Tool maintenance


Schuyler Larrabee
 

Hi all,

 

In the course of building Steam Era Freight Car Models (got that over with) I have used a variety of metal tools, many of them steel.  One of them is a treasured (inherited from my grandfather) Brown & Sharpe 4” adjustable square, along the lines of what some would call a carpenter’s square.  It’s been on my desk for a week or so without being used (which is unusual – I’ve been away) and the other night I picked it up and turned it over to find that the underside of the rule was rusty.  Aaaagh!

 

And I just picked up my sprue nippers (good ones, Utica Swiss) and they too are rusty at the snipping end.

 

Now I was able to clean up the square with 2000-grit sandpaper but the nippers are more complicated to do (and sharp, by the way!), but I can probably get them cleaned up.  They still cut just fine . . . so far . . . but I’m concerned that if this keeps up they’ll lose some of that edge.

 

What’s the best way to protect these tools from rust?

 

I will begin keeping them in a box with desiccant, but that’s cumbersome and likely to be forgotten in the late evenings when I give in to the need for sleep.

 

Better methods?

 

Schuyler

 


Dick Harley
 

Schuyler Larrabee asks, "What’s the best way to protect these tools from rust?"

WD-40. "Drives out moisture."
Wipe/spray a wet layer and allow to evaporate.


HTH,
Dick Harley
Laguna Beach, CA


Schuyler Larrabee
 

Thanks Dick.

I was thinking about this after I posted the
question below, Dick, and remembered (finally)
that I attended an artifact preservation clinic at
Seashore Trolley Museum, given by a man from the
Smithsonian Institution. He recommended WD-40
too, but then, wiping the object down, letting it
dry a while and then applying Butcher's Wax as a
protective coat.

I have applied WD-40 to a number of my tools,
including, unfortunately, one of the items in
question. Apparently good but not sufficient?

Any thoughts from the rest of you on this?

Schuyler

Schuyler Larrabee asks, "What's the best way to
protect these tools from rust?"

WD-40. "Drives out moisture."
Wipe/spray a wet layer and allow to evaporate.


HTH,
Dick Harley
Laguna Beach, CA




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Pierre Oliver
 

I've never been a fan of WD-40, it's lubricating properties fade away quickly.
A wipe with light oil will do the trick, or wax.
the worst offender on your steel tools is your finger oils. And here's a trick from my gunsmithing days, get a really high polish on the steel and keep wiping it after every time you touch it.

Pierre Oliver
www.elgincarshops.com
www.yarmouthmodelworks.com
On 10/08/17 6:44 PM, 'Schuyler Larrabee' schuyler.larrabee@... [STMFC] wrote:

�

Thanks Dick.

I was thinking about this after I posted the
question below, Dick, and remembered (finally)
that I attended an artifact preservation clinic at
Seashore Trolley Museum, given by a man from the
Smithsonian Institution. He recommended WD-40
too, but then, wiping the object down, letting it
dry a while and then applying Butcher's Wax as a
protective coat.

I have applied WD-40 to a number of my tools,
including, unfortunately, one of the items in
question. Apparently good but not sufficient?

Any thoughts from the rest of you on this?

Schuyler

Schuyler Larrabee asks, "What's the best way to
protect these tools from rust?"

WD-40. "Drives out moisture."
Wipe/spray a wet layer and allow to evaporate.

HTH,
Dick Harley
Laguna Beach, CA

------------------------------------

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------------------------------------

Yahoo Groups Links

https://info.yahoo.com/legal/us/yahoo/utos/terms/



SUVCWORR@...
 

use gun oil with Teflon    lubricates, drives out moisture removes oil from fingers and adds protective coating

Rich Orr


-----Original Message-----
From: Dick Harley dick.harley4up@... [STMFC]
To: STMFC
Sent: Sun, Oct 8, 2017 6:28 pm
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Tool maintenance


Schuyler Larrabee asks, "What’s the best way to protect these tools from rust?"

WD-40. "Drives out moisture."
Wipe/spray a wet layer and allow to evaporate.


HTH,
Dick Harley
Laguna Beach, CA




------------------------------------

------------------------------------


------------------------------------

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Garth Groff <sarahsan@...>
 

Schuyler,

I keep rust off my arrow points by wiping them regularly with a very light coating of  Weiman’s furniture oil applied on a paper towel.

