Oil tarps for covering lathe
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  1. #1
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    Default Oil tarps for covering lathe

    Just wondering what others use in high humidity ares to keep moisture off machines. I have heard of oil tarps and such, put need assistance in making or acquiring such, THANKS!!!

    waltmart

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    Are you talking outdoor storage, or coverage in a shop situation?

    For outdoor relatively temporary storage I have a few pieces of roll roofing rubber which is about 5' wide by 10' long. These are water-tight, don't blow away, and you don't really even have to tie down the corners.

    Probably the worst coverage is found in those "blue" tarps sold by Harbor something or other. VERY short life, and the corner grommets are wont to tear out.

    Joe in NH

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    tarps will keep rain off of machines, but could be a detriment. As the temperature changes, condensation can occur on the cold machines. The tarps prevent the dew from evaporating. The oil in the tarp is to protect the tarp, not what's under it.

    Tom

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    McMaster-Carr

    I have been happy with the breathable waterproof tarps over machinery in an unheated storage space here in Maine. As to the "oil tarps" you mention, some are wax impregnated and used more for covering things like pipe than for protecting machines. I agree with the caution in the above post.

    -Marty-

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    I just drape plastic over whatever I don't want to rust, making sure it goes clear to the floor, and hang a 60 watt light bulb under it. As long as the bulb's on, it'll keep the air under the plastic above the dew point, and the iron won't get wet and rust. It needs to be an incandescent bulb, of course, that actually makes a little heat. That's what I do anyway.

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    Condensate is a major problem, not only will condensate form on the outside but inside as well. I purchased a machine that was stored outside under roof, tarped and all unpainted metal coated with a sticky substance like cosmoline. Looked great When going over it at my shop I found it was rusty on the inside!

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    We really need more information on your situation

    In using the term "high humidity" and not "rain" I am assuming you are talking about machines already under a shelter.

    Humidity refers to moisture contained in air. How much moisture the air can hold depends greatly on the temperature of the air. The higher the temperature, the more moisture the air can hold. This is where the term relative humidity comes in. If the temperature of the air decreases enough it cannot contain the moisture it could at a higher temperature. The "excess" moisture condenses out as dew, fog, rain, or snow. The temperature this occurs at is called the dew point. If air is in contact with a surface with a temperatures below its dew point, the cooled surface layer of air will deposit the "excess" moisture on that surface.

    How does this relate to machinery? Our machinery takes time to warm up or cool down due to its mass. Because steel, iron conduct heat fairly well the temperature at the surface will not be greatly different than the interior.
    If the air around the machinery changes cools off below the dew point, moisture can be deposited on the machine IF the surface of the machine also drops below the dew point. Often though the mass of the machine means that the machine temperature stays higher than the air temperature long enough for any dew to deposit elsewhere. Also, the cool air has usually lost any "excess" moisture outside, before entering the building.

    What is more of a problem is warm air circulating around a machine which is below the dew point, as warmer air can "carry" more moisture to the surface of the machine. Eventually the machine will warm to be above the dew point- but until it does, moisture will condense on the surface.

    What to do:

    Find a way to heat the machinery so it is warmer than the air around it. Auto block heaters can be used. Incandescent lights inside a compartment will work- until the burn out. (LED lights last- but would not produce enough heat to be useful.) If the machine can be covered with a tarp or blanket it will be easier to heat, and flow of air across the surface reduced. Heat lamps can be used if the surface of a machine is exposed.

    The above require electricity. If this is not available then your options are more limited- and we know you are not going to be using the machines.

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    If you do decide to use the tarp method with a heater, make sure that none of the tarp touches the machinery.

    Tom

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    Yes it is inside and under building, Looking at keeping moisture off when temps change. condensation on the metal. The light bulb and plastic, sound best procedure for this, May use furniture pad over plastic sheet. THANKS to all in thoughts and hope this clarifies my previous post,

    THANKS

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    Yup, objects need to be above the dew point. Either warm the objects or lower the dew point.

    I use radiant heaters occasionally and light bulbs. Shop is insulated but no climate control so I can't change the dew point.

