Outdoor Storage - Jointer

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Forum topic by KTNC posted 12-14-2017 03:37 PM 2512 views 2 times favorited 38 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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163 posts in 1027 days

12-14-2017 03:37 PM

Topic tags/keywords: outdoor tool storage rust prevention rust removal outdoor woodworking tool storage boeshield rig gun grease jointer international general jointer

Outdoor storage – Jointer

Background: I bought a used General International Jointer in the summer of 2017. I don’t have room to keep this inside my shop. The surface around the shop is gravel which makes it very hard to roll anything around. I decided to keep the jointer permanently outside and do the best I can to prevent damage from the elements. I live in the Sierra Nevada foothills of California. We can have lots of rain for about six months but very little snow. Summers can get up to 100 degrees.

I’ll document my experience here and hopefully it will be helpful to someone.


On August 18, I received a Montana Grill Cover and immediately put it to use on the jointer.

The weather was warm and rain free until around Oct 19. We had some rain early morning Oct 20. I checked on the cover and saw some water standing on the exterior. Later that day, I uncovered the jointer and was heartbroken to see the previously shiny cast iron surfaces were covered in orange rust. There was some water sitting on the outfeed table and beaded water on the cutting head/blades. Since the cover is waterproof I concluded the water was from condensation.

I had to leave early the next morning, so I spent a few minutes applying WD-40 and sanding with 600 grit waterproof sandpaper. This got some of the rust off. I sprayed the infeed and outfeed tables, cutting head and fence liberally with WD-40 and re-covered the jointer.

On October 30 (9 days later) I returned to the project. I found the surfaces just as I left them, rusty and damp with the WD-40. The rust did not advance. I used paper towels soaked in paint thinner to get as much of the rust off as I could.

The pictures below show the jointer just after I did the above preliminary cleaning. It actually looks way better than when I first uncovered it 9 days earlier. Looks like the WD-40 prevented new rust and also helped dissolve what was there.

The next step was to apply “Rust Free” by BOESHIELD. I sprayed it on and scrubbed with a scoth brite pad. It worked great and removed all the rust. There was a residue from the Rust Free product that I tried to remove with paint thinner. That didn’t work well, so I just resprayed Rust Free and immediately wiped it off. That took most of the residue off. The pictures below show the shiny surfaces are once again shiny and rust free.

I decided to use two products to protect from further rust. On the left side (outfeed table), I applied RIG Universal Gun Grease. I also applied the Universal Gun Grease on the cutter head/knives and the fence. On the right side (infeed table) I applied BOESHIELD T-9 Rust and Corrostion protection Waterproof Lubrication.

The Gun grease was simple to apply – just rub it on and leave it. The Boeshield T-9 said to spray it on and let it dry. I waited about 45 minutes and it never dried, so I wiped off the excess which left the surface still wet. I re-covered. I’ll check after I return from vacation in mid-november to see how it looks.


19 days later and lots of rain … I uncovered the jointer to find that the grease and Boeshield had both done a good, but not perfect, job of protecting the shiny surfaces from rust. There were beads of water (from condensation I think) sitting on those surfaces. As you can see from the pictures, the Boeshield T-9 did a better job.


I placed a nightlight with a 4 watt bulb under the cover. It’s located near the cutters. I’m hoping that will raise the temperature a bit and stop the condensation.

I checked the temperature at about 7:30 AM on 11/28. It was 40 degrees both outside the cover and inside the cover on the infeed table. Looks like 4 watts is not enough.


The rust on the side protected by the Universal Gun Grease advanced a lot as you can see from the pictures. The side protected by Boeshield looks the same as 11 days ago. Boeshield T-9 is clearly the winner. I used paint thinner to remove all the grease and followed up with Super clean Degreaser. After that I used Boeshield Rust Free to remove all the rust. I then sprayed Boeshield T-9 Rust and Corrosion Protection Waterproof lubrication on all the shiny surfaces and some of the painted surfaces too. I let it dry for a couple hours and it was still wet (the temperature was in the 50s). I left it wet and replaced the 4 watt nightlight with a 25 watt shop light and covered it with the waterproof grill cover.

12/1/2017 8 AM

I measured the temperature outside and inside the cover on the infeed table: 44.6, and 46.7. The 25 watt bulb is making it 2 degrees warmer inside. The outside of the cover, where it is touching the bulb enclosure felt warm to my hand.


We haven’t had any rain lately and temperature has been in the 40s at night and 60s during the day. I checked under the cover and found that the Boeshield T-9 never dried and there was some rust blooming on the outfeed table. I used Boeshield Rust Free to clean that up and put a fresh spray of Boeshield T-9 on all the shiny parts. This time, I wiped off the excess. I also noted there was no water condensation present. It could be that the 25 watt light is helping or it might be the mild dry weather. I didn’t like the cover making direct contact with the metal shroud of the shop light, so I modified a plastic box to cover it.