Yours Aye,


Garth Groff


On Oct 8, 2017, at 5:04 PM, 'Schuyler Larrabee' schuyler.larrabee@... [STMFC] <STMFC@...> wrote:


Hi all,

 

In the course of building Steam Era Freight Car Models (got that over with) I have used a variety of metal tools, many of them steel.  One of them is a treasured (inherited from my grandfather) Brown & Sharpe 4” adjustable square, along the lines of what some would call a carpenter’s square.  It’s been on my desk for a week or so without being used (which is unusual – I’ve been away) and the other night I picked it up and turned it over to find that the underside of the rule was rusty.  Aaaagh!

 

And I just picked up my sprue nippers (good ones, Utica Swiss) and they too are rusty at the snipping end.

 

Now I was able to clean up the square with 2000-grit sandpaper but the nippers are more complicated to do (and sharp, by the way!), but I can probably get them cleaned up.  They still cut just fine . . . so far . . . but I’m concerned that if this keeps up they’ll lose some of that edge.

 

What’s the best way to protect these tools from rust?

 

I will begin keeping them in a box with desiccant, but that’s cumbersome and likely to be forgotten in the late evenings when I give in to the need for sleep.

 

Better methods?

 

Schuyler

 




Michael Mang
 

Rich,

Do you have recommended brand? I use CLP for some applications, but I don't believe it has Teflon.

Michael Mang


On Sun, Oct 8, 2017 at 7:12 PM SUVCWORR@... [STMFC] <STMFC@...> wrote:
 

use gun oil with Teflon    lubricates, drives out moisture removes oil from fingers and adds protective coating

Rich Orr




-----Original Message-----
From: Dick Harley dick.harley4up@... [STMFC] <STMFC@...>
To: STMFC <STMFC@...>
Sent: Sun, Oct 8, 2017 6:28 pm
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Tool maintenance


Schuyler Larrabee asks, "What’s the best way to protect these tools from rust?"

WD-40. "Drives out moisture."
Wipe/spray a wet layer and allow to evaporate.


HTH,
Dick Harley
Laguna Beach, CA




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------------------------------------


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Jack Mullen
 

Schuller,
I feel your pain. My other active hobby is woodworking, so I fight the rust war on two fronts. Over the years, under various conditions such as  seasonally damp basements and unheated garage/shops.

Others have suggested various protective coatings, but the first line of defense is controlling humidity, where possible. I've seen 45% mentioned as a magic number, but any reduction from high humidity will help. Keeping temperature as stable as possible is important too.  Putting tools away is a big help, generally the microclimate in a tool box or drawer is better than the surrounding environment. No, I'm not good at doing that either, except with micrometers, calipers, etc.

 It sounds like you haven't had problems in the past, so maybe your normal environment is pretty good. Did anything unusual, except disuse, happen over the week?  Were the rusted surfaces in contact with the desktop, something else on it, or exposed to the air?

For the second line of defense, I've used light machine oil like 3-in-1, or 10W-40 or other penetrating oil, or paste wax. I lean toward wax mostly because in my mind it's less of a nuisance if it rubs off on my fingers and the workpiece. Irrational bias, maybe. Our dog hates the smell of 10W-40, and will notice it on my hands for a couple days after I apply it, no matter how much I wash,  and for hours after I've used a tool treated with it. 

Any of these will wear off with handling and need to be reapplied periodically, depending on usage.I think doing that is probably more important than which material you use. 

Jack Mullen
 


Schuyler Larrabee
 

Thanks for the reply, Jack,



I was thinking about “why now?” IT’s not like I’ve never seen ANY rusting on tools, but most of those have been in the basement, which I think of as dry, but evidence in the form of rust on my carpentry tools suggests otherwise.


I model in a back porch, or that’s what it looks like, but I think it was built this way. It’s always been enclosed, but has windows on three sides, as well as the door to the back yard. Humidity hasn’t been a major issue, but perhaps the sequence of hurricane left-overs we’ve been served here in New England these last couple of months have made things worse. My place isn’t air-conditioned, but this summer’s also been fairly cool, so I haven’t run the window units as much as normally required here. Consequence: higher than usual humidity in the house.



