Humidity and Rust - at work right now.

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W Burton

New User
Bill
When I went into my workshop in my garage - an unheated, uncooled building, it was very muggy this morning. The humidity has to be through the roof. The first cut I made on my table saw did not feel right: the wood was kind of dragging on the table. When I completed the cut, there was some brown gunk on the bottom of the piece. After scratching my head a moment, I realized it was some sawdust, moisture, and rust beginning to form on the table! I use GlideCoat regularly, and try to protect the metal surfaces, but this humidity is something else.

I quickly went over all my cast iron surfaces on the saw, jointer, band saw, etc, with CRC 3-36 and a fine grit abrasive bar (the rubbery blocks that Klingspor sells) and that has stopped the rust.

You might want to take a quick look at your equipment this morning if you are experiencing the high humidity that we have here in Cary, and you have an unheated/uncooled shop space.
 

chris_goris

Chris
Senior User
I feel your pain Bill... thanks fo the reminder , I just ran out and closed the shop door....It has been open since I let the dog out this morning!. I just finished redoing all my equipment last week from getting rusty a couple weeks ago. Dont need to go through that again anytime soon!
 

KenOfCary

Board of Directors, Secretary
Ken
Staff member
Corporate Member
Very good reminder Bill.

Yes, this kind of weather is hard on cast iron. Sawdust left on the surfaces attracts moisture as well. If your shop is not conditioned, you need to be especially diligent these days. Clean up the dust, wax or condition the cast iron with something protective. Your equipment will last much longer.

Hand tools are also not immune. Oil or wax those Saws and Hand Planes. (and clean the sawdust, chips out of them.)
 

eyekode

Salem
Corporate Member
Do NOT open your garage door today!
Super humid, all the tools are cold. Bad news!
I had to open mine for ~1 minute to bring in a new washing machine. Everything is wet :(.
 

Leviblue

New User
Kevin
Do NOT open your garage door today!
Super humid, all the tools are cold. Bad news!
I had to open mine for ~1 minute to bring in a new washing machine. Everything is wet :(.
To late. I had to open the door to the garage this morning. It looked like the tools had been misted with a spray bottle. :eek:
 

DaveT

New User
Dave Tenhoeve
Thanks for the reminder, I noticed that a few minutes ago. My band saw table was covered the rest of my stuff looks ok.
 

nn4jw

Jim
Senior User
OK, you all made me look.

Haven't been in the shop much recently what with the holidays and such. So, I went down to the shop to see if rust was making inroads. So far so good, knock on wood.

Just to be sure though I went ahead and sprayed all the cast iron surfaces with a good coat of CRC 3-36, which I usually do at the end of each day in the shop anyway.

The table saw also has a coat of Renaissance micro-crystalline wax polish, which has worked well, but is more time consuming to maintain opposed to the CRC 3-36, which is spray on - wipe off with a paper towel.

The war against rust never ends though.
 

Charles Lent

Charley
Corporate Member
This is one reason why I leave the heat pump running in the shop, although set at 40 deg when I'm not there. It keeps the humidity low and the cast iron rust free. It also keeps the glue and latex paint from freezing and the Ni Cad batteries happy. I use Johnson's Paste Wax for all machine tops and unpainted surfaces. I never use automotive wax because many contain silicone and it will affect wood finishing if it gets on the wood. Johnson's Paste Wax is much safer. Anything with silicone in it is totally banned from my shop and if I have anything with silicone in it, it stays in the garage at the other end of the house. It's impossible to completely remove silicone once it hits the wood and even tiny drops settling on the wood will cause a finishing disaster that is nearly impossible to correct.

Charley
 

Bob Carreiro

New User
Bob
All my stuff is on wheels, and most, w/the exception of my table and chop saws, are kept along one side of the garage/shop until needed. Two days ago, I did a double take at my jointer - it was as if you sprayed a brown, stickey gunk over it's tops! Yuck! The BS was almost as bad! For some reason, the table & chop saws were not affected. Hmmm! Is it because they get more(?) use, or reside closer to the overhead garage door?

