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Thread: Plane storage

  1. #1
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    Plane storage

    I'll admit that I'm mostly a power tool guy, but I do own a half dozen planes, quite a few chisels and various other hand tools. My shop is a very well insulated pole barn and I really don't have any high or even moderate humidity levels. I don't have any rust problems except for my planes. My one larger plane is wrapped in a small towel. The smaller ones I keep in old, thick socks. The planes and chisels are in the same wooden drawer in my T.S. outfeed cabinet. When I see pictures of woodworkers with a lot of planes they're always sitting on angled shelves out in the open. Am I making a mistake by keeping them covered up?

  2. #2
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    In my experience planes do better without being covered in cloth. A coating of light oil might help inside of a cloth wrap.

    When I moved up from California to Washington the planes that were wrapped in paper or cloth were the only ones that rusted.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  3. #3
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    Lose the wraps. Set them in the drawer with a small dowel under the heel or the toe so the sole isnít flat against the drawer bottom. Oil as per Jim above. You want air circulation

  4. #4
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    Also, any shelf you do sit a plane down on...make sure the wood plays nice with Cast Iron....Tannin acid woods do not play well....

    Shelves in my Tils are all Pine...
    Workshop Tour, Plane Til.JPG
    Doors are Ash..but the planes don't rest ON the doors, nor touch them...
    A Planer? I'm the Planer, and this is what I use

  5. #5
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    Dew point is the critical measure for rust in the shop. When cast iron gets cold, and the dew point get higher, the moisture condenses on the cast iron. Or in your case, the moisture condenses on your towels and then they hold that moisture against the cast iron.

  6. #6
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    I keep mine in airtight, waterproof toolboxes with desiccant cannisters, in cubbies. A year or so ago I needed to use a no.8. It had probably been ten years since I needed that no.8. It was in pristine condition when I used it, and when it went back in its box.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  7. #7
    I keep mine in my garage, which has crazy fluctuations of temperature and humidity. Rust is a real problem for all of my tools.

    Contact with anything that absorbs water is probably a bad idea. Especially something porous, like a fabric that can act as a moisture wick to draw water out of the air and onto your tools. You want to restrict airflow, but not seal off airflow. That way at night, the hotter, more humid air from the day inside the container can push itself out and the cooler, now dryer air of the garage (having already deposited some condensation) can creep back in to replace the more humid air from the day before. The semi-sealed environment transitions more slowly than the garage itself. Also, don't leave these open and exposed to the environment except when you need to access what's inside, so you don't introduce any more humidity than you need to. And always clean off any dust before storing your tools and coat them in oil to create a moisture barrier.

    I also keep all of my metal tools from contact with my metal cabinets, using stuff like wood organizers or paper bags. Metal will cool quicker than say wood, so it's more likely to develop dew in the mornings than something with a higher specific heat capacity like wood or paper. And wood and paper can absorb standing water and help to wick it away from surfaces. I use a lot of uncoated pine for my organizers because pine is low in tannic acid and acid promotes rust. Plus it's cheap, easy to find, easy to work, and does its job well. Oak, in my opinion, would be a poor choice because it's very high in tannic acid.

    Recently I've been using WD-40 Specialist Corrosion Inhibitor spray and really like it. Though any oil will do. It's expensive and can hard to find, but applications seem to last a really, really long time so long as you don't wear or wipe it off.

  8. #8
    My shop is not climate controlled and humidity does get in. As others have said the socks you are using cause a problem. On the planes themselves I have been using Renaissance Wax which gives me the best results to avoid rust. I have used other waxes like Johnson's but Renaissance seems to be best. It is not 100% effective however.

  9. #9
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    [QUOTE=Tom M King;3271107]I keep mine in airtight, waterproof toolboxes with desiccant cannisters/QUOTE]

    I can't say how well they work yet but Woodcraft is having a sale on their 400g desiccant bag , $5 normally $10.

    WoodRiver - Rechargeable Desiccant Bag (woodcraft.com)
    Hobbyist woodworker
    Maryland

  10. #10
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    I bought my desiccant cannisters on ebay a long time ago. They're metal containers with holes in the top, and a color indicator for when you need to dry them in an oven. I've never needed to dry one out. I started that toolbox system in 2012, so it was probably then or soon after when I bought those cannisters.

  11. #11
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    VCI paper is the thing to wrap them in.

  12. #12
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    John, with only a few planes to store, it should be fairly easy.

    If stowing in closed containers works for you, that may be your best choice.

    Otherwise you might choose to keep them on a few open shelves.

    Plane Wall.jpg

    In my part of the Pacific North West once or twice a year we get a situation where the dew point is above the ambient temps. My tendency is to keep an eye on the weather and wipe down my planes if needed.

    This hasn't happened in a couple of years now.

    My other tendency is to wipe my planes well with a cloth saturated in a furniture oil product that contains a mixture of oils and waxes.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kent A Bathurst View Post
    Lose the wraps. Set them in the drawer with a small dowel under the heel or the toe so the sole isn’t flat against the drawer bottom. Oil as per Jim above. You want air circulation
    A dowel or some other prop works. I use the drawer-liner material that has a mesh texture to allow air-flow and keep my planes either in a drawer or cabinet.

    I agree with not using a sock or cloth wrap.

  14. #14
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    Thank you all for your replies. I think Tom's solution is the best but I'm guessing he has higher and more fluctuating humidity levels than I do. It makes sense to me now about cloth wraping being a problem by absorbing moisture. On all the cast iron surfaces of my power tools I use a quick coating of Johnson's Paste wax now and then and never had any rust. Still have about a third left in my 35 year old can. Since I happen to have some old pine boards laying around I think first I will try making a shelf for the planes and then give them a light coat of wax. Being on a shelf I'll be able to keep an eye on them too.

  15. #15
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    plane rack.jpg
    I guess I'm lucky. I live in a dry climate. My four planes live in this plane till in my garage shop. The soles rest on a plywood base (back) between cherry side rails, all with tung oil finish. I leave them sharp and ready to use, and after use (between resharpenings) I get them ready to go back on the till. I brush off any dust around the mouth. If there are chips, the blade comes out and gets a wipe on the camellia oil cloth in the Altoids box before resetting the blade and breaker. Then I wipe the sole and sides on the camellia oil and set the plane back on the till. After the oil cloth, I finish with a light wipe with a clean towel to remove ay excess oil. Never had any rust winter, spring, summer, or fall.

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