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Avoiding rust on tools How?


#1

A light copper plate on steel tools like mandrels and pliers prevents
rust. How? Well, you know when you pick up some work in the pickle with
steel tongs (by mistake, of course! heh heh) and the work gets a light
copper plate? Well harness this! Mix up a special plating solution of
copper sulphate and old 10% pickle, and dip steel tools momentarily into
this, and rinse. Makes a light copper plating. Heavier if you leave it in
a few seconds longer. This plating is super thin, so it wears off easily
where the tool is used often, but resists rust in the other less
accessible areas.

Yes, I was skeptical too, till I tried it. I was first of all waorried
about dipping my tools into anything like sulphuric acid, as I know it
eats steel. However, I’ve done this years ago and the tools stay rust free
where the plating remains. The well-worn areas can still get rusty, but
really only if they’re not in use. So dip them again before holidays, etc.

It was a tip I got from US jeweller (I think) Mike Collins, at SNAG’94 in
Portland. I’ll check his name sometime. Anyway he was Eleanor Moty’s
partner. They each did a short 2 hour bench-tips workshop.

Brian
B r i a n � A d a m J e w e l l e r y E y e w e a r �
@Brian_Adam1 ph/fx +64 9 817 6816 NEW ZEALAND
http://www.adam.co.nz
http://www.adam.co.nz/crit2.htm Recent Work
http://www.adam.co.nz/ruthbaird/ across the bench from me


#2

Hi
Some people are oxydizing there tools only by touching them. Their steel
tools are cover by a kind of rust in a very short time. We say that it is
causing by an acid skin. Is it true? Does anybody could give me answers
about this. Thanks Vincent Guy Audette


#3

What a great idea. I tried it. It only takes a few seconds and the
copper plate wears off just where the tools are used!!
Richard Whitehouse
UK

Email: @Richard_Whitehouse1


#4

Some people are oxydizing there tools only by touching them. We say that
it is causing by an acid skin. Is it true?

G’day Guy: We have an advert here in NZ which states “Rust never sleeps”,
which is quite true. However, it is also true that people do have acid
skins, as all the exudates - sweat, etc, contain salt and other minerals
and also body oils which are indeed fatty acids - a whole swag of them.
How to stop tools rusting? 1. Use them frequently. 2. keep your
workplace dry and free from acid fumes (which accelerate oxidation of
steel.) 3. I have a fairly dry, fairly acid free workshop and use all
my tools often and they still go rusty. When they start to look
unpleasant to me, I have a good clean-up. My fine, well-used (not always
used well, I am afraid) - and expensive - jewellery tools, like pliers,
snips, forceps, setting tools and so on, I bring to a high polish on my
buff, using a little Tripoli. A polished steel surface does not rust so
quickly. My fine punches, setting tool, collett punches - all home-made
for the most part - are always bright and shiny because I keep them in a
stand in a large plastic jar which has a fairly airtight lid and contains
those little bits of rust inhibitor paper found around new scalpel blades.
Those woodworking tools not so often used (I tend to use power tools when
I can as I’m a bit lazy) I spray with WD40, wipe off any excess and hang
near the ceiling where dry, warmer air tends to hang around.
WD40 works well; I last used my gold pan ten years ago, cleaned
it well, sprayed with WD40 and hung it on a nail in the garage. It still
isn’t rusty - unlike my joints, (though I have stainless cobalt-chrome
alloy knees) and somewhat mushy brain! Polishing the latter with Orchid
probably helps a bit. Cheers,

    @John_Burgess2    In sunny, but real cool man, winter.

#5

WD40 is a good water displacer but do not count on it to protect
metal for long periods of time. The dryer the air the longer tools
won’t rust, however if you live where humidity runs high it will
catch you off guard one day.


#6

Dear John, I do use my tools frequently … I hadn’t thought about them
being so close to my pickle and fumes tho… Now I know how they get that
way quicker… thanks// I too end up polishing them on my machine… then
they look great again for a while… I also keep my punches in a drawer
with plastic on top of them and that keeps them fairly good… Till again I
have to polish sthem… Also I shall get some of those liitle packets that
mfg. send with their products… My husband get lots of them as they are
put in when they ship to over the seas on the bright blue waters… Ha!
anay way the wd40 also sounds like a good idea to start the rust off… It
is usually because on one ever dries their tweezers while they are
working… they just keep working and then have half a dozen wet tools and
just put them again in their place wet and etc…I didn’t think it was
sloppy till you mentioned it… OH well…I just wanted to straighten up
the bench… (wet and all)… thanks anyway for the discussion… calgang PS
we are having nothing but RAIN… and it is JUNE when we are supposed to
have warmish… weather… the whole world is on a crazy pattern of
weather… and then more Nukes are into the heavens… …


