rust inhibitor

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Forum topic by Tony Ennis posted 06-16-2020 05:26 PM 465 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Tony Ennis

139 posts in 3939 days

06-16-2020 05:26 PM

My brand new metal planes are rusting terribly. What do you guys use to prevent rust? It’s hot and humid where I live. I handle the planes, of course, so I need to be able to tough the stuff without it wiping off.

Fluid Film? Wax? WD-40?

-- Tony

15 replies so far

View LittleShaver's profile


681 posts in 1422 days

#1 posted 06-16-2020 05:53 PM

Wax or a Paul Sellers oil can. Not much of a problem here 17% humidity and dropping today.

-- Sawdust Maker

View HokieKen's profile


14501 posts in 1941 days

#2 posted 06-16-2020 06:22 PM

Johnson’s Paste wax is what I use on all my cast iron tools, hand and power tools. It works well for my un-air-conditioned shop here in SW Virginia. CRC-36 is my favorite corrosion inhibitor but I don’t used it on woodworking tools because it can transfer to the wood. I use it on all my metal-working machines and machining tools though.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View BurlyBob's profile


7695 posts in 3068 days

#3 posted 06-16-2020 07:12 PM

Paste wax or paraffin.

View controlfreak's profile


929 posts in 404 days

#4 posted 06-16-2020 07:21 PM

I have had good luck with paste wax on my jointer. I have just recently started acquiring hand planes. Does anybody use paste wax on planes? Is there any transfer to wood?

View dschlic1's profile


474 posts in 2772 days

#5 posted 06-16-2020 07:30 PM

I use Johnson’s paste wax here in Florida.

View HokieKen's profile


14501 posts in 1941 days

#6 posted 06-16-2020 07:45 PM

I have had good luck with paste wax on my jointer. I have just recently started acquiring hand planes. Does anybody use paste wax on planes? Is there any transfer to wood?

- controlfreak

I use paste wax on planes. Never had any issues with transfer or at least with the transfer affecting finishing in any way. The wax wears off the sole pretty quick though. When I’m using planes, I keep a block of paraffin wax handy to put on the sole to reduce friction.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View Robert's profile


3788 posts in 2283 days

#7 posted 06-16-2020 07:53 PM

You cannot leave them out in an uncontrolled climate. And trust me on this, unless you practically submerge them in oil, none of the above ever worked for me.

The only way to handle it is store them in a controlled environment.

Before I had a climate controlled bench room I stored my hand tools in a plastic storage bin with a can of damp rid. Worked “pretty good”. I’ve also used rust inhibiting mats I got from Lee Valley (worked pretty well, actually). I’ve also tried camphor as well as some “anti rust pills”.

I would still open the bin and see rust on the tools. Then I kept them in a sealed cabinet, again, damp rid, anti rust mats, camphor, dehumidication rod—I tried them all but nothing has worked like A/C.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View tvrgeek's profile


1007 posts in 2452 days

#8 posted 06-16-2020 08:10 PM

Wax or Boeing T-9
I put s split system in my shop and it pretty much solved any issues. RH stays around 50%

View controlfreak's profile


929 posts in 404 days

#9 posted 06-16-2020 09:08 PM

I might need to start running the air in econo mode to keep things dry.

View CaptainKlutz's profile (online now)


3334 posts in 2297 days

#10 posted 06-16-2020 10:52 PM

+1 Need better environmental control.

Does your shop have condensation problem?

As posted above; Normal humidity is easily combated with regular wax application. Usually required after completing a major project, and before the tools get put away for awhile till next work session.


When I lived in Missouri, occasionally my hand tools or flat cast iron surfaces would go from shiny to rusted overnight. Investigation reveled the cause was condensation.

Condensation/rusting was created anytime there was change in temperature, and it came with high humidity. What happens is the tools are cooler than surrounding air, and moisture would condense on the cooler surfaces. At times, could walk out to cold garage in morning, open the garage door to warm moist air, and watch the top of TS & band saw get wet. In severe weather changes, there was condensation on ceiling, and it would rain inside the shop. By time the water dries on tools, rust has formed. Would find rust due condensation, even with tools freshly waxed the day before. :(

IME – Condensation rusting requires more than wax. It requires both environmental changes, and better surface protection.

