Will a finish garage woodworking shop stop rust?

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Forum topic by Beginningwoodworker posted 01-27-2013 12:59 AM 2009 views 2 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4724 days

01-27-2013 12:59 AM

One of my main motivations for building a new shop is that my tools in the old shop is rusting including my Unisaw. I am wondering would a finish shop that’s insulated and drywall would stop rust?

16 replies so far

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 3538 days

#1 posted 01-27-2013 01:10 AM

Yes, if it is properly heated and vented.

You can stop a lot of rust on your iron tools by waxing with a coat or two of Johnson’s Paste wax.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View jim C's profile

jim C

1472 posts in 4150 days

#2 posted 01-27-2013 01:15 AM

heating will get the humidity out in the winter
Cooling will get the humidity out in the summer.

View Woodwrecker's profile


4240 posts in 4627 days

#3 posted 01-27-2013 01:15 AM

I’m always fighting that darn humidity Charles.
I sand the iron surfaces and then put on a coat of paste wax like Dallas says.

View James 's profile


47 posts in 3998 days

#4 posted 01-27-2013 01:16 AM

I believe it will help. My first shop was an old wooden garage, and I had the same problem (rusting of my equipment)
I had to always keep my tools covered with those blankets that you find in the moving vans.
When i moved and I built a small shop i did insulate it and walled it with Particle Board that i found at A Salvation Army Store. I don’t seem to have the rust problem anymore.

-- James G'ville,MS Rev 22:2 .............. and the leaves of the tree [were] for the healing of the nations.

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4724 days

#5 posted 01-27-2013 01:21 AM

Dont under the soffit and roof have to be vented?

View ScrubPlane's profile


190 posts in 3247 days

#6 posted 01-27-2013 01:29 AM

My shop is in a garage as well…first in Michigan and now in Maryland. Rust is always a problem though it was worse in MI due to the higher humidity levels.

Your best solution is regular preventative maintenance with regular applications of anti-rusting agent such as Boeshield’s teflon or CRC’s 3-36 sprays…each of which has been highly rated in Fine Woodworking. In Michigan’s high moisture climate I needed to apply once every month or two while two to three times a year does the trick here in MD.

Should you find rust developing…quick removal with Boeshield’s ‘Rust Free’ and a coarse 3M scouring pad will do the trick nicely.

I hope this helps…John

View MT_Stringer's profile


3183 posts in 4282 days

#7 posted 01-27-2013 01:36 AM

Insulated, heat and AC garage has worked for me. And we have our share of humidity in Houston.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View Ted's profile


2877 posts in 3262 days

#8 posted 01-27-2013 01:42 AM

The roof ventilation you’re referring to is necessary to prevent ice dams from forming. It involves soffit vents, clear passage between the joists, and a ridge vent to let the air escape. The principal is that heat rising from the living space will melt snow, which runs down the roof and is then re-frozen when it reaches the unheated roof above the soffits. Ice builds up and creates a dam. Not only does the dam itself cause roof damage, but the continued melt-off will pool at the dam and get under the shingles, causing even more damage. You can learn a lot more about it at Here’s the search results for “ice dam” –

-- You can collect dust or you can make dust. I choose to make it.

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4724 days

#9 posted 01-27-2013 01:46 AM

We dont have much snow in Alabama, but I will still use a roof vent to the roof cool.

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1325 posts in 3000 days

#10 posted 01-27-2013 02:00 AM

I am in north east Indiana and have a partially finished shop. the only time rust is really a problem with the spring and fall change due to a lack of ventilation and the temp of the floor. I just cover my machines with blankets when not in use often. but like now they are fine.

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 4210 days

#11 posted 01-27-2013 02:05 AM


-- jay,

View AandCstyle's profile


3296 posts in 3308 days

#12 posted 01-27-2013 02:28 AM

Sounds like adequate justification for a new shop to me. Oh, and by the way, tools in larger shops are less prone to rusting than in smaller shops. :D

-- Art

View GT350's profile


385 posts in 3033 days

#13 posted 01-27-2013 03:00 AM

I feel fortunate, we don’t have rusting or snow and ice problems unless I leave something out in the rain.

View jamsie's profile


90 posts in 4290 days

#14 posted 01-27-2013 11:23 AM

I live in Donegal Ireland, and beleive me, when it rains, it rains! For about nine months of the year!
And yes, an insulated shop is good. But make sure all your tools are covered.

-- Jamsie

View William's profile


9950 posts in 3893 days

#15 posted 01-27-2013 11:59 AM

I am in a large shop, but there is no insulation at all, only cinder block walls.
When I first got into wood working, and didn’t know better, rust was a major headache for me.
After I learned the trick though, I have little problem with rust now.
The trick is, any (and I mean ANY) surface that is not covered with a protective coating of something, such as paint, gets Johnson’s Past Wax.
I rub it on (be generous), let it dry, and buff it off.
If in doubt about any surface, wax again. I do this to all exposed surfaces at about one month interevals, or if I happen to notice a spot of rust.
I have an old random orbit sander with 220 grit sandpaper on it. If I notice rust, I hit the rust spot with the old sander before waxing. After sanding, use a rag with mineral spirits to wipe the dust from the sanded rust off before waxing. If not, the rust is under the wax still working its magic.

Is all this a pain in the rear?
Yes it is, but once you form a habit of doing it, it becomes routine and it is a lot less hassle tha dealing with rusted tools.


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