Can power tools remain in good condition stored in a trailer? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 37 Old 12-10-2015, 07:44 PM Thread Starter
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Can power tools remain in good condition stored in a trailer?

I'm considering the best place to put my compact-sized woodworking equipment, as I am strapped for any reasonable room whatsoever.

My wife suggested I look at keeping the equipment in my enclsoed cargo trailer. She points out every piece I am considering is "compact" and light, so could be used "in place" in the trailer, or rolled or carried outdoors, where there is both more room and no concern about too much sawdust in the air! Since we live in a climate with winter nightly lows rarely below mid 30s, and daily worst case summer trailer interior highs of 110, AND the trailer is heated (only when I am there) by an electric baseboard heater, this is not as crazy as it first sounds.

I called SawStop and asked the sales rep if they see any corrosion problems or problems with the saw stopping system in low or high temperatures and with the humidity changes that can obviously occur in a space that is only heated (via generator) when I am actually there. The sales rep said that the only issue is that in very cold weather, the saw stopping system will not allow the saw to start up, until the removable cartridge gets a bit warmer via heating up the work space. She said that SawStop recommends an easy solution for this: store the cartridge separately in a heated space and simply pop it into place when you get to the trailer. Sounds reasonable.

She, and a local dealer rep, both told me that there will not be any corrosion issues, because the entire saw is either alloy, plastic, or powdercoated steel, except possibly the blade (depending on what blade material I use) which may need to be waxed or otherwise protected.

Ok, so how about a DeWalt DW735X planer, a Rockwell RK7866 combination belt & disc sander, and a Jet 17" drill press (I know the drill press is big and very heavy, but I need at least 4" of quill stroke)? Will they also handle big temperature and humidity swings without corrosion or other issues?

I know a lot of contractors store their equipment in trailers, but I wonder if the equipment is hurt by that. Hence the question.

Any of you with relevant experience are encouraged (begged) to respond!

I would really like to get back into woodworking, but the only two spaces that are available to me are the trailer and the house porch, and I think my wife might not accept sawdust on the porch wafting into the house, and coating the screens!

By the way, the trailer is insulated with foam on all its walls and the ceiling, so temperature changes are somewhat decelerated by the insulation.

Interesting tidbit for others with space constraints: the SawStop Jobsite saw actually takes LESS floor square footage when mounted on the cart (which you are forced to buy anyway) than when not mounted on the cart! THis is because the cart easily tilts to store the saw, and the 31.75" width is converted into 45" of height instead, the 28.75" saw depth is not increased by the attachment of the cart, and the 15.5" saw depth becomes 26.25" in "depth" when coupled with the cart, so the net footprint is actually smaller!

Jim G
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post #2 of 37 Old 12-10-2015, 09:26 PM
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What are you going to put in the small amount of space that the base of the saw doesn't take up, but the table does?
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post #3 of 37 Old 12-10-2015, 09:27 PM
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How far from 110 power is the trailer?
What size is the trailer?
Without keeping the temp. in the trailer a few degrees above the dew point, things will rust. Especially with high humidity.
If you can get power to it, I would figure out some heat/dehumidification.
Depending on size, a bunch of golderrod heat sticks might work.
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post #4 of 37 Old 12-10-2015, 09:43 PM
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I have considered this as well. But decided it's not a great idea. I don't have any real advice to offer concerning storage conditions, just my two cents. The contractor I work for had his trailer broken into and well over 10k in tools lifted, and I know of other folks who have had similar misfortunes. I guess if it's your best/only option, worth looking hard for a trailer that doesn't scream out "tools in here". But maybe that isn't an issue in your neck of the woods. My other thought is, wheeling tools out/setting up/breaking down every time you want to work gets old VERY fast. I live in a condo where my "workshop" is a rooftop patio. I store all my stuff in the downstairs spare bedroom, and my snooty HOA greatly frowns upon leaving anything out in the open that isn't plants, patio furniture or a bbq. So even something as simple as making a cut or two on my CMS is an ordeal, and forget about any TS besides a jobsite saw I can get up and down the stairs without breaking my back. That's a long way of saying, not having a dedicated space to store your tools AND do your work is a royal pain. So I feel for you! I haven't completely ruled out the trailer option so please post back if/when you do find a suitable lo profile trailer. Good luck!
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post #5 of 37 Old 12-10-2015, 10:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pirate
How far from 110 power is the trailer? What size is the trailer? Without keeping the temp. in the trailer a few degrees above the dew point, things will rust. Especially with high humidity. If you can get power to it, I would figure out some heat/dehumidification. Depending on size, a bunch of golderrod heat sticks might work.
The gold rods work miracles in a gun safe, but a space heater would be way better in a trailer.
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post #6 of 37 Old 12-11-2015, 12:25 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by hwebb99 View Post
What are you going to put in the small amount of space that the base of the saw doesn't take up, but the table does?
The saw will be moved into a different spot for actual use, to provide working clearances!