I've been meaning to go to a vinyl sign shop and buy some magnetic sheeting to cover all vulnerable surfaces. Would it work?
 
Will turtle wax work just as well?
I would not use the liquid form of Turtle wax hard shell because the msds says it contains silicone which can effect your finishing of wood that comes in contact with it.... the kind in the paste can does not list silicone but it says additives

I stick with Johnson's paste wax cause the msds of it is clearer about what is really in it just wax 2 different kinds and solvent
 

Charles Lent

Charley
Corporate Member
Bob,

Have you waxed or coated your tools with one of the products described above? Have you allowed outside air into your shop (open garage door) during one of the "high humidity" days that we've recently had? I watch the weather closer than most with a home weather station and have recently seen outside humidity levels of 97% while the inside humidity in my shop got no higher than 42%. If I had opened the door wide and let that outside air into my shop I would likely be dealing with rust too. I use Johnsons Paste Wax on all of my tool tops and run a heat pump set at about 40 deg, when I'm not there, to keep my shop rust free. I also try to keep the outside air out and the inside air in as much as possible by minimizing the use of the big door at any time of the year. My shop is about 8' above and 75 ft away from a lake, so humidity is a major problem anytime here.

Charley
 

Charlie

Charlie
Corporate Member
I agree with Charley. I never open my doors, (summer or winter) except to enter the building or to unload/load items. Then they are open for the shortest time possible. I also maintain the temperature in the shop 24/7 at 65 in the winter and 76 in the summer . Until a few years ago I would cut the heat back to 50 at night. It would take only a few minutes for the heat pump to bring the temp back up to 65 when I needed it. But, all the equipment, walls, floor, cabinets were still at 50. Every time I would open a cabinet I could feel the colder air. For the past several years I have never lowered/raised the heating/cooling temps when leaving the shop. I have always kept track of my electrical usage and there has been very little difference in cost.

Now, if I was in an non-insulated building it would be a different story.
 

Bob Carreiro

New User
Bob
My garage is insullated, but not the garage door. Further, I have no AC in there, besides a small (1500W) electric floor heater that cannot maintain a warm enough working environment when temps approach 50ish degrees.

I have waxed surfaces a few times and it works for a season (and as a bonus, decreases resistance), but I usually find myself in damage controll mode and sand surfaces clean of accumulated rust. I have always resisted maintenance - seems like there's never time - and as a consequence, find myself retreating and once again resolving to maintain my tools and processes more agressively. Then time goes by... and well, here I am. Don't ya just love woodworking!
 

Rick M

Rick
Corporate Member
Was out of my shop for about a week after all that rain, finally went up there and my tablesaw top was covered with a fine haze of orange, first time in over 15 years that's happened. Shot it with PB Blaster and started scrubbing with a 3M pad, wiped it down with mineral spirits, then alcohol, then Johnson's paste wax. Top is so slippery it's like a shuffleboard table, looks better too although I didn't scrub it all the way to shiny.
 

Skymaster

Jack
Senior User
run a dehumidifier 24/7 also if you have some lights you can leave on, they will put some heat into the shop
 

kommon_sense

New User
Tavaris
I run a dehumidifier in my insulated unconditioned garage. Keeps the humidity in a decent range. You'd be amazed how much it pulls out of the air after a rain.

Just curious though, has anyone tried those tool covers/blankets that are supposed to prevent rust? I think that htc sells some.
 

teeball

New User
teeball
Hey guys thinking back on Sat. the 11th. Wasn't that the day we had TORNADO warnings most of the day. I'm here in Clayton and the weather was terrible, lots of wind and horizontal rain. I believe RDU airport had a wind gust of 85 MPH. Check it out. When I walked into the garage the lathe, band saw and the drill press were covered with rust. This has happened 1 or 2 times in the past 3 years. From now on when the weather says high humidity expected the fan will stay on overnight, this helps circulate the air and prevents rusting. And yes I cleaned the tools and coated them with paste wax, looked like new again.
 
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