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My wrenches are losing their fizz

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  • My wrenches are losing their fizz

    in the unheated barn.

    Heating's in the eventual plan, but in the meantime,
    what's the best anti- corrosion paper?
    (he asks, sticking anti- corrosion paper into Amazon)

    I'd spray things, but I work out there in the winter, and that's messy.

    t
    wanted to surf the wave of wrench AND pop threads. Extreme! Information SuperHighWay!
    rusting in Seattle

  • #2
    I'm along the Columbia in SW Washington. Similar rusting conditions. First thing I did was to insulate the shop. That stops the temperature swings. Still don't have real heat. I do have some low wattage silicon heater pads(10-25W) that keep the lathe and mill slightly warmer than the air. On the mill the pad is clamped in the vise, then the table is covered with an old car cover. On the lathe the pad is clamped to the crosslide and again covered with an old car cover. Keep the door closed in warm weather to keep warmer air off the cooler tools. I had to put pads in series to reduce the power.
    Mike

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    • #3
      Something I learned for unheated areas is to keep the metal stuff you care about away from uninsulated outside walls and floors. There's a tendency for those to be cooler and cause a higher humidity level and thus rust.

      If it really is a bar with a dirt floor then there's not much you can do about humidity short of a heated tool cabinet. But if there is a rough concrete floor then consider coating it since a rough pour is quite porous. You'll never get a handle on the humidity issue if it can rise up through the floor easily. A fairly classic way to tell is to toss down a mat of something that does not breath and see if you get a wet floor and wet mat after a day or two.
      Chilliwack BC, Canada

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      • #4
        I've had good results putting a camphor block in several drawers of each tool cabinet when my shop building had no heat or AC. Not perfect, but a very good result. No sprays, no sticky or slippery tools, and fairly long lasting. The small blocks are good for top boxes while the larger one ounce blocks are good, two in a roll around spaced several drawers apart seemed to work well for me. Cheaper than VPI papers, and no unwrapping / rewrapping hassles. Lining drawers with VPI may work OK too, always worth trying a couple things to see what is best for your particular situation.

        As others have mentioned, if you can reduce the temperature extremes and rapid swings it will help. Putting your roll arounds and tool boxes on something like a stall mat (milking parlor mats in some parts of the country) will help with moisture from below.

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        • #5
          ↑ What they said ↑

          VCI paper likely won't help much if/when the humidity gets over 50%. I've had good luck with camphor, but ultimately the solution is controlling humidity and temperature swings.
          Location: Northern WI

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          • #6
            I have a garden sprayer with a mixture of kerosene with vaseline dissolved in it. I give my machine tools a quick spray after using them to help protect them. It means that the beginning of every work session involves cleaning off the gunk, but it was a choice: clean off gunk or clean off rust. I chose gunk. For smaller tools I keep them in a refrigerator with desiccant packages. I have a small toaster oven in the shop to reactive the desiccant when the little humidity gauge says it's getting above 30% RH.

            Welcome to Gunk Shop

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            • #7
              CRC 3-36. Inexpensive in gallons and I fill up pint spray bottles. It doesn't leave a thick film. It seems to dry in a couple of weeks but leaves protection that lasts a while.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by polaraligned View Post
                CRC 3-36. Inexpensive in gallons and I fill up pint spray bottles. It doesn't leave a thick film. It seems to dry in a couple of weeks but leaves protection that lasts a while.
                Thanks for the advice. I just picked up a gal and will give shot. Any spray bottle recommends? I have noticed some work better with thicker fluids then others. JR

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                • #9
                  Insulation, even in an unheated shop slows the changes in temperature which cause the condensation.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by old mart View Post
                    Insulation, even in an unheated shop slows the changes in temperature which cause the condensation.
                    Excellent point! Strongly seconded.
                    Chilliwack BC, Canada

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                    • #11
                      Buy good wrenches- I have +40 year old Snap-Ons, Matco, and Macs that have spent the last 25 years in unheated spaces. No rust.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by JRouche View Post

                        Thanks for the advice. I just picked up a gal and will give shot. Any spray bottle recommends? I have noticed some work better with thicker fluids then others. JR
                        The CRC 3-36 is not thick. Pretty much any spray bottle will work. I have ones that I had picked up on Amazon.

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