top of page

Combatting Rust

What works best for you?

I think my greatest weapon in the battle with rust is air-conditioning. When a rapid swing in temperature and the accompanying change in relative humidity causes condensation on concrete, you know your tools are sweating too.

My shop also resides squarely in the center of the country. So, though we have some pretty humid summers, moist air is only really an issue for about one third of the year.

But some of you out there live near the water. And some of you live in places I would consider tropical in comparison to my home in the Ozarks.

How do you keep rust under control?

  • Have you found one type of oil works better than another?

  • Do you regularly wax the surfaces of all your stationary tools? If so, what wax are you using? If not, are you using something else?

  • Do any of you Wax your hand tools too? What brand?

  • Do you take any special precautions before you put your tools away?

I ask this last question because of a viewer comment I got about my, and I suspect your, habit of blowing the dust out of tools with a puff of breath.

He used to do the same until he noticed that the moisture from his breath was briefly condensing and evaporating on the surface of his tools. Which got him thinking... What was happening inside the tool where there was sure to be a residue of dust. Was it absorbing some of that moisture?

What about those tiny drops of spittle that occasionally come with a breath of air? The ones that land on the surface are easy to wipe away. But what about those that land out of site and out of reach of your Tool Woobie?

These questions led him to purchase some new tools and form some new habits.

First, he bought the luxuriously soft Dusting Brush from Lie-Nielsen (#NeverSponsored) for the general dusting of his tools. A paint brush can do this job, but I'm not sure it would do it quite as well.

Next, he acquired an air puffer of the type that you might use to blow dust off the lens of a camera or sensitive electronics. Ironically, I bought one of these for my cameras, but also so that I could blow dust and chips off of my work when I was wearing a mask. (Thanks Covid!) He uses the tool to let him get more of the dust out of the hard to reach places inside his tools without scattering fine dust the way an air compressor would.

If course, none of this is meant to replace the regular maintenance and oiling I discussed in this week's videos. It's just too easy to oil all the surfaces when you've got the plane apart for sharpening.

Do you have anything to add?

After three weeks, my preaching is staring to feel more like a conversation. Viewers are starting to comment and ask questions. This is exactly what I was hoping for when I laid out my plans for this project.

Please! Hit reply...

Let me know the methods and materials you use to keep rust at bay.

And have a great week in the shop!


102 views1 comment

1 comentário

I think I'm just lucky Minnesota/Wisconsin has winters that make the air super dry. Never very humid. I apply paste wax my band saw and table saw cast iron with either of the two Johnson or Minwax. Usually a healthy amount of WD40 sprayed everywhere before waxing that gets mixed in with the wax. I have tried using the Sandflex rust eraser blocks but I am not convinced they are amazing. A razor blade does a great deal of work scraping off rust.

Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page