White residue on router bases

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by MSG posted 08-01-2019 05:08 PM 362 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View MSG's profile


32 posts in 2345 days

08-01-2019 05:08 PM

I recently took out my router from my shop drawer after a few months of not using it. When I took out my router bases they were covered with this white residue. I accidentally touched it and my arm immediately broke out in an ugly rash. (rash went away shortly after washing up) Has this happened to anyone? Does anyone know what it is and how to prevent it?

5 replies so far

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

2651 posts in 1010 days

#1 posted 08-01-2019 05:12 PM

looks like common corrosion that I see in aluminum boats.
I have had some on my aluminum tools, but never that severe.
wash with vinegar and carry on.
a preventative measure would be to apply a light coat of machine oil
and store away from other dissimilar metals.
that is why stainless fasteners should not be used on aluminum boats and motors.
it sets the stage for corrosion which can cause similar issues and stuck fasteners.
if this occurs again, there are Corrosion Preventative Coatings sold in the
auto parts stores. (50 people may suggest WD-40. but I like the CRC brand better).


-- there is no educational alternative to having a front row seat in the School of Hard Knocks. --

View CaptainKlutz's profile


3586 posts in 2342 days

#2 posted 08-01-2019 05:23 PM

First time I have seen aluminum oxidation on power tools that severe? But sorry to say it is a ‘normal’ reaction.

The white stuff is Aluminum oxide. It is what happens when raw aluminum is exposed to humid environment in presence of caustic materials. Some wood dust are alkaline enough to be casuistic.
The reason the entire casting did not oxidize is because it was anodized. The areas that had issues are machined after being anodized to ensure proper fit on router body.

Use a wire fine wire brass brush to remove the oxides. Sand with 220 grit if the surface has peaks after brushing.
Wipe clean with acetone or lacquer thinner.
Test fit on your routers, sand little more if needed to get smooth movement.
Apply a light coating of grease to prevent air/moisture from doing it again. It needs to get inside the pores/pits created to stop the oxidation.

PS – If your work environment allows raw aluminum to oxidize that easily, suggest you also wax/grease the barrels on your router as well. If there is any raw aluminum present, the same thing will happen if/when conditions are repeated (IE alkaline dust with moisture)

Best Luck.

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

View MSG's profile


32 posts in 2345 days

#3 posted 08-01-2019 05:33 PM

Wow! Thanks for the quick responses. Problems of garage shop in Pacific Northwest. Definitely will grease them up after cleaning.

View SMP's profile


2447 posts in 753 days

#4 posted 08-01-2019 05:35 PM

See that here in San Diego in beach communities. Salty air, marine layer can cause that.

View AtlanticBryan's profile


32 posts in 2692 days

#5 posted 08-01-2019 05:45 PM

Sailors use a grease compound that contains lanolin (think sheep and wool) to avoid corrosion, especially between steel and aluminum pieces. It’s called Lanocote and should be available at any marine supply store.

-- I'm not talking to myself ... I'm consulting an expert!

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics