View Full Version : Tool Surface Rust

Tom Hoffman
03-26-2007, 06:35 PM
:eek: I am sure that this topic has been discussed to death, but until now it was not relevant too me.

I went out into the shop after several weeks of absence and found TS and Jointer surfaces covered with surface rust. This is the first time that it has happened to me. I have always kept them sanded smooth and waxed liberally with carnuba, evidently some time in the past few weeks, the humidity got out of hand in the shop/garage and now I have a mess.

I have sanded all the rust off, now they are back to clean, but not polished like they have been in the past. I still have several levels of grit to go through to get the shine back on them.

What if anything can I put on them that will work better than wax?

I thought Carnuba was suppose to be the best, hardest natural wax going. May be there might be something better.

Advice would be greatly appreciated.


Bob Smalser
03-26-2007, 06:38 PM


Tom Hoffman
03-26-2007, 07:31 PM
My jointer table looked just about like that. Minus the standing water. I followed your link and read with interest the tutorial.

Thank you for the help.


Nicholas Carey
03-26-2007, 07:39 PM
Try Boeshield T-9 (http://www.boeshield.com/)

Boeing developed it for corrosion prevention on airframe parts.

Good stuff. According to the web page, it "meets BSS7220 and FED-STD-791, Method 4001 (Max. 3 dots 1mm per 10 square inches after 100 hours salt spray)."

Dave Fleming
03-26-2007, 07:52 PM
Ass...uming my Old Geezer tone of voice.:D

In the past on a new piece of machinery it would be liberally dusted with plain Talc, excess brushed off and then waxed to beat the band.

It worked but as the apprentice every Friday it was my job to change bandsoar blades, oil or grease machinery and re-wax the working surfaces of the soars both blade and band, jointers, planers and shapers.

Trewax was the favourite wax compound used.

I have read with interest and even posted a link here about the electrolysis method of de-rusting tools.

I have NO personal experience with it but, it sounds interesting.

Any of you folk tried it?

03-27-2007, 04:29 AM
I have had great success with Lanolin grease on my hand tools. It has the added benefit of being great for your hands :) just ask any shearer.

Lanolin is the natural grease that sheeps wool is impregnated with and has been found to be an excellent rust inhibitor.

Here's what wikipedia has to say on the subject (interesting observation on Stainless steel in there).




03-27-2007, 07:27 AM
Just an aside.....Why would you want your machine surfaces to shine?

03-27-2007, 11:35 AM
These days my woodworking machines may sit for weeks or even months without use or attention and I came up with a solution to the surface rust problem. After cleaning and polishing with an orbital sander (I use an air powered DA sander w/320 grit) I sprayed them with clear lacquer and then waxed them. So far so good. There was some reluctance to doing this as I would change the characteristics of the polished iron surface, but I haven’t noticed any issues yet and they did stop rusting.
Of course if I didn’t like it, a little lacquer thinner and a rag would make short work of it.

In The Common Sense of Yacht Design there is a little treatise on how to care for your fowling piece that as recommended should always be kept on board. LF suggested disassembling everything then coating all with thinned shellac and then oil the parts as normal (oil won’t dissolve shellac) I tried this, using French polish on my “fowling piece” and my hand tools as well and found that it works as advertised. A major rust preventative with no ill effects to the tools and the shotgun works perfectly, every time. (It’s an automatic) Of course shellac can be readily removed with Alcohol when it is time for a thorough cleaning.

Tom Hoffman
03-27-2007, 03:54 PM
I don't try to get the surfaces "Shiney" just very very sooth. I like to keep them clean and looking good just for my own state of mind. The rest of my shop is not so ordered, it is nice to have one or two things that look nice.

I did order the BOSHIELD from Rockler, (had a gift card). Heard about it on WoodMagazine Forum. Seems to be just the stuff I need, can't wait for it to arrive.

Thank you all for your kind advice.


Stephen Kessler
03-28-2007, 11:40 AM
Several years ago I had occasion to de-rust the hook on an old block using the electrolytic method referred to by Dave. The rust came right off in relatively short order and after removing the hook from the solution I wire-brushed the sludge off and dried the piece and then applied a coating of boiled linseed oil to it. The hook has remained rust-free these past several years without any further attention.

Dave Fleming
03-28-2007, 12:03 PM
Good to see your post Steve. Have a safe trip home.

From one Old Geezer to another.:D

03-28-2007, 01:26 PM
I have de-rusted many old planes using electrolysis and can say that it works very well. It leaves a nice, non-shiny but rust-free patina on the cast iron. I know that others have concerns about possible pitting of the surface resulting from the process (Bob Smalser?? ) but I never had a problem with it. I've also read about people having problems with Jappaning coming off of their planes durig the process, but again that hasn't happened to my stuff. Still, I wonder about painted surfaces....

