Fighting rust, felt lining in toolbox
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  1. #1
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    I'm constantly fighting rust. The best thing I ever did was spend $100 and put a tiny window air conditioner in my garage/workshop. That works well, but this spring I was away on vacation and left it off. The weather turned hot and humid and upon return I had rust everywhere. I'm still finding parts that rusted that one week.

    One finding in particular has me kinda baffled. I have Aloris clone toolholders in a metal box with felt lining. The unfinished side of the holders were down against the felt and every one of them has some corrosion. It cleaned up OK, but I'm wondering if having a little oil on the felt would be a good thing or a bad thing.

    Any options? Oil the felt or leave it dry?

    -Ben

  2. #2
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    I wish I could sell hot dry heat on ebay, lots of it here in walla walla.

    you folks back east get the bad humidity.

    half of my state is a desert, bone dry.

  3. #3
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    M-1 the felt

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  5. #4
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    The felt wicks away whatever oil you have on the tool, so it rusts more easily. If you have something wrapped in plain paper it does the same.

  6. #5
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    What's M-1?

  7. #6
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    I save all the little decisent(sp?) bags and tubes from asprin bottles or other packaging. I keep them in my tool drawers and cases. That seems to help a lot.

    Every time I've tried to oil stuf up for storage, the oil just dried up and left a goo or discoloration.

  8. #7
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    Have you ever heard of nox rust or vapor paper? That's what I use. Puts up a sort of vapor that rust does not like.

  9. #8
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    @Nox-Rust: You line your toolbox with it or just spray your stuff with it?

  10. #9
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    Years ago, I would save the paper that brake rotors, etc., came wrapped in. A few pieces in the tool box under prone-to-rust tools did wonders.

    Now that I am working in the computer field, I save the dessicant bags and do the same thing. (do not eat)

  11. #10
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    I use rust inhibiting spray oil for tools to large to fit in a box. Smaller tools are stored in hand made wooden casesor tool boxes. The wood insulates against temperature changes.

    After that, run a dehmidifier.
    Jim

  12. #11
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    cheaper felt has something in it that causes corrosion, a good box would use non corrosive lining. Same issue with silverware chests.

  13. #12
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    Ben,

    I also live in NYC (Queens, near the water) and fight rust in my damp, 1925 basement with leaky walls.

    I have tried just about every option to prevent rust.

    I am very meticulous about putting a nice coat of way oil or Starrett M-1 as appropriate on everything before use and before putting away. I have golden rods in all cabinets and drawers. I keep my machines with golden rods and (just about wrapped) under semipermeable covers. I have antirust vapor capsules in my tool chest drawers.

    I also have an exhaust fan which keeps the air in the shop part of the basement moving, and relatively fresh.

    This may seem excessive, but the belt and suspenders have been the only thing that seems to work. I have tried dehumidifiers, but they just don't seem able to reduce the humidity significantly and make my relatively small, awkwardly shaped work area very hot. This morning the humidity in my workshop was 82 percent and the temperature 80 degrees.

    Mike

  14. #13
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    I also have an older (1890s vintage) basement
    shop with loose rock walls and seepage during
    rainstorms.

    My solution is to simply run a single
    dehumidifier there during the summertime.

    Not needed during the winter though.

    I've never had any rust issues, with tools
    stored in almost every different kind of way.

    Felt does wick oil away of course, this is
    why the tools rusted where they are in contact
    with the felt. A similar problem happens
    if you leave a firearm in a felt or open-cell
    foam lined case. The felt or foam wicks away
    the surface protection (oil) and leaves the
    metal open to attack if the air is moist enough.

    Jim

  15. #14
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    Mike- What's Golden Rod?

  16. #15
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    Golden Rod is a small electric heating element used in gun safes.

  17. #16
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    A friend and retired tool & die maker told me he uses moth balls to control rust, says it's an old machinists trick. He has plywood inserts in his tool drawers cut to form hold the tools. There are three small holes on each board where he deposits the moth balls. He explained they evaperate (sublimate?) and the residue deposits a thin layer on the tools, protecting them from rust.

    Anyone ever here of this? He has taught me a number things, so I take these comments as legit.
    As for weather conditions, I am in Huntington Beach, about 4 miles from the pacific, This is in the Los Angeles basin.

    Stan K.

  18. #17
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    I use camphor, and have successfully prevented the rusting of tools in my machinist toolbox. Even when they are in my service body truck for weeks on end, whether in the humid south or frosty northern climate.

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  20. #18
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    A cheap alternative to goldenrods are coffee cup warmers. $6 at Walgreens instead of $40 at the gun shop. It's just a 25W resistence heater. UL rated, too.

    I've tried moth balls in my tool box, but can't say there's any difference. Where does one find camphor?

    Kevin D

  21. #19
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    Camphor blocks are available at your pharmacy

  22. #20
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    Folks, for rust proofing tools we worked with a friend who owns an oil company. We get 1 gal. of home heating (or diesel#2) oil. Add 1 qt. of the best ATF you can get and empty 1ea.) can of spray silicone to that. For the cost of that amount of rust preventitive you will get a lot of coverage.


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