Jim G
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post #7 of 37 Old 12-11-2015, 12:26 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pirate View Post
How far from 110 power is the trailer?
What size is the trailer?
Without keeping the temp. in the trailer a few degrees above the dew point, things will rust. Especially with high humidity.
If you can get power to it, I would figure out some heat/dehumidification.
Depending on size, a bunch of golderrod heat sticks might work.
There is no way to get power to the trailer site outside of the generator.

Jim G
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post #8 of 37 Old 12-11-2015, 12:30 AM Thread Starter
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Just to clarify, the trailer is nowhere near a 110 power source. I ahve to run a generator that is mounted in my truck in order to get power to the trailer via its shorepower cord.

Jim G
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post #9 of 37 Old 12-11-2015, 09:53 AM Thread Starter
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Hey, wait a minute! Don't many woodworkers keep their equipment and tools in their GARAGE?

Most garages are neither fulltime heated nor dehumidified, and yet equipment and tools seem to survive!

In fact, this got me thinking about what My Dad, a carpenter and then contractor, did.

For the first years of his career, he kept his cabinetmaking equipment in our basement, where it caused everything in the house to have a sawdust patina.

Then for the majority of his career, he kept the equipment in our garage (It displaced the car, which lived outdoors after he made that change!). At one point, he had both the car and the equipment in the garage, but that required him to move equipment when ripping planks or sheet goods.

The interesting thing is the temperature range for all this. We lived in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, where the summer temperatures rarely exceeded 95, but where the humidity was brutal, and where the wintertime daily highs were often zero Fahrenheit, and nights got down to MINUS 30 Fahrenheit (before Canada went to the metric system!). Dad had to heat up the garage before starting work in it!

Years later at one point, he gave me his 12" DeWalt Radial Arm Saw (1940s vintage), which had survived all this thermal and moisture abuse just fine.

Maybe these machines are tougher than we give them credit for. And, remember what the SawStop rep told me: the SawStop should do just fine in a trailer, with only the saw blade possibly needing some corrosion protection.

Are some brands or types of equipment more or less sensitive or prone to corrosion?

Jim G
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post #10 of 37 Old 12-11-2015, 01:57 PM
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"She, and a local dealer rep, both told me that there will not be any corrosion issues, because the entire saw is either alloy, plastic, or powdercoated steel, except possibly the [COLOR=blue !important][COLOR=blue !important]blade[/COLOR][/COLOR] (depending on what blade material I use) which may need to be waxed or otherwise protected".
I would like to see your "SawStop" allow table top/ I always thought that the top on all of the "SawStop" table were Cast Iron.... And that my friend will RUST in a heart beat without some sort of protection from the elements...............Another problem that I see is the internal components of the saw. They should be Cast Iron also.
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post #11 of 37 Old 12-11-2015, 02:35 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Kansas Gary View Post
"She, and a local dealer rep, both told me that there will not be any corrosion issues, because the entire saw is either alloy, plastic, or powdercoated steel, except possibly the [COLOR=blue !important][COLOR=blue !important]blade[/COLOR][/COLOR] (depending on what blade material I use) which may need to be waxed or otherwise protected".
I would like to see your "SawStop" allow table top/ I always thought that the top on all of the "SawStop" table were Cast Iron.... And that my friend will RUST in a heart beat without some sort of protection from the elements...............Another problem that I see is the internal components of the saw. They should be Cast Iron also.
Take a closer look at the SawStop Jobsite saw. That table is NOT cast iron - it's alloy. I looked inside from underneath too, and it appears to be all alloy. I think that's how they got the weight down to 79 lb despite its full-size ripping capacity.

You can see that the table is proaxtively described as powdercoatd aluminum in this tool review:

http://www.protradecraft.com/tool-te...site-table-saw


Also, it just makes sense that ANY jobsite saw should be alloy versus unfinished cast iron. It is be definition going to spend much of its life in uncontrolled ambient temperatures and humidity. Why build a saw that will rust almost immediately because of its normal working environment?

Jim G

Last edited by JimGnitecki; 12-11-2015 at 02:39 PM.
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post #12 of 37 Old 12-12-2015, 02:02 PM
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Yea I see that now on the job site saw... I was thinking you were talking about the more traditional cabinet saw most of us use in a dedicated work shop....
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post #13 of 37 Old 12-12-2015, 04:53 PM
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If all of your tools are plastic and aluminum than you won't have any issues.

Note that anything with cast iron or steel you will have rust issues for sure. I would bet that DP of yours has some cast iron just going off brand and size.
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post #14 of 37 Old 12-12-2015, 08:54 PM Thread Starter
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If all of your tools are plastic and aluminum than you won't have any issues.