#7

Hi Guy,

   when I was an apprentice, our jeweller's workshop was next door

to the watch and clock makers. One of the clockmaking apprentices told me
that one of the selection criteria was that he mustn’t have sweaty hands.
I don’t know how the watch and clockmakers determined this, but they were
adamant, maintaining that sweaty hands caused rusting in the fine
movements of the watches and clocks. It may not be so important now that
there are so many electronic movements.

My hands used to sweat a little when I was younger, and I simply painted
the steel handles of my pliers, and dipped the handles of my needle files
with white rust-proof paint. It gave my bench a very clinical atmosphere.
I don’t seem to have the same problem these days. Perhaps I don’t work as
hard as I used to.

Regards, Rex from Oz


#8

G’day ‘Calgang’; By “those little packets” I presume you mean little bags
or containers of silica gel put in to absorb moisture? Well, yes they
work to help avoid rusting, but there is a trap there for ‘the young
player’ as they say. It must be born in mind that there is a limit to how
much moisture they can absorb, and when they are saturated, that’s it.
If you are going to use the aforesaid little packets, you must refresh
them at frequent intervals by ‘nuking’ them in the microwave oven or
ordinary oven, but the microwave works easiest here. Silica gel is a
whiteish material of granular constituency, and how do you know when it
needs restoring? F’rinstance, if you sent me a package from America, long
before it arrived in NZ the silica gel in it would probably be saturated
unless the package was truly airtight and the gel plentiful. But there
is an answer; you can buy silica gel which contains an indicator, and is a
pleasant blue colour when dry and pink when damp. It costs very little
more than the non-indicator gel and in fact is quite cheap and can be
regenerated countless times in an oven. I have a wide-mouthed jar of it
into which I put small items for drying - like when someone leaves a watch
on in the shower(!!) In case you are curious, the indicator is cobalt
chloride; the crystals of which are deep blue when dry and pink when damp.
And here endeth the lesson. Cheers,
@John_Burgess2


#9

anay way the wd40 also sounds like a good idea to start the rust off…

Now, an aside from my mechanic days … There may be better products than
WD40 for rust prevention… Available in most places here in the US is a
series of products made by LPS Laboratories. LPS #2 lays a film of
petroleum-based lubricant on metal that mildly polymerizes, leaving a rust
preventative coating superior to WD40, which is basicly a non-polymerizing
vegetable oil. (LPS#3 leaves a heavy coat, which is great for lubrciating
motorcycle chains!) Machinists use these products to coat machined parts
to prevent rust, etc.

BTW- They have a new product, LPS Tapmatic Natural cutting fluid,
which is a clean, non-staining, biodegradable cutting oil intended
for drilling and machining lubrication. One of it’s main
ingredients seems to be oxidized lard oil, which is a pretty
traditional but very old-fashioned lubricant for hand machining. I
find that LPS Natural cutting fluid mixed with little pumice or
rottenstone is an excellent polishing paste. It even smells
good, but not overpoweringly strong, as oil of cloves or wintergreen does.
It washes off hands easily, and doesn’t leave a residual odor. Marrin
Fleet @Marrin_and_Mary_Dell Memphis, Tennessee, USA (About halfway between the
Gulf of Mexico
and Canada, on the Mississippi River;
home of Elvis and W.C.Handy)


#10

When not using my rolling mill. I keep it covered with a very large
Ziploc Baggie (not zipped). Keeps shop dust off, and never gets rusty.
Zip baggies are also good for large stakes, mandrels and other rustables


#11

John said,

But there is an answer; you can buy silica gel which contains an
indicator, and is a pleasant blue colour when dry and pink when damp.

Coincidently, just yesterday (Sat) I received a new wish book (catalog)
from MicroMark. They listed a small metal container filled with blue ,when dry,
silica gel. I think the price was about $7.50. Sorry I don’t have
t he catalog in the shop or I’d give you their 800 #. Micro Mark has been
mention on Orchid before, so if you look in the archives you may find the

#. If you can’t I’ll have it available Mon.

