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I live in Alabama and especially this time of year we regularly hit humidity levels in the 90% area. My shop is an unfinished garage that might as well be open air with a roof so dehumidification isnt an option. I'm looking for any way to prevent rust mainly on my hand planes. I'm not looking to have pristine shiny tools but need to keep them working as good as possible. I heard a little about using paste wax and was wondering about a mixture of mineral oil and bees wax i used to finish a cutting board a while ago. Has anyone ever heard of using this on tools... it seems like it would work.

Ive also thought about storing them with some kind of desiccant in a wood or plastic box but would rather avoid the trouble if mineral oil/bees wax would do it.
 

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I wouldn't use the mineral oil/bees wax mix. It's made to soak into wood and would probably be pretty sloppy on the non-porous metal.

My shop is in a metal machine shed with a dirt floor so I'm in a similar situation. I used to use Johnson's paste wax and it was ok, but it needed to be re-applied quite often during heavy use.

A while back, there was a discussion here about waxes and Firemedic (I think) recommended Renaissance Wax for planes (both wooden and metal). I picked up some several months ago and started using in on all my planes, saws, and anything else with metal that might rust.

I am very happy with it - it lasts a lot longer during heavy use (friction reduction) and after this extremely wet, rainy spring, I've not had any problems with rust. Using other paste waxes, I was constantly having to reapply and still ended up with rust if I hadn't used a tool for a couple of weeks.

It is expensive, but a little goes a very long way. After multiple applications to 8 saws and 4 planes, you can hardly tell that any has been used. I figure the little jar (200ml) will last me about 5 years.
 

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Patriot
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All of those are good ideas. I live in the south and I understand your problem. I use Johnson's Paste Wax on the metal and wood, dries hard and is not sticky. Anything you use that is oily or tacky will attract dust and dirt, and will rub off on the wood. The wax (which has no silicone) has kept my tools rust free, and reduces friction as an added benefit.

Toby
 

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In History is the Future
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And excerpt from
http://creoleproject.blogspot.com/p/cleaning-restoring-and-preserving.html


Protecting
Once your tool has been cleaned and repaired, it time to protect it. There is only one thing I recommend for protecting wooden tools - Renaissance Wax. It is a micro crystalline wax that works tremendously well for protecting wood while not having any harmful effects. I have been told there are some generic waxes out there, usually going under the general name of museum wax - I have not evaluated these so I can not say whether they work as well or are as safe.

Renaissance Wax last a reasonably long time even with use. How often it must be applied depends upon use and climate. It will have a mild cleaning effect when rubbed on and you can expect to find that some surface contaminants will be lifted and imparted on the rag used to apply it - this is OK. Apply the wax with a soft clean rag and allow to dry prior to buffing out. This wax can also be applied to metal parts.
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That's obviously more intended for wooden tools but it does extend to metal tools as well. The wax does work well.

For tool lubrication I've been using mutton tallow - I do still want to do test on a blend of tallow and beeswax though as I think it may perform even better.
 

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After a $500 tab for vehicle lock repairs, I got a short lecture about Fluid Film.
Wonderful advice. Interesting stuff, it's fizzy!
Never thought of squirting some on a rag for wipe-downs. Thank you.
 
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