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Garage shops and rust??

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  • Garage shops and rust??

    I've been fortunate up til now to have my shop in a nice, climate controlled basement. Unfortunately, that's about to change. I'll be moving soon and the new shop will be in a two car garage. I live in Wisconsin, so I'm already bummed about losing playtime in the winter. Am I right to be worried about all my machines and tooling inevitably being covered in surface rust, or much ado about nothing??

  • #2
    sidegrinder: Buy a dehumidifyer and space heater. Thats my plan...
    Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.

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    • #3
      Insulate shop, buy insulation for garage doors.

      Keep Temp set at 45 F or better. Install ceiling mounted vented unit heater.

      Works for me in Alaska....

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      • #4
        All my equipment is covered with either blankets or towels. Takes a few minutes every time to uncover it all, but I don't mind.

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        • #5
          Keep cars outdoors. Seal up garage. Install insulation and heating. Women don't rust.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Forrest Addy
            Keep cars outdoors. Seal up garage. Install insulation and heating. Women don't rust.
            Women indeed do rust. Just try kicking one outside for more room for machines. She will go and rust every last machine you own.
            Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.

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            • #7
              Garage/barn rust is only a problem in the early Spring. Take near frozen cast iron machines and mix warm moist Southern air flow and it will look like you hosed off your machines. Keep the warm Southern air away from them by keeping the doors closed and you will have no problem. OR, warm the machinery to the outside temperature moist air before leaving the garage door open. In my experiance, dehumidifiers won't work in the cooler climates we are talking about. If your metal is 0 degrees and the relatively warmer southern moist airflow is 30 degrees your gear is going to get soaked. Just like a glass of ice tea in the Summer.
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              • #8
                I have a wood furnace , ceiling fan and furnace blower to keep the air moving in my shop. Dry wood heat is perfect for the spring months that is primarily when I have had issues Oh yeah...the vehicles stay outside! I had a nonvented garage LP heater for back up a few years ago...that was a major mistake. Where are you located in WI?

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                • #9
                  Just make sure you keep everything well lubricated.

                  It becomes an issue when you don't use stuff often enough to keep oil on the handles, etc. By oil I mean the oil from your hands.

                  I didn't use the shop one winter and everything had a nice even coating in the spring....but when I've continued to use the shop it hasn't been an issue.

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                  • #10
                    Don't use propane! I was using propane and couldn't figure out where the moisture on my machines was coming from when I turned off the heater and things started to cool down. Mentioned it to a friend obviously much smarter than I and he told me propane creates moisture when it burns. Changed to oil filled electric heaters and no more moisture.

                    Jack.

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                    • #11
                      If you can keep the garage at a constant temperature, it will help. If you only heat it when you are working, the warmer air will hold a lot of moisture, and then it will condense on your machinery and tooling as the air cools. As Jack says, if you use a propane heater, it will add a LOT of moisture to the air when it is heating, which will all condense out when it cools.

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                      • #12
                        Everyone has run over the list fairly well.

                        A few things have to happen for a machine to rust. There must be water present. There is water in all sorts of things for example your breath, propane and natural gas as well as the atmosphere in general. Humid air will always try to reach equilibrium when presented with dry air. Opening and closing large garage doors will allow humid air to mix with the air in your garage.

                        Next, water will condense onto a cooler surface when the surface is at or below the dew point temperature. For the most part, without getting into specifics of dew point and such, 7؛F difference or more will cause condensation. Again, I am using this as a general guide without a thesis on dew point.

                        So, what to do?
                        Reduce, to the best of your ability, the quantity of moisture that is allowed into your shop. Once you have done that, use methods to remove the moisture or prevent the condensation.

                        In a garage, dont park your car in there unless you plan to leave it in there and never use it. Opening the doors changes the humidity in the shop. Bringing a car in will also bring in the snow or water that is on the car. That water will humidify the air.

                        If you must park a car in the garage, separate your work area with a wall and insulate, seal and separate the zones to the best of your ability. This is what I did in my shop.

                        Concrete will often wick water up out of the ground. The concrete will look wet and may smell musty. To check for this type of issue do the following. Clean a section of floor to the point that you think tape will stick to it decently. Tape down the perimeter of a sheet of clear plastic (plastic wrap from the kitchen, or other clear continuous plastic) to the floor covering a 1 foot square area. Let it sit over time and monitor any moisture that gets trapped between the concrete surface and the plastic. If there is alot of water getting trapped in there, you may have to just work with what you have. Some floor sealers claim to lock the surface tight enough that water wont wick up. While I have never tried to seal concrete, I have yet to see a floor coating do this and not flake up or peel away.

                        With that said, some humid air will get in no matter what. From here you have a few choices.

                        Remove the humidity with a dehumidifier. I have use this method with good results.

                        I have read where some will hang buckets of salt from the rafters and drain the bottom of the bucket off to an outside source. I have not tried this but I have observed that the salt for my water softener and saltwater fish tank will get wet at the bottom if I leave it open to humid air.

                        Prevent condensation by controlling the temperature. Warm the machines up. Those with radiant floor heat normally don't have issues with rust because the machines, unless insulated from the floor, will become warm through contact radiation from the floor heat.

                        There are many individuals that use a small incandescent light to warm the machine up while they are away. Just be aware that one has to make sure that nothing will fall on the bare bulb and cause a fire. I have also hear of folks using gun safe heaters and heat strips to keep the machines warm. Tossing a sheet over the equipment when you have some heat in there will make a tent to hold the warmth in. Again, watch for fire issues.

                        Lastly, dont let the moisture reach the metal surface. I am a fan of LP3 and Kel spray for coating metal items in order to keep the moisture of of them. It is a bit pricey for the products but it also works well. Camphor in your tool box will evaporate and leave a light coating on your tools thus creating a barrier between your tools and the water.

                        There are many options to prevent rust after you make your move. You will have to find the best option for yourself and your shop area.

                        Let us know how you fair with your new goal.

                        Good luck
                        rock~
                        Civil engineers build targets, Mechanical engineers build weapons.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Jack F
                          Don't use propane! I was using propane and couldn't figure out where the moisture on my machines was coming from when I turned off the heater and things started to cool down. Mentioned it to a friend obviously much smarter than I and he told me propane creates moisture when it burns. Changed to oil filled electric heaters and no more moisture.

                          Jack.
                          All carbon-based fuels oxidize ultimately to carbon dioxide and water.

                          MM

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                          • #14
                            Like some have already said, anything you can do to keep a shop temerature contant addresses the rust issue. The next step are barriers to temperature changes like sheets, blankets, moving quilts or rust preventative sprays. These items prevent warm moist air from outside to make direct contact with cold metal that ends up beads of condensed water then rust.

                            I'm fortunate to have an insulated and heated garage. I watch the weather forcasts and when a warm front is approaching I turn up the heat in the garage to warm up my machines before the warm front does it for me.

                            Basicly, as long as your machines are warmer than the outside temperature
                            condensation and rust should not be a problem.
                            Outback
                            So much to learn, so little time

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                            • #15
                              I have used Mobile 1 to prevent rust on machines for years. It leaves a coating and will stay as long as the machine is not used. I just have wipe it down after each use. Some fellas on another corner of the Internet have me talked into Boesheild, which I will order before next spring: https://www.theruststore.com/Boeshie...osol-P3C4.aspx I already had my machines sweat this year, and the worst is probably over. My first quart of Mobile 1 lasted over 10 years.

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