Old Godger’s Bench Tip No.2

We all get forgetful (or lazy) and end up with tools that are rusty (or “heavily patinated.”) Where I live the air is humid and laden with salt. Even stainless steel gets a bit stained.

What to do?

Really badly corroded tools can be treated with Naval Jelly and wire wool, but for lightly marked material I use Autosol. Wipe the cream over the tool with kitchen paper and then scrub it with a piece of scrunched up aluminum foil. The surface becomes black and you then wipe off the cream. It also leaves a fine film of oil on the tool that helps protect against oxidation.


Hi Tony ,
Thanks for the tip. Bit of a silly question, what is Naval Jelly? Is that like petroleum Jelly ??
I live in Australia and I too also live in a humid salty environment .
I try hard to look after my tools so this would be great , My bench block even goes rusty ,
So any help would be great … Please


Naval Jelly is a brand name. It is phosphoric acid prepared as a gel. That particular brand is likely not available in Europe, but there must be something similar.

The Boeing Company, the aerospace manufacturers, formulated an excellent rust inhibitor which they licensed to PMS Products Inc. It is called Boeshield T-9, and is available worldwide. The distributor for Northern Europe is BST9 Products, in the Netherlands.

1 Like


I use cortec 101 VpCI (vapor corrosion inhibitor) pads. You need to put your tools in a container, open the pad to activate, and write a date on it–supposedly lasts for 2 years. I’ve seen these on Amazon, search “Cortec 101” These work well, though I’m at the 1 1/2 year mark. I also keep some of my tools wrapped in a dish towel saturated (to moist not dripping) with 3-in-1 oil and also keep a film of the same on my tools.

An online company by the name of McMaster-Carr also carries similar products. Search “VPCI” in their catalog.

I work in my basement which is un-air-conditioned, but we do de-humidify in summer, keeping it as close to 50% as possible. I’m in Wisconsin, but near Lake Michigan, so we do get some high humidity.

Good luck! Rita

BTW, I wanted to add, I keep a Cortec pad on top of my rolling mill and cover it with a plastic bag I cinch around the bottom–this is in addition to the usual recommended maintenance.

1 Like

If you live in the US or Canada… A trick I picked up from an old blacksmith helps me keep my larger tools from the dreaded “red patina”… long posting I know… Apologies.

Crown Royal velvet bags are tossed out by the box-full at commercial ABC suppliers… Restaurants don’t keep the bags either. They already have a drawstring and are great over golf clubs, spoon/dishing stakes, hammer heads and larger items…

Just squirt a bit of 3-in-one oil or sewing machine oil over the bag and secure it over the metal… Rub the bag/hammer like a favorite dog getting his head scratch once in awhile to keep the oil on the metal…

One other source of moisture control that is FREE is the little shoe dessicant packets… I visited the store my wife likes and they said they throw away hundreds of them… One Starbucks gift card and I had a large shoebox full… Oven on “warm” setting and bake them on a cookie sheet to dry them out… Then store in a sealed gallon ziplock bag in toolbox. Every week or so toss a new one in the drawer… When the drawer gets full of them… Collect, dry in oven… Repeat… Keeps you at LEAST knocking ambient moisture down.

Frugal… Yes… Cheap… Yes… Now you know a dirty little secret from my hammer-rack! (And I’m near the Chesapeake Bay so pretty salty/moist too)