Note that anything with cast iron or steel you will have rust issues for sure. I would bet that DP of yours has some cast iron just going off brand and size.
Yes, the only one I am reasonably confident doesn't have any bare ferrous metal is the SawStop.

To protect any bare ferrous parts (I assume there are SOME) on the planer, the drill press, the belt/disc sander, and an arbor press, what are the best strategies?

Oil? (could attarct too much sawdust?)
Wax?
Or?

What do you guys with unheated and un-dehumidified garage workshops do? Or, do you just live with some rust?

Why don't cars and trucks sitting in unheated garages corrode all to heck? Or, is everything above the chassis (which is exposed to road debris and salt) THAT well painted, plated, or coated?

Jim G

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post #15 of 37 Old 12-13-2015, 12:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimGnitecki View Post
Yes, the only one I am reasonably confident doesn't have any bare ferrous metal is the SawStop.

To protect any bare ferrous parts (I assume there are SOME) on the planer, the drill press, the belt/disc sander, and an arbor press, what are the best strategies?

Oil? (could attarct too much sawdust?)
Wax?
Or?

What do you guys with unheated and un-dehumidified garage workshops do? Or, do you just live with some rust?

Why don't cars and trucks sitting in unheated garages corrode all to heck? Or, is everything above the chassis (which is exposed to road debris and salt) THAT well painted, plated, or coated?

Jim G
I had my tools, most cast iron, outside in a carport, unprotected from the elements for a little over a year not too long ago. Coat of paste wax was enough to keep rust at bay pretty well

I need cheaper hobby
etsy.com/shop/projectepicfail
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post #16 of 37 Old 12-13-2015, 04:47 AM Thread Starter
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I had my tools, most cast iron, outside in a carport, unprotected from the elements for a little over a year not too long ago. Coat of paste wax was enough to keep rust at bay pretty well
I can wax!

Jim G
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post #17 of 37 Old 12-13-2015, 05:58 AM
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I keep some of my wood and hand tools of of the shop with RV rated silica patches.
They're bags that are approximately 4"x12 "...
As long as they are fresh, they'll absorb the moisture in the air.
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post #18 of 37 Old 12-13-2015, 06:14 AM
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I have a metal shed and was warned about condensation. Not had water running down the walls yet but the MDF shelves on the benches have grown a good crop of green mildew. I intend to buy some anti rust vapour paper and possibly buy a small dehumidifier. I am proofing the shelves or replacing with plastic veneered chipboard.
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post #19 of 37 Old 12-13-2015, 03:58 PM Thread Starter
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I have a metal shed and was warned about condensation. Not had water running down the walls yet but the MDF shelves on the benches have grown a good crop of green mildew. I intend to buy some anti rust vapour paper and possibly buy a small dehumidifier. I am proofing the shelves or replacing with plastic veneered chipboard.
johnep
We are a lot drier in our area, Austin, Texas, where the annual rainfall is only normally 32 inches, and the humidity is MUCH lower than places like Houston. My trailer has been sitting for several months with other items inside it, with one high window and one low vent cracked open for basic ventilation. I think the fact that the walls and ceiling are foam insulated probably makes a very beneficial difference. And I deliberately kept any MDF and other water absorbing materials like that out of it, and my plywood subfloor and plywood walls are all polyurethane sealed.

I even have a mini-kitchen in it, with microwave, mini induction cooktop, and coffeemaker. And when I keep my motorcycle in it, no problems with corrosion.

So, while still considering my 2 options for locating the mini-sized woodworking equipment, the trailer and the porch, the trailer currently seems like the better solution. It seems better for not only storage, but for ease of expanding into the outdoors around it when necessary to rip or plane long boards.

Of course I am still wondering if all this planning, all these compromises, and all this work are worth getting back into woodworking, but the attractions are multiple: relatively low cost hobby, allows me to be creative, reproduces what my Dad did,and I really, really enjoy it, so that's why I am continuing to consider doing it again despite the obvious obstacles.

Jim G


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post #20 of 37 Old 12-16-2015, 10:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by epicfail48 View Post
I had my tools, most cast iron, outside in a carport, unprotected from the elements for a little over a year not too long ago. Coat of paste wax was enough to keep rust at bay pretty well
I can wax!

Jim G
Wax on, wax off.
Wax on, wax off.

I do keep most of my tools in a detached garage that has no heat/cooling but I do have a dehumidifier running 24/7 all summer here in the GA humidity. It's not Houston humidity (what is?) but it's pretty humid. Before I got the dehumidifier I did have a small rust problem, but not anymore.

As an aside, I had a really bad rust problem out there until a guy noticed I stored pool chemicals there. Never crossed my mind. When I moved those out a huge amount of the rust issue went with it.

Have you considered Damp-Rid? That's a relatively inexpensive solution that's helped me in a couple of places where moisture is a problem. And nowdays they make much bigger tubs of the stuff that you wouldn't have to change that often. Might help.
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