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Thread: How useful are Zerust liners

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    NE Iowa
    Posts
    428

    How useful are Zerust liners

    I'm interested in anyone's experience with Zerust drawer liners or capsules, or even anti-rust paper for reducing spot rusting on tools. I've just built a new chest of drawers for under my bench, and was thinking I might install something of the sort.

    Do they work?

    How tight an enclosure is required for them to be effective?

    How long do they last?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    southeast Michigan
    Posts
    231
    I've had their liner material (I buy the rolls) in 3 of my old metal toolboxes in my workshop and haven't had any rust problems. It will be 2 years in March that they were installed. My workshop is an insulated pole barn heated only when in use during the winter with an overhead propane unit. There is no A/C and I only open a couple of small doors during the summer but not if the humidity outside is high. I have at times had some very minor surface rust on exposed metal but never anything in those tool boxes.

    The manufacturer states that the liners last 1 year indoors and 5 years in a hermetically sealed spaces. Many reviewers of the product seem to change theirs every 2 years. I believe that products like this are conservatively rated by the manufacturer so they can sell more product. And their rating is likely based on worst case conditions. i.e. high RH for long periods. Personally I will probably not change mine out until, or unless, I see the first bit of rust on any of the tools in those drawers.

  3. #3
    We use the tablets in boxes of parts at work. They are inexpensive insurance that the machined parts do not rust while in inventory. While they are enclosed in a cardboard box, the boxes are not sealed, so I'd say they'd work fine in a toolbox. Just make sure to use the right number of tablets for the cubic inches of space in the drawer. I use the tablets in my hand plane drawer and never have any trouble. To me the tablets are easier, when they are almost disintegrated, I just throw some new ones in the drawer.

  4. #4
    Before I put together my retirement 12x18 shop, my shop was my open air terrace. In South Florida that's heaven for rust just because of the humidity. I got the Zerust for my Griz table saws and it kept the rust away. However, I always coated the top with T9 or CorosionX, put pieces of cardboard that came inside the shipping carton on top of the table, then covered it with the Zerust liner. Yes, there were some spots, but the entire top was not covered in rust. Now, even with AC, I still follow the same procedure. By itself it may not be 100% rust proof, but coupled with other things it works very well.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    East Virginia
    Posts
    547
    You might be surprised how well your tools hold up in your cabinet (assuming the chest of drawers is made of wood).

    I inherited a chest of wooden drawers from my (woodworker) father, and the tools in it hold up to rust FAR better than my tools in my (metal) chest of drawers.

    My theory is that the wood acts as a dessicant of sorts...not sure why it works, but it works in my shop – which is in a barn, near the coast, where we have a LOT of humidity, and where my TS top will rust in a matter of days if I don't coat it with oil when I'm done with it. (I use drain oil + kerosene for this, and wipe off the table before using the saw.)

    As for the corrosion-inhibiting paper, in my experience it works ... for a while. And it's expensive.
    Last edited by Jacob Reverb; 01-23-2019 at 7:53 AM.

  6. #6
    Lowes used to sell, (and probably still does ,) a drawer liner material that was rust inhibiting. It's located near the tool boxes. Front end parts for cars came wrapped in RI paper for many years. Don't see it much anymore as warehouses are now mostly air conditioned.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    NE Iowa
    Posts
    428
    Interesting hypothesis. My new drawers are indeed wood, so it'll be interesting to see if I have a similar experience.

    Wood is certainly hygroscopic enough to impact rust formation. In certain humidity conditions, not brushing my cast iron machined surfaces clear of sawdust will result in a surface "flash rust" that exact matches the sawdust pattern I left, as the sawdust wicks up enough atmospheric moisture to create localized corrosion.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    NE Iowa
    Posts
    428
    Thanks all for the responses. I appreciate the insights.

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