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Need a Tip: How to Lightly Oil a Lot of Small Screws

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  • Need a Tip: How to Lightly Oil a Lot of Small Screws

    In setting up my shop, I find that I have a lot of screws and other small hardware items that need some cleaning - rust, corrosion, etc. I got a small tumbler from HF and it works quite well with some crushed walnut shells. So I have a big bunch of small screws, nuts, washers, etc. that are now clean if not shinny. I am talking about perhaps 1000 pieces or so in a volume of one cup or less. Yes, I said SMALL. I have used a magnet to separate the SS, plastic, aluminum, and brass ones from the big pile.

    So I want to lightly oil them so they won't rust again. I need a technique that will do a through job without leaving them dripping with oil. Of course, it should be fast too. Anybody have any suggestions?
    Paul A.

    Make it fit.
    You can't win and there is a penalty for trying!

  • #2
    Put them back in the tumbler with some oil in it.


    • #3
      Unless he puts enough oil in the tumbler media to make a mess I would think that not much, if any, will get into the threads.

      How about just putting them into air tight containers? Maybe some nice glass salsa jars?



      • #4
        dip them in oil in a 'tea infuser'(?)

        Let excess oil drip off for a few minutes, then blow them off with an air gun.. while still in the infuser so you don't end up with screws blown clear across the shop.

        Thickness of coating remaining will depend on thickness of oil devided by air pressure..
        Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.


        • #5
          Put them in sealed containers along with a few square inches of well oiled fabric.


          • #6
            I like the tea infuser or a mister spray bottle then vacuum seal them pulling out all the air with something like a seal a meal. These also work great with welding rod.
            "Let me recommend the best medicine in the
            world: a long journey, at a mild season, through a pleasant
            country, in easy stages."
            ~ James Madison


            • #7
              I like Black Moon's idea.

              If the tea infuser is too small for the volume you have, dump them in a can of oil, then pour through a strainer. Let 'em drip overnight, or for a week if it takes that long, then package. Your time spent will be almost nothing.
              Try to make a living, not a killing. -- Utah Phillips
              Don't believe everything you know. -- Bumper sticker
              Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. -- Will Rogers
              There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
              Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
              Don't own anything you have to feed or paint. - Hood River Blackie


              • #8
                Originally posted by SGW
                I like Black Moon's idea.
                I like that too.
                I'd also spray with WD-40 to thin out the oil and get it evened out.

                I recently had some lightly rusty fasteners that WD-40 did a really good job on. It seemed to just wipe off the rust and leave them black.

                My Dad always said, "If you want people to do things for you on the farm, you have to buy a machine they can sit on that does most of the work."


                • #9
                  We use a designated RP oil here at work and cut it 50% with mineral spirits. The bare parts are put into a colander/strainer and dipped or sprayed with the mix then allowed to drain. The residue dries slightly tacky to the touch and the parts are dropped into a polybag. You could simply put the screws into a bag and add a little WD40 then shake to distribute.


                  • #10
                    Find your local shop that does phosphate and oil...My last run of 2000 nuts and bolts cost me a minimum plating charge of $50...Dont remember the weight..but was about 4 boxes of 50lbs as a guess..

                    Also, 200lbs would cost me about 75 dollars to have zinced.. provided the nuts and bolts were not already coated....

                    Now I am a commercial user, so my prices maybe better than some..but dont hurt to ask..


                    • #11
                      I've had pretty good luck with liquid wrench spray lube (in the blue can). I spray my files, nuts, bolts, everything with it. I just open the file drawer or nut and bolt draw and just start spraying.


                      • #12
                        Vapor Phase Inhibitors

                        The little square VPI paper chips dropped into a container or parts drawer works for me. There are some new VPI sprays that also work well.
                        Byron Boucher
                        Burnet, TX


                        • #13
                          Thin oil with lots of paint thinner. Shake hardware and mixture in coffee can. Allow thinner to evaporate. If too oily or dry, adjust mix and repeat.


                          • #14
                            +1 for GKman, works for me!
                            I have tools I don't know how to use!!


                            • #15
                              Canvas bag (maybe from leg of old jeans). Oil the bag and shake the parts in that. Might be able to make smaller bags for different size parts and throw all of them in the tumbler at one time.