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Thread: Rusty Toolbox Drawers - coating?

  1. #1
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    Default Rusty Toolbox Drawers - coating?

    Yet another question for the fount of all knowledge.

    I have some 40+ YO mechanics toolboxes that got stored for 10+ years in a damp environment - so they've rusted:

    SKTB.jpg

    KTB.jpg

    Other than the rust in the drawers they are in good shape - even the slides are good after a clean & lube. I've scraped them & will do some sanding, but what should I coat them with? There's the obvious Rustoleum, but I'm not sure how it'll stand up with tools getting tossed in. I'll put felt on the bottom - though the old felt probably contributed to the rusting. In a normal environment (aka semi-controlled) the felt worked fine.

    No - new toolboxes are not being considered. Have you priced decent ones lately? The SK bottom & top rollaround combo & Kennedy bench chest would easily go for 5K new.

    Any brilliant ideas in bilge-land?
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

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    Default Re: Rusty Toolbox Drawers - coating?

    What about paste wax? Easy to apply. Invisible. Stays put. Won't hurt the tools. Easy to re-do when necessary.


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    Default Re: Rusty Toolbox Drawers - coating?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Mahan View Post
    What about paste wax? Easy to apply. Invisible. Stays put. Won't hurt the tools. Easy to re-do when necessary.
    That's an idea. Just got done doing the tables for my drill press, band saw & table saw - so I've got plenty. The felt wouldn;t stick, but I could do something more rigid I guess.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

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    Default Re: Rusty Toolbox Drawers - coating?

    I used Rustoleum on the inside of my wheelbarrow when I restored it years ago. The paint is holding up very well.
    Sand it, prime and paint it. It ain't a cathedral.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.
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    Default Re: Rusty Toolbox Drawers - coating?

    Paint it, wax it, whatever. Then buy foam toolbox drawer liner and some closed-cell contrast foam - about 1/2” thick. Cut the foam to fit the tools and it will keep the drawer organized, and you’ll know what is missing.
    "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails."
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    Default Re: Rusty Toolbox Drawers - coating?

    The UK has Hammerite paint with a Direct to rust version.
    Stop the tools damaging the paint by lining the drawers with vinyl flooring or door skin plywood. It will look as though you care.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Rusty Toolbox Drawers - coating?

    I'd start with a wire brush. Then Ospho. Then a spot of sanding. Then rattlecan to match the red. Then a smear of lanolin. Or spritz of renewable rattlecan goop: Boeshield T9, CRC Moisture Inhibitor, even WD 40 is better than nothing. Don't forget the silica gel beasties or packets will help a lot if the moisture exposure isn't copious.
    David G
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Rusty Toolbox Drawers - coating?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Jones View Post
    I used Rustoleum on the inside of my wheelbarrow when I restored it years ago. The paint is holding up very well.
    Sand it, prime and paint it. It ain't a cathedral.
    To some mechanics their toolbox is! Having it last in a wheelbarrow is good info on how rugged it is - though I'm sure you never haul more than a bit of mulch in it - right?

    Quote Originally Posted by Canoez View Post
    Paint it, wax it, whatever. Then buy foam toolbox drawer liner and some closed-cell contrast foam - about 1/2” thick. Cut the foam to fit the tools and it will keep the drawer organized, and you’ll know what is missing.
    Way too many tools to have them only one layer. Besides, that'd make me have to think when I put them back. I do my best to avoid thinking (as you know).

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    The UK has Hammerite paint with a Direct to rust version.
    Stop the tools damaging the paint by lining the drawers with vinyl flooring or door skin plywood. It will look as though you care.
    The Hammerite sounds interesting. I've used their finish before - but not the direct-to-rust one. The felt (glued down) acts much the same way as the vinyl. Luan or the like would dent up pretty quickly I'd think.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

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    Default Re: Rusty Toolbox Drawers - coating?

