delta 6” Jointer) – otherwise, a couple of table top planers – Delta and DeWalt, along with a Shop Fox Mortiser, old Craftsman scroll saw and lathe, an assortment of power sanders, routers, drills, etc. I have a fairly significant collection of hand tools.

Long story about where we are in life and the family conversations are on-going. But this looks like an opportunity to transition our life and my wife may move our household while I’m gone. If so, I will need to have everything in the shop packed and ready to move by late Fall 2010. Even though she wouldn’t move until mid-2011. I think I still have the boxes for all of the first five items mentioned above.

I’m thinking though – sell the heaviest hard to move items like the table saw, jointer, scroll saw and lathe – deaccumulate whatever I can bear to part with and still set up shop when I return – escrow the money.

I’ll be reading and researching, of course. Yet, I’m looking for experienced suggestions on packing and storage – products you have used for rust prevention, etc. while stored. Would you throw a bag of silicon in a box of power hand tools, too? What experiences with the storage of tools have you had that would be helpful?

-- Paul, Kentucky

7 replies so far

View hjt's profile


903 posts in 3409 days

#1 posted 03-16-2010 04:35 PM

Paul – first off… Thank you for your service!

On to your question, while I have no experience in long term, I can recommend a product called “Evopo-Rust” should you ope the boxes to find rust. I’m not certain it it can help prevent rust, but it sure can clean off rust. I bought a bottle at Harbor Freight. Good luck and God Bless!!

-- Harold

View poopiekat's profile


4423 posts in 4005 days

#2 posted 03-16-2010 04:58 PM

I once had to store all my tools for a year and a half, when I moved to Canada. If you use the typical storage facility, you will encounter a layer of dust on everything; in my case black Dakota soil. Those metal buildings let the wind go right through them along with dust and moisture. I’d suggest wrapping things in garbage bags and taping them securely, if possible. Use ziplok bags for small, expensive items like router bits, etc. I wiped all cast iron with a rag dampened with motor oil and that worked, because every surface that I missed with the rag had a light film of rust. Be sure to keep things elevated off the floor, especially if it’s concrete. You are wise to consider your plan to sell off the heavy stuff…especially if you’re paying for storage. I paid $2430 for a year and a half of 10’ X 10’ storage. I coulda had a new Unisaw with that money, and should have stored all the irreplaceables in a much smaller unit. It’s like buying your stuff all over again if you have to pay for storage. You’ll take a much bigger hit financially if you liquidate your small stuff, than the big stuff. It’s expensive to get it all replaced, and will nickel-and-dime you forever. Doesn’t the military have some sort of program to help personnel store possessions while on tour of duty?
Oh, yes, and Thank You for your service to our country!

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View TheDane's profile


5591 posts in 3933 days

#3 posted 03-16-2010 07:57 PM

Paul—Thank you for serving our country.

I would suggest including some desiccants in each tool you pack. You can get them from a number of sources (the company I work for buys them from U-Line …

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Roz's profile


1707 posts in 4057 days

#4 posted 03-16-2010 09:51 PM

If you have to pay for storage, I’d say get rid of it unless it is really special. keep the smaller quality tools. Uncle Sam use to store my stuff while I was out of the country. Will they do that for you? If your wife is moving the household perhaps they will? When it comes to the Military, “The squeaky wheel gets the grease”. Ask for long term storage maybe you’ll get it.

To protect metal working surfaces long term, coat them in a fine layer of general purpose grease and cover that with a heavy plastic or wax paper. If you store things on the working surface such as a table saw top, adding a sheet of 1/8 inch luan for added protection is a good idea. This technique was widely used when decommissioning warships and equipment and provides good protection from the salt air. Clean everything thoroughly first. Box and pack breakable parts and cutting tools.
Good luck and have a rewarding tour.

-- Terry Roswell, L.A. (Lower Alabama) "Life is what happens to you when you are making other plans."

View IrishWoodworker's profile


159 posts in 4348 days

#5 posted 03-17-2010 01:06 AM

Moving to Germany forced me to think the same thing. (Active Army Warrant) Should I put them in storage or sell. I finally decided to sell, shoot who knows I may upgrade a couple when I get back.

-- Dont just dream it, get up and live it!

View Gofor's profile


470 posts in 4057 days

#6 posted 03-17-2010 02:00 AM

Spray all metal surfaces with LPS-3, CRC, Boshield, or another well known corrosion preventive compound. (I have used LPS-3 and Amylgard with good results) Do not use just a light oil like WD-40 because it will drain off and evaporate. If you can’t find them at the local home repair center, look for a boating/marine supply place. They will have the best quality corrosion preventives, especially if they are near any salt water. I agree with Roz on adding the Luan or plastic on top for added measure. Spray another coat just before throwing it on. Hand tools and smaller items do well in a metal bucket that has a lid. Spray them down while in the bucket. LPS-3 or heavier stuff like AV-8 is better for the larger items like saw tables, jointer tables, etc. for storage. If disassembling the item and packing in a box, put the parts in plastic bags after spraying.

Detention all adjustment springs and drive belts, and remove all blades (except cutters on the planers/jointers). Belts, guards, etc can often be zip-tied inside the tool housing so you have them when it comes time to put it back in service. Secure all loose or swinging/movable parts so they do not move. This especially applies to things like miter saws, etc. (zip-ties and straps work well for this. Duct tape works but is very difficult to get the glue off later. If you do use duct tape, you will want some Naptha (coleman lantern fuel, etc) to remove the residue when unpacking).

If you store the tools in a tool box, make sure you stick a piece of foam over them in the drawers (best to tape it to the drawer front and back) or they will end up all over the box (DAMHIKT). There is no guarantee that box will stay vertical when the movers are at work. It is better to remove them and box separately.

For the better hand tools, like planes, etc, spray them and then slide them in an old sock (or new ones bought cheap). It will cushion them and prevent scratches and knicks. Wrap in other cushioning materials when boxing them up.

As for selling or retaining the larger power tools, ask yourself if you are really happy with what you have. If you are, then keep it. Quality is going downhill while prices are headed the other way. If you think you would be happier with an 8” jointer, then now is the time to sell the 6”.

I have made moves from NC to LA, LA to Okinawa, Okinawa to CA, CA to FL, and FL back to NC. Try to keep small-item boxes under about 35 lbs. The major tool items will be heavier, but the mover will expect that. Whatever you pack, make sure it is snug and tight. Loose stuff will move and create damage.

The only caveat to the above is that anything PBO (Packed By Owner) means that the moving company will not reimburse you for any damages to whats inside. Make sure your wife realizes this and does not let the movers/packers put that marking on the shipping invoice for anything that they inspect/pack.


Thank you for your service. I did 30 yrs active, so can relate to both the excitement and trepidation. Good luck to you.


-- Go

View Paul's profile


660 posts in 4363 days

#7 posted 03-20-2010 06:41 PM

Thanks for the info and advice. Any other experienced instruction?

-- Paul, Kentucky

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