Most summers the AC is required to sleep well at night, so the house has been dryer than this summer.



Having recalled the advice of the Smithsonian guy, I think I am inclined to go with the Butcher’s Wax, after cleaning with WD-40. And then keep them (to the extent I can make myself do it – dubious) in a box with desiccant. Yeah, right.



The gun oil with Teflon does sound interesting though.



Just checked. Right now, humidity in the house is ~78%. I think >I< am rusting!



Schuyler



From: STMFC@yahoogroups.com [mailto:STMFC@yahoogroups.com]
Sent: Sunday, October 08, 2017 10:32 PM
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: Tool maintenance





Schuyler,

I feel your pain. My other active hobby is woodworking, so I fight the rust war on two fronts. Over the years, under various conditions such as seasonally damp basements and unheated garage/shops.



Others have suggested various protective coatings, but the first line of defense is controlling humidity, where possible. I've seen 45% mentioned as a magic number, but any reduction from high humidity will help. Keeping temperature as stable as possible is important too. Putting tools away is a big help, generally the microclimate in a tool box or drawer is better than the surrounding environment. No, I'm not good at doing that either, except with micrometers, calipers, etc.



It sounds like you haven't had problems in the past, so maybe your normal environment is pretty good. Did anything unusual, except disuse, happen over the week? Were the rusted surfaces in contact with t he desktop, something else on it, or exposed to the air?



For the second line of defense, I've used light machine oil like 3-in-1, or 10W-40 or other penetrating oil, or paste wax. I lean toward wax mostly because in my mind it's less of a nuisance if it rubs off on my fingers and the workpiece. Irrational bias, maybe. Our dog hates the smell of 10W-40, and will notice it on my hands for a couple days after I apply it, no matter how much I wash, and for hours after I've used a tool treated with it.



Any of these will wear off with handling and need to be reapplied periodically, depending on usage.I think doing that is probably more important than which material you use.





Jack Mullen


SUVCWORR@...
 

I use Remington Rem Oil.  It comes in small bottles, spray and wipes.  

Rich Orr


-----Original Message-----
From: Michael Mang mnmang@... [STMFC] <STMFC@...>
To: STMFC
Sent: Sun, Oct 8, 2017 9:42 pm
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: Tool maintenance



Rich,

Do you have recommended brand? I use CLP for some applications, but I don't believe it has Teflon.

Michael Mang

On Sun, Oct 8, 2017 at 7:12 PM SUVCWORR@... [STMFC] <STMFC@...> wrote:
 

use gun oil with Teflon    lubricates, drives out moisture removes oil from fingers and adds protective coating

Rich Orr




-----Original Message-----
From: Dick Harley dick.harley4up@... [STMFC] <STMFC@...>
To: STMFC <STMFC@...>
Sent: Sun, Oct 8, 2017 6:28 pm
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Tool maintenance


Schuyler Larrabee asks, "What’s the best way to protect these tools from rust?"

WD-40. "Drives out moisture."
Wipe/spray a wet layer and allow to evaporate.


HTH,
Dick Harley
Laguna Beach, CA




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------------------------------------


------------------------------------

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<*> To change settings via email:
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proto48er
 

Schuyler - I have been happy for many years with Starrett M-1 lubricant for prevention of rust on calipers, parallels, rules, and other tooling.   In addition to being a lubricant, it also has a component that inhibits rust.  The lubricant portion is comprised of hydrotreated light petroleum distillates which evaporate shortly after application.  An almost undetectable residual rust-inhibiting film is left on the surface.  Years ago, this film may have included whale oil!!  I have also used it on drill presses, milling machine and pantograph tables, lathe beds, bending brake tooling, shears and any other machined surface subject to rusting in my unheated garage. It is a very light oil suitable for use on precision instruments, and is not a lubricant for bearings, etc.  It can usually be obtained at a local machinery dealer - very expensive to order directly from Starrett because you have to purchase a lot of it!