    Quote Originally Posted by David G View Post
    I'd start with a wire brush. Then Ospho. Then a spot of sanding. Then rattlecan to match the red. Then a smear of lanolin. Or spritz of renewable rattlecan goop: Boeshield T9, CRC Moisture Inhibitor, even WD 40 is better than nothing. Don't forget the silica gel beasties or packets will help a lot if the moisture exposure isn't copious.
    The toolboxes will no longer be in a poorly ventilated shipping container - so moisture shouldn't be an issue.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

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    Default Re: Rusty Toolbox Drawers - coating?

    I like the above recommendations, one thing I might recommend is the commercially-available non-adhesive shelf liner (available at Amazon and other places ) Have you considered possibly soda blasting the rust to give the steel a 'tooth' for the paint to adhere to ?


    Rick
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    Default Re: Rusty Toolbox Drawers - coating?

    Quote Originally Posted by Garret View Post
    The toolboxes will no longer be in a poorly ventilated shipping container - so moisture shouldn't be an issue.
    There is only one place on earth with no humidity in the air, and Vermont ain't it. Once rust has a grip, it is unstoppable.
    So do what you can to remove as much of it as possible, paint and protect the paint.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Rusty Toolbox Drawers - coating?

    How about soaking the felt with Boeshield or similar, over paint? Im in the tropics, and youve never seen rust tull you live where its always warm and humid, with salty air...
    Brian

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    Default Re: Rusty Toolbox Drawers - coating?

    Hmmmm-
    How about the same coating that they line pickup truck beds with?

    I've seen do-it-yourself kits available at the big box stores.
    Even a fish wouldn’t get in trouble if it kept it's mouth shut.

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    Default Re: Rusty Toolbox Drawers - coating?

    Quote Originally Posted by Garret View Post
    To some mechanics their toolbox is! Having it last in a wheelbarrow is good info on how rugged it is - though I'm sure you never haul more than a bit of mulch in it - right?



    Way too many tools to have them only one layer. Besides, that'd make me have to think when I put them back. I do my best to avoid thinking (as you know).



    The Hammerite sounds interesting. I've used their finish before - but not the direct-to-rust one. The felt (glued down) acts much the same way as the vinyl. Luan or the like would dent up pretty quickly I'd think.
    Actually, the wheelbarrow takes a beating every winter. I use it to transport two full cords of firewood from the woodshed to the house. And, no, I don't take it all in one load!
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.
    Skiing is the next best thing to having wings.

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    Default Re: Rusty Toolbox Drawers - coating?

    Quote Originally Posted by Garret View Post
    Way too many tools to have them only one layer. Besides, that'd make me have to think when I put them back. I do my best to avoid thinking (as you know).
    If that's the case, a roll of the foam liner for the bottom of the drawer still works.

    Define the "more than one layer" thing - how do you usually do this - organized or dump 'em in?

    If you're making more than one layer, can you put in a removable layer to keep the tools from bashing about?
    "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails."
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    Default Re: Rusty Toolbox Drawers - coating?

    I wiped my chest down with a penetrating oil and then later hit it with a coat of paste wax.

    Can’t remember what I did for the tool box though.
    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    Yeadon is right, of course.

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    Default Re: Rusty Toolbox Drawers - coating?

    I have a couple steel boat trailers from the early 1970s which looked pretty bad until about 15 years ago when I wire-brushed the worst spots and painted them with Rustoleum (brushed out of the can). They're outside all year long and still look pretty good with just an occasional touch-up.

    trailer-a-001a.jpg

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    Default Re: Rusty Toolbox Drawers - coating?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oysterhouse View Post
    Hmmmm-
    How about the same coating that they line pickup truck beds with?

    I've seen do-it-yourself kits available at the big box stores.

    I am with you, Oysterhouse: Truck bed liner.

    Or, Liquid rubber: Flex Seal.

    Kevin
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    Default Re: Rusty Toolbox Drawers - coating?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oysterhouse View Post
    Hmmmm-
    How about the same coating that they line pickup truck beds with?

