A few questions about rust - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 24 Old 04-10-2019, 03:14 PM Thread Starter
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A few questions about rust

I have a couple of questions about rust on my tools and how to prevent it.

I've taken the rust off my old tools so now they look pretty good (there's still a few spots of rust on my plane). To stop them from getting rusty in future I have put a layer of 3-in-1 oil on them, is that enough to stop the rust? Also should I be periodically re-applying the oil even if I'm not using the tools?
The tools are stored in the spare bedroom of my house, I thought that would be better than the old shed I have.

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post #2 of 24 Old 04-10-2019, 06:28 PM
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Rust is iron in the metal interacting with oxygen and water in the air. Preventing it is as simple as keeping those things from interacting. You could go whole hog and store all your tools in a vacuum chamber, which would be cool but completely impractical. As youve found, a light film of something that repels water does the job just as well. A light layer of 3-in-1 works perfect, but yes, to be completely safe you really should re-apply every so ofter. Not once a day, mind, but maybe once a month or so, depending on your environment.

There are specialized films that work for this too, stuff like Boeshield T9 and the like that are meant to be sprayed on before storage and last next to forever, but me? I dont like em. They work well, but too expensive for something i can accomplish with whatever oil i have hanging around. Paste wax works pretty well too. My personal go-to is sewing machine oil, its a bit lower viscosity so its easier to apply and clean off than 3 in 1. Not much, just a hair
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post #3 of 24 Old 04-10-2019, 07:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ExcessLockup View Post
I have a couple of questions about rust on my tools and how to prevent it.

I've taken the rust off my old tools so now they look pretty good (there's still a few spots of rust on my plane). To stop them from getting rusty in future I have put a layer of 3-in-1 oil on them, is that enough to stop the rust? Also should I be periodically re-applying the oil even if I'm not using the tools?
The tools are stored in the spare bedroom of my house, I thought that would be better than the old shed I have.
Yes, reapply. Check them every few months. I think what I've seen recommended is reapplying every 6 months.
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post #4 of 24 Old 04-10-2019, 07:12 PM
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I use Top-Kote, available in an aerosol can. It's made for cast iron tops but I use it on everything I don't want to rust. Spray it on, let it dry for a minute like wax, then buff it off with a cloth. Works very well. Should be able to find it at the woodworking stores and online.
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post #5 of 24 Old 04-10-2019, 07:19 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you all, I'll make sure to re-apply the oil when needed.

Novice woodworker from the UK
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post #6 of 24 Old 04-10-2019, 07:51 PM
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You'll be the cause of rust on your tools if you're not careful.

Keep a slightly oily rag with your tools. At the end of each working session with your tools, take your oily rag and wipe them down.

Only takes a minute. Maybe fifty years from now you'll still be using the same tools because you took a few seconds to wipe them down.


Make it a habit. If you touch it,wipe it down. I used a Craftsman chisel I bought in 1972 this afternoon. Still works and looks good. Guess why?


Your 3-in-1 oil is fine. No need to spend big bucks on special sprays, waxes, and magical potions. Your oily rag is good enough.
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Last edited by sgcz75b; 04-10-2019 at 08:09 PM.
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post #7 of 24 Old 04-11-2019, 04:18 AM
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You'll be the cause of rust on your tools if you're not careful.
An excellent thing to be reminded about, that. Fingerprints have all sorts of salty moisture in them, if you arent careful handling can cause rust issues. Like everything else, a quick swipe of oil will prevent that

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post #8 of 24 Old 04-11-2019, 12:59 PM
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I just noticed you're in England. Ballistol would be great for your tools on that oily rag. I have a can on my tool bench and use it often.

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post #9 of 24 Old 04-11-2019, 01:06 PM
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I use the Paul Sellers "rag in a can" method, and find it very effective.
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post #10 of 24 Old 04-11-2019, 02:36 PM Thread Starter
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I use the Paul Sellers "rag in a can" method, and find it very effective.
I made one of those out of an old towel, it takes a lot of oil though. Who would have guessed that a towel would be so absorbent?

