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Long Term tool storage(rustproofing)

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  • Long Term tool storage(rustproofing)

    Well, Im going away again for school, I need to store my lathe, and other tools to prevent rusting. What I have on hand is white lithium grease. If I smother the ways with this stuff and other bare metal surfaces, then put a blanket over them to keep the dust off, will this work well? Or should I just liberaly coat all the bare surfaces with way oil I have on hand and cover it up? Will be stored inside but not heated.

  • #2
    I would way oil is the right stuff for them to have on them and won't require a lot of cleanup to take the machinery out of mothballs. Covering loosely to keep dust off is a good idea.

    White lithium grease is not cosmoline...and cosmoline would only be the right answer for much longer term storage.

    I use some stuff called Boeshield that was invented by Boeing for small tooling that sits a while as well as for my reloading dies that go a while between uses. It goes on thin and leaves a thin waxy film when it dries that wipes right off with mineral spirits, wd40 or any other thin solvent. You can get it at woodworking supply places as it is highly recommended for preventing rust on machine surfaces like table saw tops.

    Paul Carpenter
    Mapleton, IL


    • #3
      Looks like Sears sells that stuff, Thanks!, will go there tonight and pick some up.


      • #4
        Boeshield is good, but if you are going to buy something, get LPS #3. It will provide better protection, and will last much longer than Boeshield.
        Jim H.


        • #5
          Have had good results with Break-Free CLP on firearms and machine

          Last edited by Weston Bye; 08-15-2006, 05:38 PM.
          Weston Bye - Author, The Mechatronist column, Digital Machinist magazine
          ~Practitioner of the Electromechanical Arts~


          • #6
            As I am leaving in a couple of days, has to be a local purchase. I do own CLP for my guns. I would prefer up to 1 year rust protection.


            • #7
              I don't like the sound of putting a blanket on anything unless your climate is very dry.Otherwise this is a sure recipe for attracting dampness from the atmosphere.I heard of using a special cloth though that breathes seems popular here or cover with oil soaked brown paper after liberally greasing whit greas is probably best Alistair
              Please excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease


              • #8
                Bill, I have to agree with JC, LPS#3 is what has given me the best results. There may be as good or better products out there but i haven't found them. We sprayed roller chain that was exposed to liquid nitrogen (28-32%) fertilizer, and it was still flexible after 6 months exposure to the outside elements. I have not used Boeshield, so can't comment there.


                • #9
                  I agree with JCH on the LPS 3.
                  I've never left it on for 'years', but after many months it still seems to leave a oily-waxy coating. And the spray-on application is very handy to use.

                  A few years back I bought a whole trunkful of machinist tools from a retired millwright. They were all wrapped in a heavily cosmoline impregnated paper. I thought I'd never get all that crap off those tools!

                  I don't remember just how many years he said they'd been stored, ...maybe 10 or 15. But that stuff looked like it'd last forever.
                  Lynn (Huntsville, AL)


                  • #10
                    LPS 3, do a few coats.

                    now for a digression - I use LPS 3 on the under water parts of outboard motors to stop fouling by marine organisms- if it work s there then it will last on the lathe.

                    however I vote you take the lathe and use it.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by thistle
                      LPS 3, do a few coats.

                      now for a digression - I use LPS 3 on the under water parts of outboard motors to stop fouling by marine organisms- if it work s there then it will last on the lathe.

                      however I vote you take the lathe and use it.
                      You have no idea how badly I want to be making chips. Its going to be a turbulent next couple of years, I have no idea where I'll end up and settled down. 1 of 5 states I have to put on a list. Up to a 2 year wait after Im done with Miami, I have to go where Im called or I am done. For air traffic control.

                      Sears did not have the Boesheild. Tommorow I am packing, it looks like I may have to settle with tons of way oil. The blanket is to keep saw dust off the lathe. Maybe a local supplier has the other stuff.


                      • #12
                        My suggestion

                        Bill H --

                        USP petrolatum, aka petroleum jelly, is a great corrosion preventive for precision equipment that will be stored indoors in a reasonable environment. It can be wiped on and spread, or cut with a solvent and swabbed on . . . small parts can be dipped.

                        I generally use straight petroleum jelly for large or simple parts, a 50/50 mix by volume of petroleum jelly and mineral spirits (also called paint thinner) for smaller or complex parts. Wrapping in acid-free bond paper, especially if the paper itself is coated with the petroleum jelly, adds mechanical protection and keeps stray dust and grit away from the good stuff.

                        If you need even better protection, wrap the paper-wrapped parts in plastic film and tape . . . or vacuum-pack and heat seal if you've got the gear to do that.

                        There are a couple of A2 ground flat stock bars living in the bottom of a metal tool box in my unheated California garage that I petroleum-jellied and paper-wrapped in 1970. Every five years or so I open the wrapping and check for corrosion, and I haven't found any yet.

                        The petroleum-jelly-and-acid-free-paper is also a fine way to protect exposed portions of machine ways and rams.

                        If necessary, the petroleum jelly can be thickened by melting and mixing in a bit of melted paraffin wax OR thinned by stirring in a bit of USP mineral oil.

                        One caution, though. Today there are several flavors on petroleum jelly available. Your want the pure USP petrolatum, NOT the "creamy" or "baby" stuff with added ingredients such as aloe, water, or fragrance.



                        • #13
                          " ...Maybe a local supplier has the other stuff."

                          I'd think most any local supplier to the machining trade would have the LPS line of products.
                          Lynn (Huntsville, AL)


                          • #14
                            Bill, as Lynn stated, check locally, our Ace Hardware store stocks LPS#3 and its a very small town. Good luck.


                            • #15
                              Diluted linseed oil (inexpensive but can take a bit of ef-it to remove).
                              Prolan or any quality lanolin product, there are plenty.

                              Enjoy your time BillH

                              PS. John I will try that petroleum jelly mix of yours; sounds good! ( and affordable)
                              Last edited by speedy; 08-17-2006, 08:23 AM.