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Forum topic by Mike Lingenfelter posted 01-14-2008 04:04 AM 1992 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Mike Lingenfelter

503 posts in 4592 days

01-14-2008 04:04 AM

Topic tags/keywords: camellia oil tip

I was working in the shop today, and I picked up my Lie Nielsen 5 1/2 bench plane and was horrified. There was a nice area of rust on the side of it. I wanted to kick myself! Last week I was using the plane to shoot some boards, and the rust was right where the palm of my hand was on the plane! Needless to say, I didn’t clean the tools I used last week. I’m usually pretty good about cleaning my tools, especially my hand planes. I should have taken some pictures but I was so horrified I instantly pick up some WD40 and a Scotch Bright pad and eradicated the rust. I then gave the plane a light coat of Camellia Oil. I checked all of my other planes and gave them a coat of Camellia Oil as well.

Happy ending, the plane looks like it did when I got it.

18 replies so far

View Karson's profile


35197 posts in 4879 days

#1 posted 01-14-2008 04:15 AM

Great Mike. I found the same on my Lee-Nielsen plane. Must be cheap steel.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View USCJeff's profile


1065 posts in 4546 days

#2 posted 01-14-2008 04:59 AM

Can’t imagine cheap steel based on their prices! Haven’t made the investment in a top notch plane quite yet. Mine are decent if outfitted with a quality iron. Keep the WD-40 close!

-- Jeff, South Carolina

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Mike Lingenfelter

503 posts in 4592 days

#3 posted 01-14-2008 06:25 AM

Well they aren’t made out of stainless steel, cheap steel or not they will rust. I know they use Ductile Iron for their planes, but this is for strength not rust resistance.

View Dorje's profile


1763 posts in 4475 days

#4 posted 01-14-2008 07:02 AM

Does Karson need to use smiley faces?

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 4353 days

#5 posted 01-14-2008 11:48 AM

Good advice for all tools.

View Derek Cohen's profile

Derek Cohen

465 posts in 4447 days

#6 posted 01-14-2008 04:15 PM

WD40 is poor protection against rust. Use wax polish instead (not furniture polish that contains silicon).

All WD40 does is displace water, which is where its name comes from.

Regards from Perth


-- Buildiing furniture, and reviewing and building tools at

View Myron Wooley's profile

Myron Wooley

226 posts in 4374 days

#7 posted 01-14-2008 04:47 PM

Mike grabbed the Right Stuff. I’ve found nothing that works better at preventing rust than camellia oil.

Phildo92027 showed me how to make a camellia oil applicator out of a little piece of 1 1/2” PVC pipe, two end caps ( one glued on and one loose to act as the cover), and a tight pad of fabric inside to act as a dauber. I keep it saturated with camellia oil and use it to wipe a thin film on bare iron and steel to prevent rust, such as a freshly sharpened edge or newly cleaned plane. Very economical this way.

-- The days are long and the years are short...

View Mike Lingenfelter's profile

Mike Lingenfelter

503 posts in 4592 days

#8 posted 01-14-2008 04:57 PM

Myron/Phildo92027, nice idea on the applicator. I’ll have to put one together.

View Jiri Parkman's profile

Jiri Parkman

953 posts in 4291 days

#9 posted 01-14-2008 05:08 PM

Good advices. Thanks.

-- Jiri

View jcees's profile


1077 posts in 4277 days

#10 posted 02-28-2008 03:14 AM

I live in a part of the country where 100% humidity is a frequent fact of life. I’ve used just about everything from synthetics, exotic natural oils, motor oil, WD40, 3 in 1, paste wax and even rubbing it with wax paper [works just as well]. The key ingredient in all of these potions is diligence. Rusts never sleeps.

There was a study done a few years back by a gun magazine that involved using oils as superficial protective agents on firearms. They found that for an oil to be an effective rust retarder that it was dependent on the thinness of the film of oil. That’s one of the reasons Camellia works well—thin is in! But any old lube will do as long as you apply it thin. That’s what the applicator described by Myron accomplishes. I get a thin protective coat of oil via an old shaving brush. I dribble a few drops into the brush and I can apply a thin [and protective] coating on any tool.

Also, I’m not a fan of the shiny new tool. I prefer the natural olive chocolate patina iron gets after years of use coupled with proper care. These tools have become protected via surface oxidation. In other words, the steel/iron has ceased to oxidize via a barrier formed of already oxidized iron molecules. We call it; patina. You can approximate the look [and protection] by using Birchwood-Casey Plum Brown metal finish followed by burnishing with 0000 steel wool and any light oil. I have a type 11 #4 that I gave this treatment to as a last step in a restoration and tuneup over five years ago and it is still a rust free patinated beauty. Hope this helps.


-- When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. -- John Muir

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Mike Lingenfelter

503 posts in 4592 days

#11 posted 02-28-2008 04:37 AM

Thanks J.C. that’s some good information. I’ve always applied a very thin coat of oil, I didn’t know I was doing it right :). I did it that way because I didn’t want to have to wipe off a lot of oil before I used a tool. I’ve been meaning to make the applicator Myron talked about. It might be something I put together this weekend.

View Pete_Jud's profile


424 posts in 4231 days

#12 posted 02-28-2008 06:27 AM This product has been great for all over the boat as well as in the shop. It was made by Boeing to keep the rust down on thier jets. I have good results.

-- Life is to short to own an ugly boat.

View Chris 's profile


1880 posts in 4469 days

#13 posted 03-08-2008 06:42 AM

Thanks for the reminder!

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

View Ad Marketing Guy - Bill's profile

Ad Marketing Guy - Bill

314 posts in 4277 days

#14 posted 03-08-2008 03:50 PM

WD40 is the worst for protecting and cleaning tools -
WD stands for Water Displacement; 40 was the company’s 4oth attempt to finally get the formula correct.

There is a product called T9, Boeing uses it to keep the aircraft parts rust free and lubed. Peachtree Woodworking sells it on line—-GREAT product for rust prevention and lubrication.

Hope this helps – GOOD Luck

-- Bill - - Ad-Marketing Guy, Ramsey NJ

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Mike Lingenfelter

503 posts in 4592 days

#15 posted 03-08-2008 04:54 PM

I used WD40 as a lubricant and solvent when I used the Scotch Bright pad to remove the rust. I use camellia oil to help protect my tools from rust.

I use T9 on my larger power tools, and I really like it. I do find it leaves a tacky surface that I have to buff-out with a coat of wax.

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