Preventing rust

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Forum topic by MrRon posted 04-29-2022 03:57 AM 1041 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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6333 posts in 4733 days

04-29-2022 03:57 AM

Some of my tools, especially precision tools like Starrett rules and squares have gotten some rust and corrosion from sweaty hands. What is a good way to keep them rust free without using oil that can get onto projects?

22 replies so far

View WoodenDreams's profile


1620 posts in 1400 days

#1 posted 04-29-2022 06:09 AM

Some of my 6” stainless steel rulers have the same problem. Because I have five of these rulers, I just use the ones that don’t have that problem. This question got me thinking, what I would do.

I have a Rubberized Deburring Wheels (they’re rubber with brass shaving in the rubber) on both my 5” & 6” bench grinders. One is a Brightboy brand and the other is a Cratex brand Designed to debur metal & buff out metal. Both are orangish red in color. Both wheels cost me about $45 each plus shipping.

I use them on knives to polish & sharpen them. Tried it out. Took off the blacken corrosion marks & polished up the metal rulers.

A dry spray lubricant Without silicone my help once cleaned up. Just like protecting the table on the table saw.

I don’t know why I didn’t try it on the stainless steel rulers before. Since I do it to the knives.

A cheap route is to buy a “Decal Eraser Removal Wheel”. Attaches to your drill.

View WoodenDreams's profile


1620 posts in 1400 days

#2 posted 04-29-2022 07:02 AM

A spray dry lubricant may help, once you clean it up. Just as if your protecting the surface of the table on a table saw.

View therealSteveN's profile


10171 posts in 2064 days

#3 posted 04-29-2022 04:52 PM

Rust never sleeps they say, so for me it’s something you have to be vigilant about. I have a cycle of 6 months here in SW Ohio where we do have Humidity, and rust is always present.

I clean all my tools down to fresh metal, usually only requires wiping with MS, allow to dry, then apply a coat of paste wax. I have no problems, and my cast iron tables allow the stock to easily slide, and hand tools, and metal measuring rules, and squares are clean and rust free.

-- Think safe, be safe

View tvrgeek's profile


2403 posts in 3139 days

#4 posted 04-29-2022 06:08 PM

Boing T-9 spray
Paste wax. Some newer automotive waxes are tougher.
I hate WD-40.
Soles of planes and saw blades I use a plain old white candle.

I also spent the big bucks for full HVAC and run an additional de-humidifier so I maintain a steady 50% year round. Tools stay good, wood stabilizes.

View BurlyBob's profile


10753 posts in 3755 days

#5 posted 04-30-2022 05:24 PM

I’ve used paraffin on hand tools with good results.

View corelz125's profile


5525 posts in 2466 days

#6 posted 04-30-2022 06:00 PM

This spring was a nightmare for my tools. We had some big temp swings that caused condensation on everything. The only thing that seems to keep rust under control is constant upkeep on what ever you use. If you keep them in a drawer or a box throw a couple of the silica gel pack’s in with them. They actually do help.

View LesB's profile


3500 posts in 4933 days

#7 posted 04-30-2022 06:29 PM

I started using CRC Ultra lite 3-36. It dries with no residue and has worked well on my cast iron tool surfaces.

-- Les B, Oregon

View bold1's profile


373 posts in 3337 days

#8 posted 04-30-2022 07:30 PM

Best I’ve found for long term protection is Carnauba wax. I believe it’s in most paste and car waxes, but just the Carnauba seems to last longer for me. I even use it on my black powder guns.

View vjc's profile


35 posts in 1876 days

#9 posted 04-30-2022 09:01 PM

Tried all the waxes and spray stuff – and it all works for a while. I now run a dehumidifier all summer. Here in NY, rust is not a problem. No more rust -none – and any wood in the shop is more stable.

View Ken Masco's profile

Ken Masco

947 posts in 4340 days

#10 posted 05-02-2022 05:13 PM

Granted we don’t have major moisture or rust issues in Southern California but untreated metal still does rust here.
For the rust prevention process in my shop the first few years, I used Camellia Oil to prevent rust on hand tools and cast iron surfaces. It worked “OK” and it was expensive (about $15.00 for an 8 oz bottle). It went a long way but still. I used it dutifully with a kind of cool applicator that came with the first bottle I bought. Still there were these seemingly insignificant rust stains that kept showing up, especially on chisels and planes that weren’t used very often. I tried 3 in 1 oil, used it for a good while with basically the same results as the Canola oil. I read that woodworkers raved about using furniture wax to prevent rust, so I tried that for about a year. For me wax didn’t work as well as either of the oils. I read somewhere that wax could trap moisture underneath. A machinist friend recommended CRC 3-36 Multipurpose lubricant that displaces moisture and prevents rust. I bought a gallon from Amazon for $30.00 a few years ago (3-4?) and it’s still over half way full. I keep it in a spray bottle and a on a couple of soaked rags kept in a small Tupperware container. I use the spray for plane irons and my cast iron surfaces, I spray it on pretty heavily then wipe down with a rag. I use the oily rags on chisels and other tools. This stuff is great! It smells pretty good, and forms a protective layer on the metal that feels dry to the touch. I just don’t have a rust problem anymore. So I thought My Lumberjocks buddies would like to know about this great product. I have no affiliation with the maker, just a happy customer. I recommend it highly. After 25 years of following advice and experimentation this is by far the best rust prevention product in my experience.

-- Ken

View Barkley's profile


118 posts in 1092 days

#11 posted 05-03-2022 12:33 PM

I’ve had good luck with a product called Fluid Film on cast iron and various other things. I think it has lanolin in it. You can get from Amyzon and Orielly’s auto parts.

-- Thin the herd

View MrRon's profile


6333 posts in 4733 days

#12 posted 05-08-2022 01:15 AM

On measuring tools, like micrometers, a film of oil on the measuring surfaces can affect the reading.

View Madmark2's profile


3483 posts in 2078 days

#13 posted 05-09-2022 05:30 AM

Glue a piece of felt into the precision tool’s box (you DO have them in boxes, don’t you?). Then saturate the felt with 3-in-1 oil. WD-40 does NOT leave oil behind, its a DRYING agent (WD = Water Displacing – designed to dry ignition systems) The Oil in the felt pad will create an oil air around your tools that will help fight corrosion. I do this with my taps/drill set. Like putting an oil rag over the barrel of a gun. It fights corrosion without leaving a heavy oily film.

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

View Tony1212's profile


707 posts in 3224 days

#14 posted 05-10-2022 01:13 PM

I read this thread yesterday morning and then yesterday afternoon Stumpy Nubs posted a Cool Tools video with Zerust Rust Protection Capsules in it.

Apparently you just throw it in to a toolbox or such and it prevents rust for 2 years. I see they are also popular with firearm storage, as well.

Stumpy also mentioned that they have covers for table saws, jointers and such.

-- Tony, SW Chicago Suburbs

View Robert's profile


5005 posts in 2970 days

#15 posted 05-10-2022 02:24 PM

I use the grit impregnated rubber thingys. I’ve also used 1500 grit paper.

Once they get stained I don’t know what you can do, maybe Evaporust?

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

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