38 replies so far

View LesB's profile


2551 posts in 4213 days

#1 posted 12-14-2017 06:43 PM

If that is you only place to keep it I would build a sealed cabinet around it and put a dehumidifier in there. That is “raw” steel on those tables and will be almost impossible to keep it free of rust under those conditions.
Maybe a coat of cosmoline…..
You might see if a plating shop will Chrome plate the tables for you.

-- Les B, Oregon

View jonah's profile


2119 posts in 4069 days

#2 posted 12-14-2017 07:39 PM

The tables are cast iron, not steel.

But the point stands. I would never store a jointer outside. Is there really no way you can cram it into your shop space?

View Dan's profile


51 posts in 3108 days

#3 posted 12-15-2017 12:37 AM

It really needs a home inside, permanently and dehumidify for all cast iron machinery. T9 is a great product, but has its limit to outside exposure. A great need is expand your shop area, ASAP!
Good wishes.

-- Dan Stine, Galion Ohio

View MrUnix's profile


8085 posts in 2969 days

#4 posted 12-15-2017 01:13 AM

Just an FYI – “Rust Free” is just an expensive dilute phosphoric acid with a little bit of alcohol mixed in to give it that pleasing smell :) And T-9 is an expensive mix of mineral spirits and paraffin wax with a little bit of mineral oil thrown in for good measure (which is why it takes so long to dry). You can get a dilute phosphoric acid and a can of paste wax at the BORG cheaper and it will last you 10 times longer.

If you want to keep the tables rust free, you need to isolate them from the moisture… the key ingredient in those and other ‘rust preventers’ is wax, and Johnsons paste wax (paraffin, caranuba and microcrystline in naptha) is the go to standard. A few good coats of paste wax, then covered with cardboard, plywood or something similar will do that easily and keep the tables rust free.


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View KTNC's profile


163 posts in 1027 days

#5 posted 12-15-2017 02:17 AM

Thanks everyone for your interest and comments.

I should add for the benefit of anyone out there who is thinking about storing a jointer outdoors…. I do not recommend it. You should keep it indoors. Some would say it’s a violation of common sense or even common decency to treat a tool as I’m doing here. Since my other options are all very time consuming and/or expensive I’ve decided to store it outdoors and do my best to prevent and to deal with the resulting damage. By documenting this, I hope to give others the benefit of what I’m learning as I go.

Jonah asked if I really don’t have room to keep it indoors. Well, I do have room to store it indoors. Unfortunately, my workshop used to be an office. It has regular man doors with high thresholds. To make matters worse, the area surrounding it is covered with gravel. If I had wheels on the jointer, I’d have to make a concrete path to roll it on and modify the door threshold so that I could roll it in and out.

Mr. Unix: Thanks for the chemistry lesson. I did put some automotive type wax on it before I tried anything else and it didn’t seem to help at all at preventing rust. Maybe I’ll try Johnson Paste Wax on one side and Boeshield T-9 on the other.

Les B: I am thinking about making a sealed cabinet and adding a humidifier. That will probably be next summer though. For now I’ll carry on with removing rust as needed. If anyone has details on such a cabinet, please point me in the right direction. I’m dreaming about a cabinet I can easily slide out of the way or just lift up and off the jointer.

Dan: Thanks for the encouragement about expanding my shop area. My wife says the same thing. I think I should live with what I have for a while. We moved to our present home about two years ago and now are mostly retired so I’ve decided to take my woodworking skills to a higher level.

View Aj2's profile


3075 posts in 2568 days

#6 posted 12-15-2017 05:42 AM

Looking at the bright side of things.With all the oil ,grease and wax you have on the jointer beds your wood will almost have its finish.:)

-- Aj

View MinnesotaSteve's profile


56 posts in 1662 days

#7 posted 12-15-2017 03:59 PM

Try spray shellac to seal the cast iron. Found that tip here in several threads and did it with my table saw. I don’t have standing water, but it’s in the garage which has periods of extreme cold and humidity and haven’t had any problems with rust.

Otherwise, you need a roof over that. Build a shed. Or maybe a temp structure like one of those instant garage tents.

View KTNC's profile


163 posts in 1027 days

#8 posted 01-29-2018 05:10 PM

No rain and temperature between 40s at night and 60s daytime. No rust or condensation present. All is well.

One day of rain (12/20) and temperature between 30s at night and 40s/50s daytime. I found a puddle of water on the left side (outfeed table). It looked like a lot of rust, but when I wiped away the puddle with paper towels, just a small rusty spot remained. On the right side, there was just a hint of orange and it wiped away easily. There were no small droplets of condensation anywhere, just that one puddle. My theory about the puddle is that water condensed on the underside of the cover and dripped onto the outfeed table. I turned off the 25watt light bulb to see if it made any difference.

Everything looks the same as 12/23. No condensation. It seems the light bulb makes no difference, at least not in these mild weather conditions.

Jointed a couple boards. All is well.

Jointed a couple boards. All is well.

