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View Full Version : General Metalworking How to store files (metal)



Robert Hartmann
05-24-2016, 3:54 PM
I recently purchased a number of Nicholson needle files in various cuts and need some advice on how to store them. I'm using them in my hand drill restoration past time. My current wood shop is in the basement (actually cellar) of the 100 yr old Dutch house I'm renting, so the humidity is high. I have a Schwarz-inspired tool chest with a couple Eva Dry rechargeable dehumidifiers in it that have kept my tools rust free, but they all get wiped down with jojoba oil.

From my understanding I can't wipe down the files with oil and I can't leave them exposed. I've also seen conflicting info on putting metal in tool rolls. Some say they absorb moisture and are therefore bad for long-term storage. I could bring them upstairs, but prefer to keep them with the rest of my tools.

I use them sporadically, so they don't get constant use. I realize this is a lot of details for some needle files. They aren't cheap though and this is a good learning experience.

Malcolm McLeod
05-24-2016, 4:16 PM
I have good luck simply by keeping tools above the dew-point of the air. It doesn't have to be much - - just 2-3 degrees is all that's needed. If your shop is not conditioned, then near existing heat source ...water heater, boiler, transformer? Small warming oven on a timer? Or maybe just place a small utility light inside your tool chest?

Robert Hartmann
05-24-2016, 5:19 PM
I have good luck simply by keeping tools above the dew-point of the air. It doesn't have to be much - - just 2-3 degrees is all that's needed.

Unfortunately this is not a great option in this case. The humidity stays a pretty consistent 64-72% yr-round. The temp stays 62-68 deg. I have 2 Eva-dry 333 descant rechargeable filters in the chest. They work, but need recharged every three weeks or so depending on how often/long I have the tool chest open. All round not the greatest place for a wood shop, but all I have for now...until I PCS again.

Malcolm McLeod
05-24-2016, 5:33 PM
...humidity stays a pretty consistent 64-72% yr-round. The temp stays 62-68 deg...
My problems occur when I had a cold spell closely followed by (relatively) warm humid conditions. My tools were still cold-soaked when the warm air hits them. This creates condensation, and they would rust like a bear! Shop is now insulated so it never sees the cold-soak temperatures.

Given your temperatures and %RH ranges, the dew-point calculation varies between 52*F ->59*F. If you keep the files (or other tools) at 62*F->64*F or above they should never create any condensation. ...Hope it helps.

Robert Hartmann
05-24-2016, 6:11 PM
Given your temperatures and %RH ranges, the dew-point calculation varies between 52*F ->59*F. If you keep the files (or other tools) at 62*F->64*F or above they should never create any condensation. ...Hope it helps.

Thanks for the info. I understand what you meant by 2-3% above now, it just took a minute to sink in. Wouldn't I still have to worry about the high humidity anyway even if there isn't condensation? Moisture in the air is still bad for bare metal.

Maybe I'm wrong, but what I need is a way to store the files in something air-tight that doesn't create condensation. As in something not exposed to the moisture in the air. Condensation shouldn't be an issue since the temps are consistent.

Looking back I should have paid the 200 euro for a dehumidifier when I first moved here. With a little over a year left it's not really feasible since I can't take it back to the states (European 220 vs US 110).

Kevin Beitz
08-20-2018, 12:22 AM
Do like the welders. They keep the welding rods in an old fridge with the light on...

John K Jordan
08-20-2018, 2:13 AM
Do like the welders. They keep the welding rods in an old fridge with the light on...

I keep an inexpensive gun safe "dehumidifier" in my gun safe. It's nothing but a gentle resistance heating rod placed in the bottom of the cabinet. One of these in the old fridge or any somewhat closed cabinet should be enough to prevent condensation. Mine has been in an unconditioned garage for years and has not allowed the tiniest spec of rust.

This is not the one I have but is similar: https://www.amazon.com/Goldenrod-725771-GunSaver-Dehumidifier-18-Inch/dp/B00D1WYY9C

JKJ

Bill Dufour
12-07-2018, 11:17 PM
You could buy two of those goldenrod heater and run them in series on 240 volts. really a string of incandescent christmas lights would be cheaper to buy. But thy need some shielding so they do not break. An aquarium heater or a hot rock for lizards on a thermostat might be good as well. Many of the army surplus cases are almost airtight and will keep the desicant dry longer if closed up tight each night.
Bil lD.

http://armysurpluswarehouse.com/military-aluminum-pressurized-case-night-vision-goggles-storage-case/

Bill Dufour
01-17-2019, 1:09 AM
Short files buy a army surplus ammunition box. They are airtight. throw in some desiccant and change it out when needed.
Bill D