How not to store a plane

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Normally, my hand tools hang on pegboard or sit on open shelves. Not too long ago I bought a tool that turned out to be such a pleasure to use that I kept it in the box it was shipped in (with a couple of silica gel packets) so as to provide absolute maximum protection.
I hadn't used it for about two months; but needed it this afternoon. Took the box off the shelf and opened it up. You'll have to infer what the tool looked like from my post-mortem shot of the box - I didn't think to take a photo until after I'd had a four-hour session with an extra fine diamond lapping plate and a 1200 grit EZLap file. There's also an "after" photo attached to the ABPW copy.
As I was polishing out the pits, it occurred to me that this was the first tool I'd ever stored in a cardboard box. I don't think I'll make that mistake again...
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto, Iowa USA
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Morris Dovey wrote:

Morris, what I saw was some discoloration of the sole. Is it that of which you speak? I wonder why the cardboard would be the culprit unless it was somewhat damp from shipment to you.
Hoyt W.
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I store some of my planes in the cardboard they came in. I rap them with the craft paper they came with. I also treat them with camellia oil. No corrosion yet. The camellia oil goes on my tenon and dovetail saws as well. :-)

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Hoyt Weathers wrote:

By the time I took pix of the plane, the sides and sole were mirror bright. Anything you see there is a reflection of something else.
When I opened the box, the plane was measled with pitted rust spots varying from about 1/32" to 1/8", with some very fine rust (without significant pitting) on the sole. The rust stains in the box matched the spots on the plane.
I'm sure the cardboard started out dry (or I'd have seen rust well before now); but Iowa has been rather humid this spring - and I think that the cardboard absorbed its full share. Once the cardboard took in the moisture; it shared with the iron.
[Actually, "saturated" is more apt than "humid". Our weather pattern resembles that of '93, except that every thunderstorm seems to be spawning tornados - a small town in northern Iowa has been pretty well obliterated, local rivers and streams are at or above flood stage, and the meteorologists are predicting more for Saturday and Sunday. If this continues, Iowa farmers may have to shift from corn and soybeans to rice; and I may have to ask Robin to introduce stainless steel planes.]
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto, Iowa USA
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Morris Dovey wrote:

Morris, TKX for the details. I always enjoy reading your postings and replies.
Hoyt W.
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Much depends on the cardboard, and on the shop humidity. Acid-free board is pretty much an essential for paper conservation and the same principle applies for tool storage. Keeping it dry helps a lot too.
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Morris Dovey wrote:

Morris:
I suspect the biggest contributor to your problem was your confidence in the silica gel. Desicant packages do work, but they work by absorbing the moisture in their environment. Once they've done this they are effectively inert and afford no further protection. They can be renewed by placing them in an oven a very low temps for a while or even by "baking" them under normal light bulbs. You simply need to dry them out and then place them back in the box. With many of these packages you can't see the actual material so you have no visual indicator that the desicant in saturated, but typically it changes color when it is. Using your cardboard box and the desicant packages can be a viable storage technique, just make sure you keep your desicant dried out from time to time. There might indeed be easier ways...
--

-Mike-
snipped-for-privacy@sprintmail.com
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Mike Marlow wrote:

I think you're right. That and misplaced confidence that the cardboard box offered anything more than mechanical protection.
I have a couple of planes sitting out in the open that fared much better than the one in the box - and this contributed to the false confidence. Another plane in a wooden box (on the same shelf!) remained as it was when I put it away.
My storage environment is terrible; and accelerated rusting. I suspect that the same problem would occur in a nore "normal" environment - but at a slower pace.
In any event, even a nice, sturdy cardboard box doesn't appear to be the best choice.
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto, Iowa USA
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Now we know why they tout acid-free papers for books and archival matting.
I'm a WD-40 on paper towel type, and mine're in a basement.

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Merely "acid-free" isn't even enough. Archival grade papers and boards are also "buffered" with an excess of an alkaline base, so as to avoid any chance of acid production in the future. Most organic materials become acidic with age/decay, particularly proteins in animal glues, leather, furs etc.
One exception is for storing colour prints. These should be acid-free, but the alkaline buffers are just as damaging as something too acid.
Then there are the obscure problems too. One of the worst environments to store high quality measuring instruments or tools is in a wool baize-lined wooden box. Wool is full of sulphur and becomes very acid over time. The only thing worse is storing silver in such a box, because sulphur is the primary cause of black silver tarnish.
--
Smert' spamionam

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I'll add one more item to watch out for. I stored a plane on its side in a cabinet that has a spare piece of poly insulating foam on the shelf. Thought it was a smart idea to have a soft landing place under the plane. Guess what, it started to rust the plane on the surface that was in contact with the foam. I think I'll cut a piece of plywood for the shelf protector.
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On Mon, 31 May 2004 11:47:16 -0500, "Dustmaker"

What sort of foam ? Material ? Open or closed cell ? Any close contact like this is a risk for rust (even with VPI paper, if you wait long enough), but for closed cell soft polyethylene foam it's most unusual. Polyurethane foam is well-known as a nightmare and blown polystyrene isn't that good either.
--
Smert' spamionam

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wrote:

Would a chunk of wool carpet be ok?
Patriarch
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On Mon, 31 May 2004 19:21:39 GMT, patriarch

So long as there's no wool in it ! Synthetic carpet is better.
In fact, wool isn't too bad either. But there is a problem with using wool near really fine work, especially silver or silver inlay (and you can imagine the problem with niello).
--
Smert' spamionam

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Guess I missed the original post, my Lie-Neilson planes are stored in those rust preventing "plane socks", I live in Alabama so I keep the tools in the house. RJ
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Try wooden planes. Mine have not rusted to date.
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Acid woods accelerate rust just like acid papers. Avoid oak, cherry, and such.

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I would think that if cardboard were the culprit that all of the planes that that the manufacturer sells would have this issue. I would also think that the silica bags and oil wrap paper in the cardboard box would protect the steel, to a point. Do you keep the plane in the garage, or in the basement? I find that I need to run a humidifier in my basement in the summer. I live in Decorah Iowa by the way, and know what you mean about the rain!
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vmtw wrote:

Neither garage nor basement. My shop's in an aircraft hanger. You can catch a glimpse at http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto/pix.html
What the shop has in space is more than made up for by the lack of environmental control - though it does have a nice big door (-:
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto, Iowa USA
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An aircraft hangar? Crikey, where'd you find a box big enough to put a plane into...?
John Emmons

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