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MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical - Tool care


I recently moved from an appartment to a house with a double garage. I now see that some of my tools are rusting. This wasn't an issue in the garage I previosuly used, and the new garage appears dry inside although the doors have a 10mm gap top and bottom. What do you suggest.

Any Michiganders with an input??

J E G Eastwood 1

I in the past I have used a tool wax; like this:-

but about one quarter of the price, if I remember correctly.

You merely wipe the tools you have used clean at the end of a session in the workshop, and paint with the wax. The wax goes on wet, but part evaporates leaving a hard film.

I'll look for the brand name and price
Nigel Steward

Hi, Jim, Here in Michigan for over the winter I wipe my tools and sheet metal with a light oil, but the tool wax sounds like a cleaner way to go. Thanks for the info Nigel.
Regards, Jack
John Renaud

Nigel, John,

Many thanks. You're suggesting it's normal in an un heated garage, and that a coating on teh tools is required. This makes ence as I had cleaned some of them quite thoroughly a while back.

J E G Eastwood 1

This is a common problem for HSMs (Home Shop Machinists). The change in temp causes humidity to condense on cold metal. There are a few ways to combat the problem:

1. Heat the area. If you can keep the temperature above the 'dew point' rusting will be greatly reduced.

2. Line tool box drawers with lightly oiled felt.

3. Use rust inhibiting compounds in each tool box drawer. The vapor they give off is supposed to prevent rust. Several items that reportedly work (no personal experience here - sorry) is Camphor, Oil of Camphor, mothballs and any of the 'new' corrosion protecting materials as found in trade journals (Vacor - from Callburn Industries is one brand).

4. Oil or wax the tools - NEVER wipe them perfectly clean!

5. Use a dehumidifier.

6. Install a vapor barrier to the building and seal up anywhere moisture or humid air can enter.

7. Use a wooden tool box. Rusting of tools in these is supposed to be much less than a sheet metal toolbox.

My rust problems happened during Winter, so I started heating my shop to 40-45*F. Since then I've had no more rusting of my equipment (lathe, mill, shaper, hand tools, etc.). Plus it's alot nicer to go out into a 'warm' shop!

Good luck,

Tom Sotomayor

Condensate is the problem. Because of the heat/cool cycle and depending on the humidity level, the tool can be cool relative to the air and cause vapor to condense out. One very simple way to deal with the problem is to put them in zip-lock baggies when not in use, especially before exposing them to warmer air. For electronics I am bringing into the house I use the same trick. Let them warm up before opening the bag and nothing condenses on them. For larger tools sometimes a light bulb positioned close can keep the machine warm enough to prevent condensation.

Jim Blackwood

Tom & Jim,

Thanks again for more insight. I see the issue, the warmer air from the day picks up moisture which then condenses out as the temp drops. The wooden box presumeably insulates the tool box temp some what to reduce condensation, possibly a blanket may also work.

J E G Eastwood 1

For me WD40 works fine, I clean my tools with it after each use; I even have an old Ford Wrench must be 40 years old at least with no rust on it.
Michael S. Domanowski

i have a wood shop & while combating the same problem on my cast iron tools i learned that using a propane or karosene heater compounds the issue... apparently burning off the oxygen leaves more hydrogen in the air which combines to create more moisture... remember H2O from science?? Years ago I switched from using combustable heat to a wall A/C unit that also works as a heater & I've had way less rust problem ever since. Not sure if a wall unit AC/heater (effectively a heat pump in a wall) will give enough heat in Michigan, but in TX where cold is any time it's below 65, it works great :).

This thread was discussed between 21/02/2006 and 25/02/2006

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