There are 3 methods to improve environmental issues:
- Cover the tools so condensation forms on cover and not tool.
- Increase temperature of shop above the average dew point for your area.
- Reduce the humidity.

Most people end up doing a combination of all three. In my case where warm moisture air entered the shop often; Using dehumidifier wouldn’t work. Many of the condensation events happened in spring/fall, with air temp of 60-70°. Keeping the garage warm enough to stop condensation was not affordable, or comfortable to work in. Hence, all my large tools where covered, and my hand tools where keep in drawers/bins to reduce temp/moisture swings, usually with water removing gel inside.

There is always a lot of debate on best rust preventative for tools in the forums. Don’t expect this thread to be any different. Might as well post a comparison that is popular from Fine Woodworking on rust prevention choices for tools in 2012:

My personal experience agrees with most of the FWW results, except in one area. I found that a multi-step rust preventative system was better than using a single compound. :-)

In my shop, I use a combination of a surface sealer, and carnauba wax. By applying a sealer, it reduced the opportunity for rust to begin. I use one of 3 rust conversion/sealing products that are basically the same: Loctite Extend Rust Neutralizer, Permatex Rust Treatment, or Rustoleum Rust Reformer. The products convert red oxide to more stable black iron oxide which stops current rust. They also fill in pores of cast iron where excess carbon is hiding (which absorbs water), as they all contain some resin (shellac/acrylic) that is left behind in a thin film. Once the pores are sealed, I polish the surfaces with wax using a white plastic scuff pad (0000 steel wool equiv).

Even here in dry Arizona, we have high humidity and condensation events during monsoon season. Can always tell when it is time to re-seal my cast iron, as hand/finger prints suddenly show up when it rains. :-)

There is already a ton of threads on rust prevention in forums if you want to learn more.

As always, YMMV.

-- 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 corelz125's profile


1405 posts in 1779 days

#11 posted 06-17-2020 01:35 AM

I keep the silica gel packets and throw them on the shelf with the planes.

View Vindex's profile


109 posts in 1625 days

#12 posted 06-17-2020 03:17 AM

I also use silica gel packets. Those soak up moisture. Keep the planes in an enclosed space with silica gel packets (I also like to use Zerust liners). Lots of different options, but I get silica gel packs often enough that they are basically free rust protection.

View metolius's profile


169 posts in 1533 days

#13 posted 06-17-2020 05:52 AM

No callouts for Jojoba oil ?

I find its fantastic for most all of my tools, even my jointer bed. No stink, and good for your skin.

On the jointer, stock flows across the bed like ice; Its a great lubricant for handsaws and plane bottoms too.
I keep a microfiber clothe soaked in it within an old peanut butter jar.

+ recommended by Lie-Nelson

-- derek / oregon

View therealSteveN's profile


5925 posts in 1377 days

#14 posted 06-17-2020 06:52 AM

I like Camellia oil. I also try to keep all of mine in a sock, if not being used regularly. I just buy the cheapest cloth tube socks I can get. They stretch enough to get a #8 into them. I’m in Ohio, and have the same kind of fluctuating humidity you have down there.

If in use, you’ll probably not see rust. I find also if they are kept inside a wooden case, or box, that can be closed much of the problem goes away. So the frequent users are kept inside a wooden case, or my big chest. The rest are stored oiled, in a sock, and I put them to rest in those big Rubbermaid storage containers, with a lid on. I still try to look at everything at least twice a year, Fall, and Spring when I clean up, then lube and wax all the stationary equipment. In the process of still getting that done right now.

-- Think safe, be safe

View avsmusic1's profile


652 posts in 1488 days

#15 posted 06-17-2020 01:10 PM

No callouts for Jojoba oil ?

I find its fantastic for most all of my tools, even my jointer bed. No stink, and good for your skin.

+1 to this for me
I’m in CT and it’s plenty humid in the warmer months. My planes are stored in the basement near my dehum and i oil them after use

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