A.T. Kott


frograbbit602
 

Schuyler I have used WD-40 to remove the rust as I have found it to work as well as products specifically for designed for this task.  Once rust is removed I apply Sandaro Top Cote which is a tool surface sealant that repels dirt and moisture and stops rust.  I purchase it at my Rockler wood working store.
Lester Breuer



Jim Betz
 

Schuyler,

  You've gotten some good recommendations for prevention - various
light oils all work well.  Put a small amount of some in a soft cloth
(I use cotton) and wipe it across the surface of the tool - if you can
see any look of "wetness" it was enough ... you do not need enough
that the tool feels oily and transfers oil to your fingers when you
handle it (wipe off the excess!).

                                                  ****

  But ... I didn't see any one ask this question ...

  If I understand correctly you had some tools that - in just a couple of
weeks got rusty.  And that these are tools that you've been using for a
long time and regularly and that they don't get rusty.

  ===> You should be asking your self "what was different for that
            two weeks?".

  Two weeks is not a lot of time and normal moisture should not
normally attack a tool in that amount of time.  Is it possible that
you had some sort of corrosive in the air (and near your workbench)
- such as an open bottle of paint thinner, or any other 'acid' (not an
actual acid as much as anything that might have accelerated the
rust rate).  Some of the products that are in that category would
be ACC, vinegar, any paint thinner, etc.  Products that I would not
expect to cause a tool to corrode would be acrylic paints (nor
most thinner based paints but just due to the amount of thinner
in them), white glue (or KK), etc.  One product that I don't know
which category it would fall into would be styrene glues such as
Tenax, etc.  Although 'just' water in a container would create
a certain amount of humidity ... I wouldn't expect that to cause
a problem (and I often have a plastic cup of water on my bench
that dries out due to time and temperature.  Similarly - I would
not be quick to point the finger at ACC ... simply because it is
so highly volatile that I can't imagine it affecting any tools on
the bench even if it was right next to the tools.

  Was there something that when you got back to your bench
that had dried out?
                             - Jim B.


Schuyler Larrabee
 

Jim, Excellent question! And you’ve hit on the fact that these tools have been around on my desk for years without this issue, at least, not to this degree. And yes, I had left the top off a bottle of Testor’s liquid cement for styrene. As you are, I am not sure if that is a categorical acidic vapor or not.



One thing that was odd: The square’s blade was corroded on the underside (when it sits on the tabletop the blade is so short as to be parallel to the table) but not the top side. I’m wondering if the vapors might sink and be closer to the table than up (a little) higher.



That doesn’t quite extend to the nippers, though, as they were a little farther away.



I think the “hurricane leftovers” are a big part of this. Cool damp weather . . .



I was annoyed with myself enough for leaving that top off without this as a side effect!



Schuyler



From: STMFC@yahoogroups.com [mailto:STMFC@yahoogroups.com]
Sent: Monday, October 09, 2017 2:43 PM
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Tool maintenance





Schuyler,

You've gotten some good recommendations for prevention - various
light oils all work well. Put a small amount of some in a soft cloth
(I use cotton) and wipe it across the surface of the tool - if you can
see any look of "wetness" it was enough ... you do not need enough
that the tool feels oily and transfers oil to your fingers when you
handle it (wipe off the excess!).

****

But ... I didn't see any one ask this question ...

If I understand correctly you had some tools that - in just a couple of
weeks got rusty. And that these are tools that you've been using for a
long time and regularly and that they don't get rusty.

===> You should be asking your self "what was different for that
two weeks?".

Two weeks is not a lot of time and normal moisture should not
normally attack a tool in that amount of time. Is it possible that
you had some sort of corrosive in the air (and near your workbench)
- such as an open bottle of paint thinner, or any other 'acid' (not an
actual acid as much as anything that might have accelerated the
rust rate). Some of the products that are in that category would
be ACC, vinegar, any paint thinner, etc. Products that I would not
expect to cause a tool to corrode would be acrylic paints (nor
most thinner based paints but just due to the amount of thinner
in them), white glue (or KK), etc. One product that I don't know
which category it would fall into would be styrene glues such as
Tenax, etc. Although 'just' water in a container would create
a certain amount of humidity ... I wouldn't expect that to cause
a problem (and I often have a plastic cup of water on my bench
that dries out due to time and temperature. Similarly - I would
not be quick to point the finger at ACC ... simply because it is
so highly volatile that I can't imagine it affecting any tools on
the bench even if it was right next to the tools.

Was there something that when you got back to your bench
that had dried out?
- Jim B.





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