    I've seen do-it-yourself kits available at the big box stores.
    Quote Originally Posted by Breakaway View Post
    I am with you, Oysterhouse: Truck bed liner.

    Or, Liquid rubber: Flex Seal.

    Kevin
    Sure... but not until you stop the rust that's already started there. Ospho.
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    Default Re: Rusty Toolbox Drawers - coating?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Jones View Post
    I used Rustoleum on the inside of my wheelbarrow when I restored it years ago. The paint is holding up very well.
    Sand it, prime and paint it. It ain't a cathedral.
    Wheelbarrow restore was an epic thread!!!
    Skip

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    Default Re: Rusty Toolbox Drawers - coating?

    I slip a sheet of VCI oil treated paper under the bottom drawer in all my toolboxes and try to renew it annually.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vola...sion_inhibitor
    I source it from Caterpillar

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    Default Re: Rusty Toolbox Drawers - coating?

    ^ Jake, how would that VCI paper react in a wooden / particle board drawer assembly ??



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    Default Re: Rusty Toolbox Drawers - coating?

    There is a pretty good study on rustoleum rust converter, followed by paint. A little dated and no follow up I can find.

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    Default Re: Rusty Toolbox Drawers - coating?

    Quote Originally Posted by hawkeye54 View Post
    ^ Jake, how would that VCI paper react in a wooden / particle board drawer assembly ??



    Rick
    I use it in my Gerstner boxes and my steel tool cabinets. I never apply it on the box itself but saturated on a piece of heavy paper and slipped under a drawer. No problem, I think it is an atmosphere less conducive to corrosion. My understanding is it forms a barrier on anything it can condense on, like metal. I have never observed it actually doing this but my tools stay pretty good. I used to purchase it in 5 gallon pails for tractor gear cases/ fuel and hydraulic tanks etc.
    It is mineral oil based so compatible with fuels, hydraulic oil, and the rest of it.
    In my larger boxes I place a shop rag in an open tunafish can and saturate that and place them on shelves or maybe in the drawers. So far so good.

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    Default Re: Rusty Toolbox Drawers - coating?

    This the inside of a ~1960 gas tank out of a ChrisCraft.
    Sand_table.jpg
    I cut it open, wire wheeled it and gave it a good coat of Rustoleum, that was maybe 15 years ago.

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    Default Re: Rusty Toolbox Drawers - coating?

    Maybe the rust is nature's way of telling you you need a heated workshop.

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    Default Re: Rusty Toolbox Drawers - coating?


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    Default Re: Rusty Toolbox Drawers - coating?

    I'm also in the "way too many tools for one layer" camp.
    Quote Originally Posted by Canoez View Post
    If that's the case, a roll of the foam liner for the bottom of the drawer still works.

    Define the "more than one layer" thing - how do you usually do this - organized or dump 'em in?

    If you're making more than one layer, can you put in a removable layer to keep the tools from bashing about?
    Sometimes the layers are just simple stacking. In my "pliers and adjustables" drawer the little vicegrips lay atop the large vicegrips, same for the crescents, and the channel-locks and the needlenose.
    Sometimes arranged by (or a product of) frequency of use. My hammers drawer has the deadblow and the stubby-ballpeen up front. You'll need to dig through various sledges to find the tack hammer.

    I do have foam liners, but the only bashing-about would be from the drawers opening or closing. The box rarely needs its wheels.
    "Visionary" is he who in every egg sees a carbonara.

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    Default Re: Rusty Toolbox Drawers - coating?

    Brush off the loose rust, slap a coat of rust converter of your choice Rustoleum, Vactan, Por 15 take your pick they're all the same and a paint it. My current paint choice is Rustoleum, Por 15 is better, but a bit more fussy on application, gave up o n Hammerite years ago. This coming from years of messing about with old rusty cars land rovers etc (nothing rusts quite as well as a oil tight land rover).

    Defender 110 (14).jpg

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    Default Re: Rusty Toolbox Drawers - coating?

