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Rusted Tools


#1

Easily happens, especially with tools in storage. If you get fed up
with mechanical removal methods, go chemical. We had some
disagreement here recently over phosphoric acid, but I stick to my
guns …go to a car accessories shop and buy one of their rust
remover chemicals. Get the cheapest, it’ll probably just be plain
phosphoric acid (the expensive ones have a fancy name and inert
fillers to help it cling to vertical surfaces, which we don’t need).
Phosphoric acid removes rust and leaves a surface which is slightly
rust resistant (but not a lot). Follow the instructions regarding
handling. Dilute with water if necessary, but don’t leave your tools
soaking in it longer than needed to remove the red stuff. Rinse
thouroughly.

Tools going into storage or which aren’t used often can be protected
quite well by coating with lanolin, especially if you then pop it
into a clean plastic bag. Or wrap in rust inhibiting paper, also
known as Vapour Phase Inhibitor paper, or just VPI, which you buy
(it’s cheap) from a tool merchant. That’s an engineering tool
merchant, not your usual jewellery house.

Engineering suppliers also stock rubber mats that you can line
drawers with to stop tools rattling. The mats don’t stop rusting,
but they don’t promote it either. You can also use VPI paper in
drawers…

Old machinists’ adage … the best way to stop tools rusting …
use 'em!

Kevin (NW England, UK)