Dave


#12

Hi John
I am surprised by the fight you have to do against rust in NZ and in
southern countries. I noticed that it is humid when I have been there but
I never tought about the problems it could create in the workshops. It is
very interesting to know all the stratagems you are employing. Here in the
north we buy humidifiers because we dry in place with our heating systems.
There is almost no rust problem in normal worshops. Has I told you before
the only one I know (in shops, of course there is rust when it is rainy
and humid) is rust happen by acid skins.

Thanks for your interesting advises.
Vincent Guy Audette


#13

But there is an answer; you can buy silica gel which contains an
indicator, and is a pleasant blue colour when dry and pink when damp.

This prompts me to suggest/ask: what about cob meal? My pieces have lots
of innies and outies so I use cob meal to dry them in after polishing, but
now I’m wondering if a deep box full of the stuff would work to inhibit
rust on tools. Stick the hammer heads or plier tips down in, leave the
handles out for easy identification? Anybody tried this?

Or — being a great dessicant, would it saturate itself with moisture
from the air and eventually lay spots of rust ON the tools?! Arggggh.

BTW, Micromark’s # is 1 800 225-1066. They are in New Jersey USA

Colleen
On the shore of Passamaquoddy Bay, in the Bay of Fundy, home of the
highest tides in the world. Today’s will be just a wimpy one, only about
24ft.


#14

This prompts me to suggest/ask: what about cob meal? My pieces have
lots : of innies and outies so I use cob meal to dry them in after
polishing, but : now I’m wondering if a deep box full of the stuff would
work to inhibit : rust on tools. Stick the hammer heads or plier tips
down in, leave the : handles out for easy identification? Anybody tried
this? : a common method for storing garden tools is to leave a bucket of
slighty oily sand inside the toolshed and drive eg a shovel blade into it
three or four times before hanging. nobody wants sand on delicate tools
but maybe someone hs tried a variant of this ?

standard method for mechanics is to use spray oil (5-56 or wd40) then
lightly wipe with dry towel before storage ofany tools


#15

If a latecomer (well qualified, however – I lived on a sailboat for
nine years) to this thread can offer a couple of observations about
keeping tools (and steel parts) rust-free, here they are:

IMHO, good old WD40 is hard to beat. This was my experience on the
boat, and was also the conclusion reached a few years ago by “Practical
Sailor”, when that consumer publication tested corrosion preventatives.
Actually, a wax-based product called Boeshield came in first, by a hair,
but WD40 is lots cheaper and easier to find away from boating specialty
shops, and was only behind Boeshield in the salt water spray test anyway.
Last time I looked, there wasn’t too much salt spray in my shop…:slight_smile:

As long as I was religious about drying tools, then either misting them
with WD40, or wiping with a previously-sprayed rag, I never had a problem
with rusting, despite nine humid, subtropical mid-atlantic summers and
condensation during the winter. In my jewelry shop, I use the same
procedure on any bare steel or polished surfaces, like rolling mill
rollers, dies, hammer heads, etc. So far, no problems.

A couple of posts suggested using silica gel as a drying medium; this is
common among boaters, too, and works as long as you understand that the
gel gets saturated and needs to be dried in the oven every once in a
while. It doesn’t do much good unless in a small confined area like a
tool drawer that isn’t opened constantly, or a closed box; otherwise it
saturates too fast.

I can’t really recommend the other type of chemical dehumdifier that
boaters also use, which is basically a vented can partly filled with
calcium chloride. “Dri-Z-Air” is one common brand. CaCl is
hygroscopic, and will constantly suck moisture out of the air. It works
so well that the can fills up, continues condensing moisture, and you wind
up with saturated CaCl solution dripping everywhere! Unless you are
vigilant about emptying the excess condensate, you soon have a mess.

About a month ago, a roof leak targeted my stationary tools bench,
squarely over the Unimat lathe. Although I was out of town for the
weekend, when I got back there were a lot of water stains on the bench and
floor, and some dried plaster dust on the lathe, but no rust. I attribute
that to the squirt of WD40 it gets after every use. The WD40 can has its
own spot on the bench next to the expensive tools.

Regards,

Bob Edwards
Chromis Designs
Annapolis, Maryland


#16

Hi Birdwalk
Can you tell me what is cob meal it’s sounds interesting but my English is
not so accurate. I asked to my Babylon and Bibliorom and, everyting I
have to translate and it’s telling me, kind of corn flour, is it right?
Thank you. Vincent Guy Audette