    Quote Originally Posted by Canoez View Post
    If that's the case, a roll of the foam liner for the bottom of the drawer still works.

    Define the "more than one layer" thing - how do you usually do this - organized or dump 'em in?

    If you're making more than one layer, can you put in a removable layer to keep the tools from bashing about?
    It's a combination. Some drawers are neatly organized (or at least get organized once or twice a year). The others have large collections of oddball tools - special wrenches, etc. Then you have ungainly objects like pullers & such. So - a mishmash.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yeadon View Post
    I wiped my chest down with a penetrating oil and then later hit it with a coat of paste wax.

    Can’t remember what I did for the tool box though.
    So - you're recommending Vicks Vapo-rub?

    Quote Originally Posted by Breakaway View Post
    I am with you, Oysterhouse: Truck bed liner.

    Or, Liquid rubber: Flex Seal.

    Kevin
    An idea for sure. Even more than paint, I'd need to coat with Extend or another rust converter first.

    Quote Originally Posted by David G View Post
    Sure... but not until you stop the rust that's already started there. Ospho.
    Quote Originally Posted by Canoeyawl View Post
    I use it in my Gerstner boxes and my steel tool cabinets. I never apply it on the box itself but saturated on a piece of heavy paper and slipped under a drawer. No problem, I think it is an atmosphere less conducive to corrosion. My understanding is it forms a barrier on anything it can condense on, like metal. I have never observed it actually doing this but my tools stay pretty good. I used to purchase it in 5 gallon pails for tractor gear cases/ fuel and hydraulic tanks etc.
    It is mineral oil based so compatible with fuels, hydraulic oil, and the rest of it.
    In my larger boxes I place a shop rag in an open tunafish can and saturate that and place them on shelves or maybe in the drawers. So far so good.
    Good idea. I'll think on that.

    Quote Originally Posted by David W Pratt View Post
    Maybe the rust is nature's way of telling you you need a heated workshop.
    I have one now - didn't then.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

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    Default Re: Rusty Toolbox Drawers - coating?

    Quote Originally Posted by David W Pratt View Post
    Maybe the rust is nature's way of telling you you need a heated workshop.
    But if you don't heat it 24 hours a day, well, you're asking for trouble, because warm air holds more moisture.

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Rusty Toolbox Drawers - coating?

    Quote Originally Posted by ShorelineJohn View Post
    This the inside of a ~1960 gas tank out of a ChrisCraft.

    I cut it open, wire wheeled it and gave it a good coat of Rustoleum, that was maybe 15 years ago.
    Your CC runs on dirt? Why that'd make it dirt cheap to operate! I take it the tank is no longer a gas tank?
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

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    Default Re: Rusty Toolbox Drawers - coating?

    Quote Originally Posted by Canoeyawl View Post
    But if you don't heat it 24 hours a day, well, you're asking for trouble, because warm air holds more moisture.
    True. Rinnai heater. I keep it at 38 until I use the shop. It's not that big, so it comes up to temp (low 60's) in 10-15 min.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

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    Default Re: Rusty Toolbox Drawers - coating?

    Cutting tools into foam is tedious. The best examples I've witnessed are done with a dremel tool set up like a router. Messy though, have a good vacuum systemTravelToolBox.jpg.

    This is two layer foam, you can see the red lower layer through a couple of the open end wrenches.

    My toolboxes at home look a lot like yours. I'll need to redo them someday myself.

    TravelToolBox.jpg
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    Default Re: Rusty Toolbox Drawers - coating?

    Quote Originally Posted by Garret View Post
    Your CC runs on dirt? Why that'd make it dirt cheap to operate! I take it the tank is no longer a gas tank?
    That dirt is actually green sand for my foundry, silica sand, bentonite clay and water. Any rattle can finish that can take 15 years of heat cycles (some times like really really hot) and sits under wet sand for the rest of the time and holds up well is worth mentioning.

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