Wax (paraffin) as rust protection??
I've been thinking about trying paraffin wax as a coating for tools that don't see use often, and don't have precision surfaces to protect them from rust. I have some CHEAP steel pin punches, and chisels that I applied a thin coating of paraffin to in order to keep them from rusting, and it seems to be effective. Is there a reason that it's NOT used??? It seems to be a good long term solution to rust on surfaces where they don't get frequent contact, and aren't oiled.
I have been using LPS 3 rust inhibiter for years, which is a similar product, and really like it for general rust protection. I use it on equipment, tooling, fixtures, material that will be stored, etc. Works well for me.
I use spray lube from wally mart and at a buck 88 a can its a good deal. It seems like wax in the lube. I have sprayed my lathe and all my tools when i am done with them because it may be a week or so before i use them again. There was 2 parts i sprayed one and not the other and the unsprayed one rusted. So i am sold on this stuff...Bob
Bob Wright Metal Master Fab
Salem, Ohio Birthplace of the Silver and Deming Drill, all others are copies.
A lot of rustproofing products use petroleum refinery by-products rich in paraffin wax. About the only problem I've heard of was when a really thick layer was used and it cracked over two years time and let the cast iron rust. A commercial car rustproofing compound I used to apply had added fibreglass to paraffin wax so it would hang on under the chassis.
The parafin like the stuff used to seal fruit jars is very brittle and will break easily as SAG has indicated. There is a similar material called microcrystaline parafin that is used in industry as a liquid resist. Parts coated with it are resistant to the powerful chemicals used in the plating industry. The material is sold in forty pound boxes containing ten pound slabs. It is sticky at room temp and will become pliable if you work a small (<one cubic inch)chunk in your hands. The problem is that you have to make it thin enough to be able to apply it. I use naptha and a little heat to create a solution that can be sprayed through a cheap hand pump sprayer. A good ratio is a two by five by three inch chunk to a gallon of naptha. It takes a few days for the stuff to liberate all the naptha and harden, but it works as well as military cosmoline. WWQ
Personally I can't stand greasy (or waxy) stuff all over my tools. Years ago I learned about vapor corrosion inhibitors (VCI). VCIs often come in foam tape or capsule form. Some packages are very similar to room air fresheners. I just put a strip of foam tape on the back of each toolbox drawer, inside the lid of a hand carried tool box, cabinet drawers, etc... In larger cabinets (3+ cu-ft) I use a capsule. I don't have to worry about whether a tool is properly coated as with applied coatings. Just put the tool in the drawer after use and the VCI takes care of the rest. I have a couple of toolboxes full of tools I no longer or rarely ever use. I just put about a 6 inch strip in the lid of the box. Been about two decades on one of those boxes and no rust on the old tools.
are a few of the companies that make and/or market these products.
What surprises me is that rust seems to be such an issue with so many of you. Here in Montreal our climate appears just about ideal and unless I put tools away from sight covered in perspiration or some other corrosive agent, zinc chlorride flux or cat pee etc., they hardly ever rust.
The rusting that does happen can easily be prevented with WD 40 or the Starret stuff.
The regular weekly wipe of way oil takes care of the ways and tables of the machines.
But to answer the question parrafin does not in itself atach to metals with a tight bond and can exacerbate the problem by providing a membrane on top of the corrosion causing a perfectly sealed contamination. It needs to be dilluted to spread, plasticized to remain uncracked and compounded to prevent the loss of these other materials through evaporation over time.
There are several comercialy compounded products such as '"Waxoyl" which take care of these matters and are indeed very efective.
Parafin wax by itself has no rust inhibitive properties. If moisture prenetrate it at a crack rust will soon follow.
A good metal preservative has goodies in it that actively prevent rust even if water (or slat water) is present. Infrequently used tools will sndure several years in dubious conditions if coated with a heavy duty preservative like LPS3 or equivalent.
Tools coated with parafin wax will suffer rust whereever the barrir is broken from handling, jostling, etc.
1. Move to the desert south west. AZ, NV, SE CA.
2. Revert #1
Yeah, you have to dilute it.
I used the naptha solution to thin it out, and brushed it on. I should have clarified that some, what's left is a thin kinda sticky film on there that seems to stay on there pretty good. Just dipping tools in hot wax, it just flakes off. Anyways, in the drawer of my desk in the garage, I get rust on my punches and chisels unless I use something that STAYS ON it. Which is the problem I was running into with all the other things. I may try VCIs and see what happens. It just seems that my garage is the perfect enviroment for rusting things. The VCIs sound like they'd work well in my desk. I have silica packets strewn in there, and it DOES help, but things STILL rust . There are things I can't wax, because it's a PITA to remove. I have to use something like brakleen or something to get rid of it. That kind of stuff gets a light coating of oil soaked into a piece of paper stuck to it like they package tooling with. It's a NEVER ENDING BATTLE!
I NEED to find a solution.
How about camphor blocks from the drugstore?
I have them in all my precision tool drawers.
The camphor evaporates and, I guess, coats the tools with a barrier.
Seems to work.
We have Walgreens Rite Aid and CVS.
I went looking for blocks of camphor one day, and couldn't find them. We have walgreens and CVS around here. Do they carry it?? It's possible I just didn't see it, and the employees were of NO help. Oh yeah, there's a Rite Aid too.
I ordered a small case from them, Humco brand, 16 - 1oz. blocks, less than $30, IIRC.
I recall getting the -deer in the headlights- stare from the clerk, but the pharmacist was a woodworker and understood exactly what I wanted.
I still have the box if you need UPC #
Like Albuquerque. Even when it's raining the relative humidity is about 60 %. :-)
Originally Posted by 14tony
And that only happens ocaisonally.