My husband is a self-taught machinists and reads several magazines
getting hints and tips on improving his techniques. Several years ago
he came across an article on keeping machining tools from rusting.
Since then, I have shared it with students - many of whom live at the
beach here in San Diego and have real rusting issues.
First, the tools should be stored in a tool box or drawer where the
surrounding atmosphere can be controlled a bit more. Then take a
small container (I use film canisters – he uses small wooden
containers) and put a few small holes in the container. I use a
scribe to poke 6 holes or so in the sides of the film canister. A
pill container would also work well – just drill some small holes.
Fill them with cotton balls and put a few drops of camphor spirits on
the cotton. The camphor will need to be replenished occasionally –
monthly in some areas (for my students who live on boats). I
replenish mine quarterly.
Camphor Spirits used to be easy to find in drug stores, but recently
when i needed more, I had to go to the internet. Be sure to get the
liquid and it is better if it is “USP” – it will say that on the
I have used this technique for years with great success.