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post #11 of 24 Old 04-11-2019, 03:14 PM
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3 in 1 oil is not noted as a good rust preventive. In fact, just plain oil in general is not a good rust preventive.


The best product that I have found is LS 2 Industrial Strength Lubricant. .


This is generally found in marine stores. It puts on a coating that tends to stay put. I used to buy it in a gallon container when I had a boat. i would spray down the entire engine room.


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post #12 of 24 Old 04-11-2019, 03:15 PM
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I made one of those out of an old towel, it takes a lot of oil though. Who would have guessed that a towel would be so absorbent?
Made that mistake the first time.

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post #13 of 24 Old 04-11-2019, 03:51 PM
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one can google the history of WD-40. the "WD" stands for "water displacement"
that said, it isn't the one and only end all solution. and, it is not an "apply and forget for 100 years" solution. just another approach to the issue.

wiping down with an oily rag is a whaling-era solution to rust. it works.

it has worked for hundreds of years. kinda sorta actually "proven"

do get a metal can with a metal lid for storing/keeping the "oily rag"
google "oily rag spontaneous combustion" if you don't think it is an issue.
becoming part of a small statistic is largely unpleasant.

many woodworkers will contest the theory of oily surfaces - oil on wood makes for dicey finishing....
anything cast iron (TS / joiner / planer surfaces)I clean with high% alcohol followed by a organic wax. s
mear/dry/buff off. once a year. typically 4th of July time frame; east coast beginning of the 90'F/90'RH period.

tools like chisels/etc where the oil is likely carried away on the first peal,,, oil is not such a concern.
makes for easier lit kindling.
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post #14 of 24 Old 04-11-2019, 04:37 PM
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I use the Paul Sellers "rag in a can" method, and find it very effective.

Of all the woodworkers on Youtube, Paul Sellers is the master. Watching and listening to him is worth 1000 hours of therapy.



Thanks for reminding me of the "rag in a can." I need to make one if for nothing else to remind me of Paul Sellers and to bring a smile.

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post #15 of 24 Old 04-12-2019, 07:30 AM
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My can is a 4 ounce (canned mushroom container), with a cotton tube sock rolled into it. Add about 1/3 can of 3 in one oil...lasts about 2 years or more, until it is too dirty...then flip the sock, no additional oil needed. It has NEVER interfered with a finish.
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post #16 of 24 Old 04-12-2019, 10:53 PM
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Nobody has mentioned Renaissance Wax, so now I wonder why? It comes from England, too. It is expensive here in the US, but probably cheap there (not!). A small amount lasts a long time. It is a "microcrystalline wax" originally intended for museums, used for conservation and display.

I put Renaissance Wax on my hand tools, including tools like the combination square set, marking knives, etc. I prefer wax over oil - less messy.

I also have Boeshield. I feel neutral about it. I have used it on my power tools. I have not tried TopKote.
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post #17 of 24 Old 04-13-2019, 05:02 AM
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I was most interested to watch the video on a rag in a can. I would try a tea towel.
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post #18 of 24 Old 04-13-2019, 09:23 AM
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From what I read while researching...3 in One oil (the original formulation) has no silicone in it. When using the rag in a can on a tool, you feel no detectable oily feel, but it sure makes a difference when gliding over a board with a metal plane. I don't use it on my wooden planes...I use bees wax.
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post #19 of 24 Old 04-14-2019, 12:49 AM
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I've got a can of paste wax, never had a problem with it before. I just coat my tools in it every month or so. Just remove any surface rust before hand.


-T
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post #20 of 24 Old 04-14-2019, 10:57 AM
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I keep as many of my tools in a storage cabinet or drawer as possible so they're not exposed to the open air when not in use. A coating of 3-in-1 oil (using the aforementioned Sellers rag in a can method) once in awhile also.

Lately, I've been running a dehumidifier in my shop as well. It makes a notable difference, taking moisture out of the air.
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