We had 0.42 inches of rain last night. At 11AM today it was 59 F and cloudy. I removed the cover and found a lot of water pooled on both tables. Seems hard to believe it all came from condensation. I’m suspecting water is somehow entering at those shoulder vents. The interior of the cover was dry except for some droplets on those vents. There was a bit more rust than on 12/23.

I cleaned with Boeshield Rust Free, followed by paint thinner to remove the Boeshield T-9. I applied one coat of cosmoline to the infeed table (right side), the cutter head and the fence: suggested by LesB. I applied two coats of Johnson paste wax on the outfeed table (left side) and covered it with cardboard: suggested by MrUnix.

The cosmoline needs 1 to 2 hours to dry. I put a small heater nearby to warm it up and waited for two hours before covering it. I put the black grill cover on as usual. This time I added a blue plastic tarp on top to prevent rain from getting to those vents on the shoulders of the black grill cover.

We had 1.62 inches of rain yesterday and last night. At 1 PM today it was 52 F and sunny. I took off the blue tarp and found some water puddled on top of the black grill cover. The underside of the blue tarp felt moist. I took off the black grill cover and found no puddles on the jointer. The inside of the black grill cover felt dry. There were some very small droplets on the jointer, concentrated in the middle near the cutter head. No rust and the cardboard felt dry. Seems like adding the blue tarp to keep water away from those vents helped.

I reinstalled the 25 watt shop light and recovered with both the black grill cover and blue tarp.

It’s been raining a lot for the last 3 1/2 days: about 4 inches. It was drizzling until about 2PM this afternoon. At 4PM today it was 52 F and cloudy. I found the outside of the blue tarp was dry, but it felt very wet underneath. There were some puddles on the outside of the black grill cover, but it’s inside surface was dry.

There were no puddles, no rust and no condensation droplets on the jointer. In the picture, I’ve pulled back the cardboard to show the table surface underneath. The orange color you see on some of the surfaces is dried cosmoline. The cardboard was mostly dry except for some moisture on one corner.

Since my last entry, there have been many rainy days and one day of snow. It’s also been colder: lows in the 30s and highs in the 40s. Yesterday and today – no precipitation. At 4PM today it’s sunny and about 60 degrees. The outside of the black grill cover was dry except for one puddle. The insides of both the blue tarp and black cover were dry. The jointer is dry, rust free and there’s no condensation. All is well.

View KTNC's profile


163 posts in 1027 days

#9 posted 02-15-2018 08:02 PM

Weather has been mild since my last entry. One evening of rain/snow and lows in the 30s and highs in the 50s. I needed to joint some boards, so I uncovered the jointer. All is well – no rust, water or condensation. Both the cosmoline and johnson paste wax covered with cardboard have worked perfectly for 1 1/2 months.

The cosmoline surface is not slippery, so I removed it with paint thinner. It took about 15 minutes of rubbing. Since the paste wax works so well, is cheaper and you don’t have to remove it to use the jointer, I’ve decided to use paste wax from now on. Before using the jointer, I put on one coat of wax. Afterwards I put on a second coat.

I made a new cardboard cover that touches all the shiny surfaces.

View tomsteve's profile


1037 posts in 1990 days

#10 posted 02-16-2018 12:01 AM

im not that smart, but seems spraying a good quality automotive clearcoat on properly prepped surfaces would be the way to go. maybe even a good quality single stage auto paint.

View JCamp's profile


1179 posts in 1321 days

#11 posted 02-16-2018 12:10 AM

How about doing a gun bluing in it. It would not stop rust but might b added protection to keep it at bay a little longer. Other than that it’s a nice enough jointer I’d consider building a small building or lean to off my work shop to keep it nice. I’m assuming that you don’t want to keep polishing it all the time

-- Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might

View KTNC's profile


163 posts in 1027 days

#12 posted 02-16-2018 01:45 AM

tomsteve and JCamp: thanks for your interest and suggestions!

The clearcoat might work, but I’m pretty pleased with the paste wax covered by cardboard and I don’t have the ability to spray paint. I’m thinking seriously of making a plywood weatherproof box to enclose it. I’d like to put a dessicant type humidifier inside and do away with the light bulb. First, I’ve got to figure out how to do this in such a way as to be able to easily remove and replace the box by myself. In that scenario, I’d pour a little concrete pad for it to sit on too.

View tomsteve's profile


1037 posts in 1990 days

#13 posted 02-17-2018 06:06 PM

you might be able to build something like a mini garage for it. or, a large doghouse. have a door on one end and put the jointer on a moblie base. when ready to use, open the door and roll it out onto a concrete apron in front of the garage/doghouse.

View bondogaposis's profile


5786 posts in 3122 days

#14 posted 02-17-2018 07:55 PM

My 2 cents, you’re never going to keep rust off it unless you bring it inside.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View KTNC's profile


163 posts in 1027 days

#15 posted 02-19-2018 02:52 AM

Good Idea tomsteve! I was imagining a lifting system to move the box up and back, but your rolling idea sounds easier. I’d just need to make the concrete pad bigger which I have room for.

showing 1 through 15 of 38 replies

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