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Thread: Preserving handsaw plates in high humidity South East

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    Liberty, SC
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    559

    Preserving handsaw plates in high humidity South East

    I am having trouble with the high humidity rusting handsaw plates this year. I have tried WD40, CRC products,Paraffin wax, and Autoseal. Still getting rust. Let me know what you do to prevent this problem.
    Thank you,
    Joe
    You never get the answer if you don't ask the question.

    Joe

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
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    Virginia
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    915
    Floor wax. Johnson’s paste wax to be specific.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
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    3,758
    I know most people like to have them in tills, out where they can be seen. I keep mine in closed up boxes, still on racks so each is easy to grab, and have never had any rusting problems.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Dickinson, Texas
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    6,354
    I agree with Nicholas, a can of Johnson's Floor Wax will last for years. I live in Galveston County. Texas and the humidity is high. I had tool rust until I started
    coating my tools with Johnson's wax.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Liberty, SC
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    559
    Thanks fellows,I appreciate your help. I use Johnson's wax on my cast iron saw top. Just never thought about saws.
    Sometimes we think things have single uses. We need to think outside the box. It'shard when you have one track mind.
    Last edited by Joe Tilson; 07-05-2019 at 11:00 PM. Reason: missing word
    You never get the answer if you don't ask the question.

    Joe

  6. #6
    I live in the temperate rain forest of East Tennessee. I have an idea that should work. I will build it for my hand tools when my shop is ready. I have a metal job site box. Mine is the Ridgid brand, WxDxH 48”x24”x 28”. I am going line it with fancy veneer plywood and make custom tills for saws, planes, chisels, and such, like a modernized Duncan Phyfe tool chest. An anti rust feature will be a Golden Rod heater to keep the interior above the dew point. With the rubber seal on the lid, the tools will be warm and toasty inside and more importantly dry.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Wilson View Post
    I live in the temperate rain forest of East Tennessee. I have an idea that should work. I will build it for my hand tools when my shop is ready. I have a metal job site box. Mine is the Ridgid brand, WxDxH 48”x24”x 28”. I am going line it with fancy veneer plywood and make custom tills for saws, planes, chisels, and such, like a modernized Duncan Phyfe tool chest. An anti rust feature will be a Golden Rod heater to keep the interior above the dew point. With the rubber seal on the lid, the tools will be warm and toasty inside and more importantly dry.
    If your rubber seal works, it will keep whatever moisture is present inside your box. A heater inside the box will make the moisture warmer => faster rusting. If the humidity is high when you close the box, it may be worse than leaving your tools out. A golden rod heater in a wooden box with a lightly fitting lid lets the warm moisture escape the box and not behave in the same way.

    I
    Fair winds and following seas,
    Jim Waldron

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by James Waldron View Post
    If your rubber seal works, it will keep whatever moisture is present inside your box. A heater inside the box will make the moisture warmer => faster rusting. If the humidity is high when you close the box, it may be worse than leaving your tools out. A golden rod heater in a wooden box with a lightly fitting lid lets the warm moisture escape the box and not behave in the same way.

    I
    Another option is to put a dessicant inside the box before you close it. That will draw the water out of the air. I do that in some of my storage boxes and it works fine.
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    South Coastal Massachusetts
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    5,288
    I use "Slipit" lubricant for similar problem in my damp (coastal) basement shop.

    I still have a problem with rust at the toothline where the plywood till slots hold the saws.

    If you make an upright till, either hardwood or HDPE for the slots would be my recommendation.

    A wooden box with dessication is an excellent idea, if the interior is raw (unfinished).

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by James Waldron View Post
    If your rubber seal works, it will keep whatever moisture is present inside your box. A heater inside the box will make the moisture warmer => faster rusting. If the humidity is high when you close the box, it may be worse than leaving your tools out. A golden rod heater in a wooden box with a lightly fitting lid lets the warm moisture escape the box and not behave in the same way.

    I
    Jim! You proposed a physics problem to a physicist! On a hand tool woodworking forum! You are about half right. It is true that the corrosion reaction goes faster at higher temperature but the governing relationship is the thickness of the adsorbed layer of water on the surface of the metal. The Fe+O2 reaction requires some free ions which are provided by the solution of O2 in the adsorbed layer and the normal ionization of water that occurs naturally. The adsorbed layer thickness increases with relative humidity not mass concentration of water vapor. The more water on the surface the faster the reaction goes. The relative humidity effect dominates the temperature dependence. The reaction is also affected by contaminants on the surface that would also make free ions available, so salt from handling tools or wood dust could make the reaction go faster too. With pure air and water vapor and a clean iron surface, rust begins at about 50% relative humidity, for steel it takes 80% RH. So lets say the relative humidity in my shop is 55%. My iron tools are vulnerable. If my heater raises the box temp sufficiently to reduce the relative humidity to 45% I have prevented the rust from forming. In this example the mass concentration of water vapor remains the same inside the box as outside.

    Your suggestion of the sealed or semi-sealed heated container and the effect on water and reaction rates inside the heated container raises lots of interesting other questions about the effect of a temperature gradient on mass diffusion. You could do some super theoretical work if you explored the idea thoroughly. You can look up the Soret effect or thermodiffusion or thermophoresis to get going. Let me know if you have any questions.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Liberty, SC
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    Thomas,
    You must work at Eastman or Oak Ridge. At least that is how your writing speaks. Thanks for the input.
    I do have a closed cabinet for hand planes, and it works very well in preventing rust. It was made from one of those Indonesian mahogany kitchen tables. I did use raw plywood on the inside. Been two years now with no problems.
    Tom King said we like to use open tills for our saws, and that's what I have. They are made of raw plywood as well. I am thinking of closing them off as well, if for no other reason, to keep dust off of them.
    I put desiccant in one closed cabinet, but within two days it was full of water.
    I have used a terry cloth beach towel to cover my contractors saw. Along with Johnson's paste does very well.
    Would a towel lining help with the problem?

    Joe
    You never get the answer if you don't ask the question.

    Joe

  12. #12
    Thomas,
    Thanks for posting that, very interesting! I'm currently building a shop in Hawaii and it will be open air. I'm thinking about various ways of attacking the rust problem since just looking at something makes it rust here

    Keeping anything out in the open is pretty much out of the question for me so I'm looking at building a tool chest and dropping in a small Eva-Dry dehumidifier https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Does anyone have any experience with these?

    I was also thinking about adding a rubber gasket to the lid and am wondering about doing that vs just having a lid with dust seal ala Anarchist Tool Chest.

    Jonathan

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Plainsboro, NJ
    Posts
    6
    Hi Jonathan,

    I'd be curious to hear how your experience goes in Hawaii. I'm moving to Honolulu shortly and am weighing the pros/cons of trying to leave my work space open vs. closing things up and adding trying to control the humidity. I'm currently in NJ where humidity and rust have been sometimes an issue, but I'm not sure about a fully open air shop.

    I've had good luck with desiccant in sealed tubs, but they certainly aren't easy to work from. Something like a wall cabinet or tool chest with a dust seal has also been on my mind.

    -Seth

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