Caring for cast iron in a humid climate

I live in a humid, warm environment (Houston, Texas). We air-condition everything down here, but it will be a while before I have an air conditioned shop. In the meantime, its not too practical to keep my new table saw in the house. I want to do what I can to keep its cast iron surfaces from rusting. It comes with all the surfaces oiled. Of course that's a no-no for dealing with wood. I suppose I could wipe it down with a light oil regularly and wipe off the excess. What about waxing? Is that reasonable? Any experience would be appreciated, especially from people living in soggy areas along the gulf coast.
Bob
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Maybe an oil finish on your projects?
On Wed, 24 Sep 2003 22:33:05 GMT, "Bob Davis"

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On Wed, 24 Sep 2003 22:33:05 GMT, "Bob Davis"

Let them rust - look up some gunsmithing refs on a "browned" finish.
In that climate there's no way you're going to keep it silver. So give it a hand to develop the smooth dark brown colour of a few decades patina, but more quickly. This is a much more stable surface to maintain in a useful condition. Your wood doesn;t care what colour the table is, just that it's clean, smooth, and not covered with a loose surface.
-- Smert' spamionam
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Bob I live near Sugarland in SW Houston, I have been woodworking seriously for 25+ years. I fought rust until I started using TopCote. I tried the wax, the covers, and the other concoctions. I'll stick with TopCote.
Where in Houston are you?

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I live in Central Florida. I have been really busy this summer and the WW has not been what I would like. Soon that should change. I use Top Coat. It is easy and it seems to work. I have no rust on my TS or other surfaces. I spray everything with TopCoat.

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I don't thing anything will stop rust unless you put a heavy coat of cosmolene or Boeshield T-9. Of course this makes a mess every time you want to use your saw. I have used wax and now use Top Cote. Both will allow some rust. I find that the more you use the saw, the less the rust. But if you are an occasional user, short of cosmolene, you need to check the saw every couple of days and keep up with the light rust.
BTW, San Antonio is pretty humid, too.
Preston

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The problem with living along the humid coast vs. a humid place like SA, is that the humidity along the coast is normally salty also which tends to be more aggressive. Automobiles and metal buildings with a southern exposure to the gulf winds suffer more than the ones farther from the coast.
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I live in Charleston SC and it is pretty humid here also. I use Johnson's paste wax and Boeshield. My tablesaw sits on my carport and is exposed to pretty wide ranges of humidity. You can get Boeshield online or from a boat place like Boater's World.
Rob

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Charleston huh, you're the closest poster I'v seen in a while. I had my old talblesaw in the carport, before moving, and the tarp I covered my works in progress with did wonders for keeping rust off. Now I have a shed^H^H^H^H shop that needs more attention to keep the rust off the surface. Maybe if I posted No Rusting signs on the outside? Joe in the unincorporated Berkeley County part of Summerville
Rob wrote:

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Try a bolt on heater or house a low wattage light bulb under it. This should work in theory, but I've not used the technique for this purpose before but it works for frost protection. Might be worth a try. When I use light bulbs as heaters, I always use 2 so I'm still protected if one fails. On the surfaces where the wood doesn't contact, try a wax antirust coating as used on classic cars. UK product is called Waxoyl but others should be available. These cling and penetrate into small gaps where 2 pieces meet. Ask at classic car meets.
John
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I use a gun care product called RIG. It has NEVER let me down. Wipe off before cutting if you need to. Really good stuff. Check to see if it contains silicone-don't think it does. I have used everything and only this has never failed. Top Cote is probably as good but I can't afford it. Break-Free did not work as well as RIG for me.
On Thu, 25 Sep 2003 10:53:59 +0100, "John Manders"

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Which RIG product? They make several lubes, wipes, greases and oils.
Bob

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Which RIG product? They make several lubes, wipes, greases and oils.
Bob

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My current shop is in Houston and none of my tools have ever rusted. I attribute it to no air conditioning, heat, or insulation in the shop, TopCote periodically applied to machined surfaces, and keeping a fan running on low 24/7.
The whole idea is for the outside and inside air to always be at parity, and to move air around inside the shop to discourage condensation if it's not.
My friends/acquaintances with air conditioned, tightly insulated shops fight rust constantly.
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Swingman wrote:

I might try the fan idea, 'cause the parity thing ain't workin'. My shop doors seal poorly, and there are several substantial gaps in the walls. The place leaks air like a sieve, and there's no climate control or insulation.
I forgot to wax my new chisels. Now they're all rusty. All it takes is one cool night. :(
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I'm not going to turn the fan off to see if that is what makes the difference, but you might give it a try ... I can see the outside through gaps in the wood siding of the shop and the single garage door has gaps around it and is not insulated. My chisels have never needed to be waxed.
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