Maintenance for tools kept in garage

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Forum topic by Karen posted 04-22-2019 02:43 AM 648 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Karen's profile


14 posts in 701 days

04-22-2019 02:43 AM

Topic tags/keywords: tool maintenance garage rust conditioning humidity

For the first time, I’m getting ready to perform some spring maintenance on my power tools and have a question. My workshop is in the garage—not in a controlled environment—so everything is affected by humidity, extreme temp changes, etc… Are there any ‘special’ maintenance tasks I should do for this reason? Most everything I’ve read is general guidance, and seems to assume the tools are kept indoors, but I’m looking beyond that—is there anything ‘extra’ I should do to counter the effects of the garage environment? Are there any good articles on this? Thanks!

5 replies so far

View bilyo's profile


1112 posts in 1881 days

#1 posted 04-22-2019 03:01 AM

Two suggestions: Keep a coat of paste wax on unpainted cast iron surfaces and other metal rust prone tools stored in the open air.
Keep the air circulating with a small fan. A small oscillating table top fan works great but most any small fan will do. Depending on your location, this is particularly important in the spring and fall when night-time temps are cold and then it warms up quickly in the morning. That is when condensation occurs on the cold tools. The circulating air will alleviate this problem.

View therealSteveN's profile


5778 posts in 1353 days

#2 posted 04-22-2019 03:35 AM

Usually if they are running ok when you put them to sleep for the Winter, they come back ok mechanically. The thing I always do when getting back in the shop is a thorough cleaning, and general check up, and inside to make sure no critters made a home there, or if you have mice, check that they didn’t munch on your plastic/rubber sheathing on things electrical. Gnawing on wires is a favorite snack for them. If all that is good I always clean and the retreat all cast iron surfaces, and end with, see below

Below is a list of favorite products used by many to coat all of those cast iron surfaces on table saws, jointers, planer beds, band saw tables, and any other cast surfaces you may have. For many it’s nothing more than a paste wax, like Johnson’s wax, sold everywhere, anything you put on it, you need to really work it in, to eliminate any wet on top. I go by hand for a while, and then switch to a high speed car buffer with a lambswool pad to finish. What happens if your cast gets some level of protection, and wood glides across it easily, decreasing friction. Too much friction is like “Grab” and if it is enough it could be a safety concern. Plus it’s a joy to have the wood move easily. Lot of potential products shown below, that someone has said was the best.

Glidecote V207501 Woodworking Aerosol Lubricant

Slipit 32447

BOESHIELD T-9 Rust & Corrosion Protection/Inhibitor and Waterproof Lubrication I have been using Boeshield, and then Johnson’s wax for a lot of year, no rust, everything slides nicely, and to clean it all off from the last time, I use some Mineral Spirits and lightly rub it on, let it soak a short while. (it will likely flash off sooner than you would think, unless you flood it on) After the MS is gone I let it sit for a few hours, to overnight, then do Boeshield T9 like it says on the container, allow that to dry for a while. When it is dry I will start with the paste wax, buff by hand, then use the buffer on it. No residue after the buffer, and wood will move well on it.

Tri Flow Teflon Lube

Probably there will be other add ons.

-- Think safe, be safe

View Jidis's profile


23 posts in 843 days

#3 posted 04-22-2019 09:34 PM

Same work environment as you here. I had a bad year for rust many years back and have been keeping an eye out for it. I keep a cheap digital hygrometer out there, and per advice I found on the web, have been keeping camphor blocks in perforated pill bottles in all the enclosed spaces like drawers and cabinets. Haven’t seen much rust since, but it could just be coincidence.

Good Luck

View Tony1212's profile


434 posts in 2513 days

#4 posted 04-24-2019 12:56 PM

I put out a video last year about removing rust from machines, but it also applies to general maintenance.

-- Tony, SW Chicago Suburbs

View Karen's profile


14 posts in 701 days

#5 posted 04-30-2019 12:34 PM

Thanks, everyone, for the great feedback, tips, and resources! I’ll look into all of these as I push forward in my tuning and maintenance. I appreciate you taking the time to respond!!

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