    I also keep a fan running. This has the advantage of keeping the machines close to air temperature. This way it is really easy to look at the thermometer on the wall as a proxy for iron temperature and compare to the dew point on TV news to determine if I need to take action. I find that dew point 10 degrees cooler than proxy iron temp seems to be enough. I have also observed my concrete floor darkens color as the temperatures converge.

    Worst case I have experienced is a rainy winter day with temps near 40F after cold weather near 0F. My shop looked like someone had sprayed a garden hose everywhere.

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    Spray down non painted surfaces with LPS-3, or use Fluid Film

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    My approach is an uncoated canvas tarp, with a 100 watt incandescent trouble light inside the machine.

    Additional protection in the form of LPS-3 as needed.

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    Don't use plastic. Something like canvas drop cloth or old bed sheets work the best.

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    I’ve had great success with lanolin - mineral spirits sprayed liberally over all exposed metal and then tarping machine.
    Just pulled my mill out of my storage shed where it sat for 2 years in a shed with a pretty leaky roof.
    ecc0d122-020b-4696-b9c4-9ee3c47f3047.jpg

    And here’s how it looked after I removed that plastic covering the table.
    96a51d6a-7126-409d-b7c7-8c79c1eb6ee8.jpg

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    I have good luck with a fan except during peak humidity months with variable weather. Over winter I have the thermostat down to mid-40's, turn on the baseboards if I'm out there for the evening. Don't forget to turn them back down! lol

    I dad a firehose event also; a cool evening followed by a very humid afternoon with the windows open. Luckily I caught it early; closed up, put on the AC etc and wiped & reoiled everything.

    I have a nice rotab and tilting table for the mill that I keep under shop towels which I squirt oil on occasionally.

    These days I hire my daughter to wipe all the exposed surfaces on the machines with an oil-laden rag

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  23. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelP View Post
    Don't use plastic. Something like canvas drop cloth or old bed sheets work the best.
    And you can basically consider oil tarps to be plastic.... they have about the same effect, they do not "breathe"..

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  25. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Menke View Post
    I have good luck with a fan except during peak humidity months with variable weather. Over winter I have the thermostat down to mid-40's, turn on the baseboards if I'm out there for the evening. Don't forget to turn them back down! lol

    I dad a firehose event also; a cool evening followed by a very humid afternoon with the windows open. Luckily I caught it early; closed up, put on the AC etc and wiped & reoiled everything.

    I have a nice rotab and tilting table for the mill that I keep under shop towels which I squirt oil on occasionally.

    These days I hire my daughter to wipe all the exposed surfaces on the machines with an oil-laden rag
    What about the inside?

    Tom

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    Quote Originally Posted by tim9lives View Post
    I’ve had great success with lanolin - mineral spirits sprayed liberally over all exposed metal and then tarping machine.
    Just pulled my mill out of my storage shed where it sat for 2 years in a shed with a pretty leaky roof.
    ecc0d122-020b-4696-b9c4-9ee3c47f3047.jpg

    And here’s how it looked after I removed that plastic covering the table.
    96a51d6a-7126-409d-b7c7-8c79c1eb6ee8.jpg
    THIS ^^^^^^

    I have been using lanolin for a decade. It absolutely prevents rust, for a long time. I mix it 30% with spindle oil and use it everywhere I use machine oil. Machines seldom used or going to storage or shipment get a richer mix.

    BTW, lanolin is the active ingredient in Fluid Film. Lanolin is $16/lb, and it goes a long way

    i still run a ceiling fan on high when I am not there.

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  28. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by TDegenhart View Post
    What about the inside?

    Tom
    So far no signs of rust inside the machines, they are pretty oily inside and few unpainted surfaces. The fan air-over evaporates oil from the external surfaces which tend to show flash rust during the summer- so thats when I hire her to keep things oily.

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    Seems to me a canvas cover, or even a car cover would work fine. However, if you need to cover with something that doesn't breath (like plastic), then an incandescent bulb under the cover would be a good addition (and place it in a way you can see if/when it burns out).

    Even with hot humid summers and cold winters, an oiled machine with a canvas cover seems to fare pretty well indoors. I do keep my shop heated from freezing.


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