One thing to remember about this process - you should coat the de-rusted surface with something IMMEDIATELY after taking out of the bath and dying it off. Under the right conditions (i.e. falling temperatures and humidity) rust will form on cast iron faster than you can say "rust never sleeps" - I know this from personal experience with a Stanley #6 plane that I have to put through the process again after letting it sit de-rusted and unprotected on my workbench for an hour while I ate supper.

Jay Greer
03-31-2007, 11:52 PM
I used to worry and rant over my rusting tools and equipment until I discovered Japanese Black Camellia Oil. This is the same low acid oil,only sperm whale oil is purer, that has been used to protect
Samurai Swords for the past two thousand years. My tools have been rust free for the past thirty years since I started wiping them down with this oil.

Bob (oh, THAT Bob)
04-06-2007, 09:06 PM
I used to use light oils on some "paper punching equipment" until I noticed the rag was slightly brown during one wipedown after storage for an extended period. I think many oils are hydroscopic and absorb moisture from the air. Many wipedown rags are impregregnated with "silicone", so I made my own rag but used silicone brake grease, not the thin silicone oil. Once the rag is impregnated, it wipes on in a thin film, not overly goopy. I don't think the silicone is hydroscopic, and it has performed better than the old rust-preventative oils, though I have not tested it under severe conditions. It is also a fairly "clean" grease, almost transparent, and doesn't affect finished wood. I think silicone is fairly inert so it may also be acidicly neutral, I don't know. I don't know how it stacks up to the other products mentioned. I would love a sprayable product that works for years of storage as there are lots of small internal areas where it is impossible to wipe down with the silicone rag.

04-06-2007, 09:24 PM
Well...... I use Boeshield about once every 3-4 years..... If I need a quick slick fix, I just wipe on a thin coat of paste wax. Only machine that could use more protection is the lathe, which doesn't get too much use, and often has sap splattering it.... But it does just fine after a quick rub down.....

Richard Smith
04-07-2007, 02:35 AM
Has anyone tried Nyoil II? http://easyweb.abtnet.com/inetisscripts/abtinetis.exe/ecproductlist@public?tn=1059_oil2.tem or other products from the Nye Company? Seems the Nye Company was "the last American whale-oil company." http://easyweb.abtnet.com/inetisscripts/abtinetis.exe/ecproductlist@public?tn=1059_historical.tem

I've only used it to make pinewood derby cars go fast. They claim, "Offers superior rust protection. In fact, in the grueling Humidity Cabinet Test, after 100 hours, polished and sandblasted metal panels lubricated with NyOil II showed absolutely no signs of rust."

04-07-2007, 03:56 AM
Just use the tools 18 hours per day, 7 days per week and problem solved. Only wimps stop to eat and sleep.:):):):)

I should hasten to add that I do NOT practice this advice.


04-07-2007, 06:47 PM
Has anyone used this stuff?

Good?, Bad? waste of money?

Thanks, Barry

Tom M.
04-07-2007, 07:22 PM
Has anyone used this stuff?

Good?, Bad? waste of money?

Thanks, Barry

Its good. One application on my cast iron tops one year ago. Minimal use. Stored in a damp basement. No rust, and still very slippery. I used "top saver".

Ed Weldon
04-08-2007, 12:49 AM
Silicone causes fisheyes in some types of paint. I wouldn't let it near any of my woodworking tools. I live in a fairly dry California climate. I use Varathane plastic oil on all my cast iron woodworking tool tables with fairly good results. Apply same method as I would to a wood surface. I'm not saying that would work under humid summer conditions though. Keep in mind that accumulations of dust on tool surfaces are an invitation to moisture and rusting conditions. Might not be a bad idea to build lightweight plywood covers for your woodworking tool tables when facing prolonged periods of inactivity. Cast iron is inherently porous. Different from steel. I think a high quality bluing job is great for steel tools. I don't think that's a wise approach for cast iron in the absence of specific favorable experience. Ed Weldon, Los Gatos, CA

Bob Cleek
04-09-2007, 01:47 PM
Ed makes a good point. I went crazy once trying to figure out why a varnish job on my bench was developing fisheyes. Finally traced the problem to my liberal use of WD-40 in the shop. Airborne particles landed on the dry varnish. At least, being a bit more careful about the WD-40 cured the problem. Same goes for wax, which can ruin an epoxy joint. And so on...